Ever notice how for the bold-faced and famous here, Philadelphia’s social scene resembles a high school? The dating pool is shallow, everyone knows everyone else, and a stroll down the hall (or around Rittenhouse Square) can lead to a memory-lane disaster. Maybe that’s why A-list magnet Roseanne Martin’s latest well-to-do beau is an out-of-towner. Smart move, girlfriend — and a departure for Martin and others whose love connections are local, notable and, like, totes complicated.
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David Fierabend of Groundswell Design Group has become one of our favorite people. He and his company were behind the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Pop-Up Garden from last summer that we just can’t stop praising. His company is also responsible for the landscape architecture at Morgan’s Pier, Talula’s Garden and the Waterfront Winterfest.
An impressive list but that’s nothing compared to the projects they have planned.
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Good news for fans of former Tashan chef Sylva Senat. Michael Klein reports that talented chef has landed at the Saint James in Ardmore. We feared the chef might head back to New York City but hadn’t considered the connection between Senat and the Saint James’ Michael Schulson. Senat cooked for Schulson when the energetic Schulson was Buddakan New York’s executive chef.
No word yet on a new menu but we’ll be following carefully.
Chef Sylva Senat lands on the Main Line [The Insider]
Photo by Yoni Nimrod
Okay, so the St. James in Ardmore has been going through some rough times. But as partner Michael Schulson explained when we talked to him a couple weeks back, he isn’t giving up the fight on the Main Line. He’s been re-doing menus, firing kitchen crew and working the line himself at the embattled joint in order to bring it back from the brink.
And now, he has a new happy hour menu that just got announced (it launches at 4pm today). And while no, we don’t believe that some pickles and sliders can completely turn a place around, that shrimp roll certainly does seem to be a step in the right direction.
Michael Schulson [Twitter]
In a move that surprised precisely no one, Matt Moon–opening chef at the St. James–has been let go by partners Michael Schulson and Rob Wasserman. This move follows a couple of knee-capping reviews (a no-bell review from Craig Laban and a scathing zero-star review from Philly mag’s own Trey Popp), but according to Schulson, “There have been changes in the works for about a month.”
And showing the chef the door? That wasn’t the start of the bloodletting.
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Craig LaBan smashes The Saint James in Ardmore with a stinging no-bell review. Plates were dropped with regularity,the meat was over-cooked and salads were under seasoned. Is the problem, the location?
Finding skilled restaurant workers in the burbs is “painful,” says Schulson, whose Saint James kitchen had an 85 percent turnover in the first three months. But the problem is as much economic as geographic, he concedes, with line-cook wages only barely above what some say they’d receive in unemployment compensation. The culinary passion that drives many young chefs through that rite of passage is especially scarce outside the city. But given that Moon told me “only the sous-chef and a dishwasher” remained in his kitchen since my final visit, just a week before our conversation, I’d suggest that a pay increase is in order. Or perhaps these owners just aren’t cut out for multiple restaurants.
No Bells – Poor
The Saint James [Philadelphia Inquirer]
The Saint James [Official Site]
Rouge‘s Rob Wasserman and Sampan‘s chef Michael Schulson are opening their spacious American bistro The Saint James tomorrow at Suburban Square in Ardmore.
Schulson has created the menu with Matt Moon who has previously worked with Schulson and will oversee the menu as executive chef. The menu will include everything from chicken noodle soup to a special lobster risotto on Mondays.
Check out our video walkthrough and the menu »
Woohoo! @st_jamesphilly passed Health Inspection!! Suburban Square will soon have a gr8 restaurant the neighborhood is waiting 4 #exciting
– Michael Schulson on his Ardmore restaurant, The Saint James.
Chef Michael Schulson of Sampan has created new menus for the restaurant including soy-free, gluten-free, and vegetarian versions. Some new menu items include Vietnamese Beef Noodles with marinated beef with rice noodle, crispy shallot and Thai basil; Corn Satay with coconut, lime and togarashi; and BBQ Pork Summer Rol, with carrot and glass noodles.
Schulson has also added two new flavors to his collection of popular Scorpion bowls. The shareable punch bowls now come in Cucumber Margarita with Cuervo silver tequila, aloe vera, and lime, and Blueberry Lemonade with Absolut Citron, meyer lemon, and blueberry. Enjoy either flavor for $26.
Sampan [Official Site]
We forgive you if you’ve never been to The Water Club at Borgata to eat. Relaxing by the divinely decadent pool, soaking up some pampering at Immersion Spa or doing naughty things you’d care not to remember in the penthouse suite–yes, these are the reasons to wander over to the opulent spa-hotel from its adjoining sister property. But as of Sunday (spoiler alert!), that may all change.
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