Philadelphia Restaurant Received “Million Dollar Review”

Coren at Vedge. He called Vedge "the best vegan cooking I have ever had."

Coren at Vedge. He called Vedge, “the best vegan cooking I have ever had.”

Times of London restaurant critic Giles Coren was in Philadelphia this spring filming his TV show Million Dollar Critic for Canada’s WNetwork. The show visited five Philadelphia restaurants in order for Coren to bestow one of them with his million dollar recommendation (because the review could be worth more than a million dollars in business).

Coren visited Vedge, Cheu Noodle Bar, Avenue Delicatessen, The Mildred (now closed) and Kanella. In the end, Coren heaped the most praise on Kanella, the Cypriot BYOB by Konstantinos Pistillides.

Kanella is the sort of place I wish I could review every week: a buzzing local taverna on a lively city corner, people of all ages and ethnicities sitting at outside tables, simply decorated inside, full of laughter, friends and family, and charming staff serving a cuisine rooted deeply in a foreign culture rather than just ripping it off, with a deadly serious chef at the helm.

Read the full review of Kanella on Huffington Post’s Canadian edition.

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Kanella Looks To Be Expanding Southward

village-belle-papered-windowsAn eagle-eyed tipster alerted us to a liquor license transfer placard in the former home of Village Belle at 757 S Front Street. The applicant name is Kanella South. Could this be a new restaurant from Konstantinos Pitsillides, the owner of Kanella at 10th and Spruce Streets? The new license application isn’t in the system yet, so we reached out to Pitsillides but haven’t heard back yet. Back in March, Pitsillides sent us a teasing email, “Kanella will buy a new bigger space.or maybe,they just did.” At that time the chef did return any further messages for details. 

A property search doesn’t return any recent sales for the address though its value did just go up by a factor of eight.

But if the name is any proof, it looks like Queen Village will be noshing on Cypriot bites while looking out over the Mediterranean Delaware.

Final Four Tasting Tours Now On Sale

philly-cooks-weekAs part of Philly Cooks Week, we’ll be offering unprecedented access to Philadelphia’s top kitchens and culinary masters like Jose GarcesKonstantinos Pitsillides and Jeremy Nolen through three nights of Tasting Tours. On February, 25th to 27th we’ll be offering three unique tours a night. The first five tours have sold quickly. Today the final four tours are announced, act quickly.

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2012 James Beard Semifinalists Announced

The 2012 James Beard Semifinalists have been announced and Philadelphia area chefs and restaurants seem to have a bigger representation than normal. Tashan, The Farm and Fisherman and Zeppoli all make the list for Best New Restaurant. Pierre Calmels, BibouDavid Gilberg, Koo Zee DooKonstantinos Pitsillides, Kanella and Marcie Turney of Barbuzzo all make the semifinals for Best Chef Midatlantic (remember, past winners aren’t eligible).

Le Virtu’s Joe Cicala and Fond’s Lee Styer were nominated for Rising Star Chef, while Jessie Prawlucki (Fond/Belle Cakery) made the list for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Not bad East Passyunk, not bad at all.

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