Tria’s Fitler Square location opens this week (exact day to be determined) at 23rd and Pine Streets, the former home of Dmitri’s. Although very similar to the other two Tria locations, this fermentables (beer, cheese, wine) bar will also feature a full kitchen, giving new executive chef, Karen Nicolas some more toys to play with. Nicolas comes with serious culinary chops, she was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs 2012. Nicolas will oversee culinary operations for all four Tria locations. TheJohnson & Wales Culinary Arts alum was formerly executive chef at Citron & Rose and has worked at New York’s Gramercy Tavern, and apprenticed at the likes of California’s The French Laundry and Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco.
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.
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 last time we heard anything from Citron & Rose–the kosher restaurant opened in Merion by David Magerman, Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook–it was that Cook, Solo and their chef, Yehuda Sichel were leaving. It was a weird moment and no one really seemed to know what to make of the sudden rupturing of the partnership that had brought to the Main Line one of the most interesting restaurants it’d seen in years.
But now there’s new news from C&R, and it’s pretty big.