Natural Wine Dinner at the Good King Tavern

good-king-tavern-back-banquette-400The Good King Tavern is back with a second Jardins de Provence wine dinner on Wednesday, May 20th. And the news gets better as the price is dropping from $95 to $65. Granted, the dinner will be a bit less grandiose; four wines, paired by a plate (amuse, opener, entree, dessert), but good food and drink on a Wednesday night is always appreciated.

The Jardins de Provence showcases natural French wines paired with chef Paul Lyons’ cooking. This month Sean Faeth of Artisan’s Cellar and Chloe Grigri of the Good King will be pouring and talking wines.

The dinner will be held at 7:30 pm along the back banquette at a single long table. Reserve your space now.

The Good King Tavern [Foobooz]

The Revisit: Fond

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Every cook loves getting a bigger kitchen, and Lee Styer is no exception. Two-and-a-half years after moving Fond half a block from its original niche on Passyunk Avenue, he still remembers the liberation he felt.

The new liquor license was just the beginning. All of a sudden he had a walk-in fridge. Enough dry-storage capacity so that he could buy a whole case of onions at a time (rather than just five pounds). The days of sharing a single oven with his pastry chef (and wife) Jessie Prawlucki were definitively behind him. Read more »

Laurel Goes Exclusively to Tasting Menus

Photo by by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Photo by by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Starting in May, Laurel will be moving to only offering tasting menus. Currently, Nick Elmi’s East Passyunk BYOB offers the option of a la carte during the week with tasting menus only on Fridays and Saturdays. Elmi tells us, 70% of weeknight guests are now choosing the tasting menu and “it really doesn’t make sense for a small space like ours to carry a full menu.” Elmi says it has always been the goal to go tasting menu only at Laurel, and the restaurant’s reception has allowed him to speed up the process.

The number of courses and pricing remains the same, 7 courses for $85 per person.

May reservations will be available beginning on Tuesday, March 3rd, starting at noon.

Laurel [Foobooz]
50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia – 2015 [Foobooz]

One Bell for Fishtown’s Girard

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The burger at Girard was one of the things Craig LaBan did like.

Craig LaBan savages Girard, the BYO on Girard Avenue that made headlines before it even opened, with its no-tipping policy. LaBan found poor execution and something even more surprising, a line on the check for tips.

But too many dishes failed to connect good ideas to a plate of complete success. Oliveira’s signature omelet was textbook perfect, stuffed with avocado, creamy cheddar and bacon. But the side of charred grapefruit, grilled face down (letting the sugar fall off) instead of brûléed with a torch, was bitterly burnt. The lamb ragu had an intriguing daube-like inflection of olives and orange, but was literally braised to a mush that was poorly paired with doughy gnocchi. A torchon of foie gras, usually a luxuriously creamy disk of delicately poached liver, was an off-tasting smudge of tan butter on toast overwhelmed by a thicker smudge of fig jam for $13.

One Bell – Hit or Miss

Bold but confusing Girard Brasserie and Bruncherie in Fishtown [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Girard [Foobooz]

Fond Adds $35 Prix Fixe, Revamps Menus for Winter

Chef's Table at Fond

Chef’s Table at Fond

Fond on East Passyunk Avenue has updated its menu for winter 2015. Lee Styer and Jesse Prawlucki’s restaurant is now offering a $35 prix fixe menu that changes weekly.

That’s in addition to the regular a la carte menu and the five ($59) and seven course ($69) menus, Fond’s Chef’s Table can be reserved for four to ten people and chef Styer will work with his guests to create a custom nine-course tasting menu.

Fond’s winter menu »

Two Bells for La Peg

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan reviews La Peg and finds that the restaurant it heading in the right direction after a rocky start. But along the way, at least there were some naked performers and a great view of the Ben Franklin Bridge and Delaware River.

By my final visit in December, though, a shift to a more traditional app-entree menu format, and a subtle reversion to a more classic French repertoire, seemed to have smoothed out most kinks in chef de cuisine Nicholas Bazik’s kitchen.

Two Bells – Very Good

La Peg, pumping up the polish [Philadelphia Inquirer]
La Peg [Foobooz]

Meritage Names New Chef, Rolls Out New Menu

meritage-beets-400Meritage at 20th and Lombard has named Paul Gauthier as its new executive chef. Gauthier, who is a Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute replaces Anne Coll (who is going to be running the kitchen at Susanna Foo’s new Center City restaurant) who was the longtime Meritage chef and her successor, Adam Ratmoko.

In a adjective rich release, Meritage promises Gauthier will bring “seasonally inspired cuisine prepared with a modern French technique” to the restaurant.

The menu no longer has any hits of Asian influence but now offers standards like Beef Bourguignon, Bolognese and seared salmon.

Check out the full menu » 

Petit Rôti Brings French Rotisserie to Washington Square West

petit-roti-400Chef Olivier Desaintmartin of ZINC and Caribou Cafe has opened Petit Rôti, his French rotisserie at 248 S 11th Street. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., serving a menu of rotisserie chicken as well as roasted pork and prime rib. Sandwiches range are $8.50 and dinners range from $15.50 to $22.50.

Petit Rôti also offers baguettes, pâte, smoked ham and a chicken soup of the day. A pantry is stocked with oils, vinegars, mustards, jams and more for home use.

The storefront is mainly to-go but does offer some stand up space in order to eat-in.

Read more »

Full Menu for Girard’s Opening Day

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Girard–the new 70-seat, “no-tip” Frenchy BYO brasserie and bruncherie–is opening today. As a matter of fact, it’s open right now.

The restaurant (which is open from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays) is featuring brunch standards, as well as liquefied fruits and vegetables–which are presented as “Liquid Breakfast.” The menu will be health conscious and seasonal.

A “Roti,” or roast, will also be available on rotation, starting with French leg of lamb on Tuesdays, roasted cauliflower on Wednesdays, crown roast of pork on Thursdays, and whole roasted fish on Fridays.

Girard is also reservation-only, so if you want to dine, you’ll have to arrange it in advance.

And with that, here’s the full menu…

Read more »

Two Bells for Bardot

 

Craig LaBan heads to Northern Liberties to take in the cooking of Rhett Vellner atBardot, the French bar/restaurant from the Pub on Passyunk East’s Dennis Hewlett.

Vellner shows real delicacy in his take on the common beet, salt-roasted in coriander-fennel spice and paired with creamy onion soubise, goat cheese, and the crumbles of a walnut-rye bread streusel (de rigueur these days, as faux “soil”). A crisp fillet of arctic char was also spot-on, with an earthy duo of parsnips (pureed and creamy with ginger; crisped into ribbons) and the surprising fusion spark of funky kimchi.

Two Bells – Very Good

Bardot Cafe: Sophisticated, if a bit faux, French fare in Northern Liberties [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Bardot [Foobooz]

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