Big news today from 6 Points Restaurant Group, the gang now in control of the kosher mini-empire booming on the Main Line. It looks like Citron + Rose–the group’s flagship which was begun in collaboration with Michael Solomonov and his team, and is now being run by Six Points and chef Karen Nicolas sans Solo–is going to be expanding into Center City. Specifically, into Rittenhouse Square.
Hey, remember The Dairy? This was an idea from Citron & Rose’s Dave Magerman to follow up on the success of his first Kosher restaurant with a second, more casual eatery. It was originally scheduled to open on Montgomery Avenue in Merion Station in late fall, 2013, with a fallback date of January 2014.
Needless to say, the project missed those projections. But now we have some information on the project moving forward. From Magerman himself:
“We were thrown a lot of curves with the building we purchased for the project, and we had to suspend construction while we reevaluated the construction plans. As of a few weeks ago, we have resumed construction with a new contractor and a new plan, and the projected completion date is sometime in mid-Fall. The new name of the project is the Six Points Dairy, to align it with the branding of the parent company, Six Points Restaurant Group, and our catering arm, Six Points Kosher Events.”
Purim is a festive holiday on the Jewish calendar. There are parades, costumes, games. It’s a big to-do. And this weekend, the crew at Citron & Rose are celebrating Purim with a Saturday night cocktail party.
The party starts at 8:30pm and for $25 (booze not included), they’re laying on a spread of appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, a buffet and desserts with a themed cocktail menu. So if you’re super into mini knishes, canapes, buffalo wings, sliders and salted caramel chocolate tarts–or really just want to find a place to celebrate the holiday in high style–make your (required) reservation now.
Oh, and for those of you showing up in costume, tickets are only $20. Drinks are still on you, though.
So whenever I call up a place that has recently gone through a change in chef or concept and I’m looking to figure out how radically things will be changing, I nearly always ask, “So, you going to be turning into a sushi bar?”
And it’s a joke, right? I mean, when La Grenouille Apodes brings in a new chef to take over their all-frog-leg menu, odds are pretty good that they’re not going to be adding sushi to the board. But Citron & Rose–which has gone through some pretty significant changes in the past few months–actually is turning into a sushi restaurant. Well, for one night anyway.
Craig LaBan’s Year in Bells came out last weekend. The annual feature includes some revisits to restaurants reviewed earlier and the announcement of a Chef of the Year award.
The Saint James in Ardmore, which was skewered a year ago in its initial review has now been upgraded to a single bell (hit-or-miss). Citron & Rose, which lost its partnership with Michael Solomonov and his Zahav team maintained its two-bells, based on the strength of new chef, Karen Nicolas.
Tiffin Bistro and Red Owl Tavern rounded out the revisites. Each managed to hang on to their one bell ratings but frankly, each sounded lucky to have done so.
Chef Eli Kulp, who came to Fork and High Street on Market from New York’s Torrisi Italian Specialties was named Chef of the Year. LaBan said of Kulp’s cooking, “his knack for unexpected combos and rustic techniques (offbeat pastas, fermenting, charcuterie) produced grand presentations like his whole-duck feast – a multi-part poultry masterpiece that was among the best birds (and meatballs) I’ve ever eaten.”
Craig LaBan’s Year in Bells [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Best Milkshake, Best Bar Snack, Best Wine List at a Beer Bar, Best Homage To an Iconic Philly Food… It would be hard to argue that there weren’t enough awards in Philly Mag’s 2013 “Best of Philly” issue. We gave out 286 in all. But for me, the most interesting was the one I came to think of as number 287:
Best Evidence That God Looks After His Own.
Because isn’t that really what made Citron & Rose the most compelling restaurant opening of the past year? Sure, we could have slapped a Best Kosher Restaurant label on the place. But talk about a backhanded compliment. You might as well tell people, “Yep, if you’ve truly got no other option, that’s the place to go.”
No, what distinguished C&R was that it was good, period. Here was kosher food that anybody would want to eat.
Ever wonder what really drove the split between partners Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook and notable rich person David Magerman at Citron and Rose on the Mainline?
See, 44-year-old David Magerman doesn’t generally approve of how other people spend his money. So he’s stopped producing movies, let go of one of the hottest chefs in America, and basically given the finger to the most powerful entity in Jewish Philadelphia—at least a few times. Beneath the overt tension between Magerman and his adopted community, however, lies an internal tension. Spiritual, philanthropic millionaire David, it turns out, might not be ready to say goodbye to cocky, hedge-fund millionaire David.
You can read all about Magerman, what makes him tick, and why he decided to sever ties with one of the best-known and most successful chefs in Philly in favor of catering bar mitzvahs over at phillymag.com.
The Controversial David Magerman [phillymag]
It wasn’t too long ago that Citron and Rose lost their big guns: Michael Solomonov, Steven Cook and Yehuda Sichel, the chef that pulled off a 3-star menu while keeping to a business plan that seemed so… specific.
But after unveiling a successful lunch menu, then a brunch menu, and then a sold out Winemaker dinner, it looks as though Citron & Rose is thriving on adversity. Now, with their new chef, Karen Nicolas, they have a new dinner menu as well, and on it, something called “Pickled and Roasted” which involves tongues and bone marrow and some other stuff. Seriously, I’m booking a reservation right now just because of it.
Check out the full new menu after the jump. It looks fun and exciting, and just as delectably, weirdly Jewish as it ever was before.
The hedge-fund software developer and philanthropist was an unlikely restaurateur. Since moving here from Long Island in 2006, Magerman has devoted a fortune to bolstering the enrollment and viability of regional Jewish day schools. His aim is to expand the observant Jewish community, but gradually he came to believe that a culinary obstacle was frustrating his efforts. “People weren’t excited about living in the community,” he says, “and one of the reasons, oddly enough, was there was no place to eat.”