Brauhaus Schmitz chef Jeremy Nolen is opening a restaurant of his own. Whetstone Restaurant will be a casual American bar and restaurant that will take over the former Tapestry space at 5th and Bainbridge. Nolen will be the chef at Whetstone as well as Brauhaus. He’s joined in the venture by his Brauhaus Schmitz compatriots, Doug and Kelly Hager.
Nolen says that Whetstone, which will feature 20 or so drafts plus a wines and brown liquors will open this summer.
The bar will be a welcome addition to Queen Village, which supported Tapestry but saw the popular bar close anyway. Some have suggested the corner, which was also Adsum and Coquette, is cursed but we have a feeling that Whetstone will be a winner.
Whetstone Restaurant [Foobooz]
Craig LaBan finds that Nick Elmi is doing more than just turning out fantastic plates at his BYOB, Laurel. It appears the chef has also found serenity.
His albacore starter may be the best raw tuna dish in town, firmed ever so slightly in tepid olive oil before being dressed with the delicate sweetness of shaved Asian pears and a powder of frozen horseradish and yuzu “snow” that melted in mouth with a cooling sparkle. A bracing edge of mustard oil, chile-spiked ponzu, and fermented daikon cubes were the perfect foil to assertive Spanish mackerel seared crackly warm on the skin side and sashimi raw on the reverse. A study in Berkshire pork – loin roasted, belly braised, tender shoulder pulled then formed into a patty – was memorable for its elegant necklace of huckleberry, kale, and chestnut sauces.
Three Bells – Excellent
A “Top Chef” champ returns to his roots [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Josh Lawler has made a name for himself in Philly with his postage-stamp-sized BYOB on Pine Street. Everything is fresh because there isn’t enough room for a freezer. But now with his second restaurant—the awkwardly named Farm & Fisherman Tavern + Market—Lawler has plenty of room to spread out. The Cherry Hill outpost is a 150-seat bar and restaurant that also boasts an attached market. Unfortunately you won’t find many of the dishes he’s doing in Midtown Village here in Jersey. (The menu is definitely more accessible, but it would be wrong to call it dumbed-down.) Offerings change continuously, but expect burgers, sandwiches, and a host of local ingredients. If you spot a steak among the supper plates, jump on it. It might be the best you have all year.
Farm & Fisherman Tavern + Market [Foobooz]
First appeared in the February, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Photo by Jaeson Han
Craig LaBan checks out Talula’s Daily and finds that Aimee Olexy has another hit on her hands.
My favorite dish of all my Daily meals, though, was the paper-wrapped surprise of skate en papillote. Almost always seared, the flesh took on an unexpectedly luxurious quality in a tangerine-scented steam, and concealed beneath its butter-glossed wing a trove of root vegetable treasures. Each was cut and cooked to a unique shape and texture, from weird and squiggly little crosnes, to earthy soft Jerusalem artichokes, snappy shaved ribbons of multihued raw carrots, bittersweet marbles of tender baby turnips, and crunchy cubes of al dente kohlrabi.
Three Bells – Excellent
Talula’s Daily cafe & market is affordable Olexy excellence [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Talula’s Daily [Foobooz]
Late Summer Farmstead Collection | Photo by Courtney Apple
Trey Popp says it’s a shame that Talula’s Daily’s chef Scott Megill’s dinner was interrupted by a sales pitch.
But somewhere before dessert and the individually tailored cheese course, our cheerful waitress broke the enchantment of Aimee Olexy’s ode to homespun coziness by delivering what you’d have to call a sales pitch. Everything on the table, she divulged, was a product for sale by Anthropologie.
Two-and-a-half stars – Good to Excellent
Philadelphia Restaurant Review: Talula’s Daily [Philadelphia Magazine]
Talula’s Daily [Philadelphia Magazine]
Adam Erace says that Serpico is everything we wanted it to be and maybe even more.
The dashi haunts my dreams. It comes ice cold, an umami-dense tonic of kombu broth fortified with bonito, mirin and soy so inexplicably refreshing it should be served with a Collins glass and a straw. Instead, the staff pours it tableside over a landscape of purslane, charred pea tendril, shiso, compressed zucchini, cucumber pearls in sugar-snap pea pods and cubes of chilled crème fraîche that look like tofu and taste like mozzarella. If you order only one dish at Serpico, make it this one. If you order only two dishes, make the second the decadent egg custard. The mix of eggs and dashi steams in its own little cocotte till barely set; wobbling like a panna cotta, its brown-butter-submerged surface bears enough rare Siberian sturgeon caviar to explain the $25 price tag.
Serpico: Everything We’ve Waited For [City Paper]
Serpico [Official Site]
Photo by Jessica Kourkounis
Craig LaBan has a lot of praise for the return of chef Marc Plessis (XIX) and his seafood-centric menu at Pennsylvania 6.
[T]he return of talented chef Marc Plessis to the culinary scene, two years after leaving XIX in the Hyatt at the Bellevue, is the prime reason this venture should be taken seriously. The French-born, Kentucky-bred, Atlanta-trained chef brings a unique combination of classically rooted polish and regional American flair to a menu that is equally at home frying perfect Ipswich clams inside a cuminy crust with caper aioli or serving tenderly stewed Duroc pork collar over cheesy grits, a garden tangle of breakfast radishes still clinging to their peppery stems on top.
Two Bells – Very Good
Talented Chef at Pennsylvania 6 [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Pennsylvania 6 [Official Site]
And Pennsylvania 6 features dollar oysters and bubbly cocktails all day »
Rx the Farmacy is swinging open its doors at 11 a.m. today. Ross Scofield’s successor to the original Rx and short-lived Rimedio. Located at 45th and Spruce, Rx the Farmacy will serve brunch and dinner five days a week.
The BYOB’s menu offers hearty dishes like steak frites, grilled pork chop and grass fed burger for main courses. The dinner menu tops out at $21 for the scallops. Starters include poutine, fried pickles and house-made sausages.
For Brunch, Rx the Farmacy’s menu includes house-made bread, Amaretto french toast, sweet potato pancakes, Philly Benny (poached egg, sliced teres major, English muffin, hollandaise, home fries) and a quiche of the day.
The brunch and dinner menus »
Trey Popp laments the loss of George Sabatino’s $30 three-course dinner menu at Morgan’s Pier.
On the first weekend of June, four weeks after it came into being, the best dining value in Philadelphia was murdered at Morgan’s Pier. George Sabatino’s $30 three-course menu was bludgeoned with PBR cans by a mob of 25-year-old frat bros, stabbed in 16 places by five-inch stilettos, and finally trampled to death in a midnight stampede to the on-site hot-dog cart. The corpse was dumped into the Delaware River as the perpetrators and accomplices got busy grinding to a DJ beat.
Two Stars – Good
Summertime Blues [Philadelphia Magazine]
Morgan’s Pier [Official Site]
Photo by Michael Persico
Chestnut Hill BYOB, Heirloom has just unleashed its new Summer menu and it reads like a salute to summer.
From summer beat and grilled nectarine salad to blue crab with summer corncake, heritage shortrib with roast peaches or grape poached Artctic char, there are a variety of new flavors to help satisfy your appetite this season.
Full menu »