Chaos Theory: At The Table Reviewed

Photography by Stuart Goldenberg

Photography by Stuart Goldenberg

We forget sometimes that every night at a restaurant is the worst night ever.

Not for us, the diners. Not most of the time, anyway. But for the cooks, the chef, the servers, every night is a constantly evolving disaster. Every day starts out perfect—tabula rasa, a clean slate. The tables are all laid. The book is full, with reservations from open to close. In the kitchen, the mise en place is set. The cooks have backups waiting in the cooler, and then backups for their backups.

But when the doors open, everything becomes triage. Table full of vegans, a dropped steak, oven won’t heat past 250 degrees, the sous-chef sneezed in the soup—every minute, it’s something. A chef’s primary job during service is containment—managing the chaos, mitigating the hundred things that can (and will) go wrong and making goddamned sure that no one in the dining room suspects a thing. Dressing up a catastrophe to look like the best night ever.

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Old City’s New Brunch Encourages Bad Behavior (Not Really)

Generally speaking, Old City’s seen its fair share of misbehavior over the years, usually when the bars let out. Not so much during brunch, though.

And last week, Wister, the charming BYOB by ex-Lacroix morning sous Benjamin Moore, test-ran its new “Bad Behavior” brunch menu. What’s that mean, exactly? Moore said that he wanted to “get people drinking a bit to keep it lively!” So, to the Wister crew, “bad behavior” just means drinking more than you ought to, and — if nothing else — brunch is a perfectly acceptable time to do just that.

And here’s how they’ll help you along.

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Really, Really Fine Dining In Wayne, PA


What do Ian Moroney of Pumpkin, Andrew Deery of Majolica, Ralph Fernandez of Autograph and Peter Gilmore of Gilmore’s all have in common? His name is Alex Hardy, and he’s the executive chef of a new restaurant called At the Table. On November 16th, he and his wife Tara Buzan opened this 20-seat restaurant in the heart of Wayne, PA.

“We wanted to bring really, really fine dining to the area,” said Alex.

Before Alex was an executive chef, before he worked with some of the best chefs in the country, before he attended Johnson and Wales University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts, he worked as a dishwasher. “In going through the process of my career it’s very important to know–to some degree–all the elements of a restaurant,” he said. “You have to know how things go together–the flavors, the balance, the presentation.”

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Chris Kearse To Collaborate with Jaxon BYOB

Jaxon BYOB hosts Chris Kearse

Jaxon BYOB hosts Chris Kearse

You know what used to happen in Philadelphia restaurants all the time? Collaboration dinners. But for some reason, not so much anymore more. So we were very excited to see this event cross our desk.

On Monday, November 14, Jaxon BYOB will be hosting a dinner with chef Christopher Kearse from Will BYOB and Jaxon’s new chef, Matthew Gansert. Kearse and Gansert worked together at Will. Gansert has also been the chef of Jerry’s Bar and Resurrection Ale House. The pair are reuniting for this special prix-fix dinner event. The dinner is BYOB and will cost $55 per person.

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“Autumn Is NOORD Weather”

G Philly's 2013 pick for Best BYO, East Passyunk Avenue's Dutch eatery Noord, is turning 1 this year, and having a little shindig to celebrate. Stop by and congratulate out owner Joncarl Lachman, and nibble on some his famous bitterballen (Dutch braised pork meatballs), and some smoked fish. Tuesday, May 6, 6 p.m., free, Noord, 1046 Tasker Street.

Joncarl Lachman loves fall cooking.

Joncarl Lachman has just begun serving his fall menu at his Passyunk Avenue BYOB, NOORD. Fall is Lachman’s favorite time to cook and he points out that “autumn is ‘Noord Weather'” and we happen to agree. It is also time for snert to be on the menu and snert might just be the favorite word of the entire Foobooz staff. Snert!

In addition to the snert, a Dutch split pea soup served with sausage, bacon and rusk, other fall dishes include Maastrichts Zuurvlees, beer & vinegar braised beef served with vegetables and clove; and Hete Kip Uitsmijter, an open faced spicy chicken sandwich served on milk bread with gouda, sunny-side up eggs, salad and pickles.

Fall menu at NOORD »

Wister Opening in Old City

wister-fish-940“I’m writing the menu around ingredients that are exciting me,” said chef Benjamin Moore. “Right now, that happens to be late summer produce and seasonal fish.” Moore was a sous chef at Lacroix and before that was at Le Bec-Fin, Wister represents his first executive chef position.

On October 1st, the Old City BYOB will open to the public. Wister replaces 26 North at 26 North 3rd Street.

The restaurant will change its menu often. So if you don’t go until November, you will probably miss the heirloom tomatoes puff pastry ($14) and the melon with elderflower ($14). The good news, however, according to Moore, is “There’s always something new for our repeat diners.”

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On Point Bistro Is Now Open for Dinner

On Point Bistro is now open for dinner

On Point Bistro is now open for dinner

Beginning this evening, Point Breeze’s On Point Bistro will begin serving dinner. The BYOB by Garces alum Juan Lopez and his wife Mallory Fix Lopez has been open a week serving brunch. Now the restaurant at the intersection of 20th Street, Federal Street and Point Breeze Avenue is serving a menu of crowd pleasers such as mussels and frites, fish and chips, grilled cheeses, burgers, steak frites and grilled salmon.

Snacks run from $4 for fries to $16.95 for a share board of cheese and meats. Entrees top out at $19.95 for steak frites.

On Point Bistro is open Tuesday through Sunday for brunch and dinner.

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On Point Bistro Opens in Point Breeze

Challah French Toast at On Point Cafe

Challah French Toast at On Point Cafe

On Point Bistro opens today at 1200 Point Breeze Avenue in the former home of Breezy’s Cafe. In a twist, the BYOB from Garces vets Juan Lopez and his wife Mallory Fix Lopez, will start with daily brunch service and then add dinner shortly after opening. The couple of paired up with Mallory’s twin sister Megan Asher and her husband Rahul Asher.

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Gigi Italian Bistro In Manayunk Has An Opening Date

Gigi Exterior-6891

Manyunk’s newest BYOB, Gigi Italian Bistro, has an opening date.

Next Wednesday, August 3rd, Craig Wilson and Jacqueline Au will officially open the doors to their second restaurant. As promised, the menu focuses on pasta, poultry, meat and seafood, and tops out at $32. Check out the full menu below.

Gigi will be open Wednesdays through Sundays starting at 4 p.m.

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New BYOB to Open in Wayne

IMG_3821Despite good reviews, Wayne’s tiny crepe spot, Creperie Bechamel just closed itss doors this past Sunday. But the creperie is making way for something a little more upscale and refined.

Tara Buzan, owner of To the Table Catering just bought the restaurant and is planning to open BYOB in the space this fall. Buzan previously owned A Taste of Britain, but has been working as a private chef and caterer for the last 5 years. But she’s ready to get back into the restaurant business.

“The timing just seemed right. I sold my previous restaurant when my son was one,” said. “Now he’s six and I guess I just have the itch.”

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