Jonathan Petruce Has A New Gig

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“I don’t have an official title,” Jonathan Petruce told me when I got him on the phone after yesterday’s review of Cinder went up. “I don’t really have a restaurant either…”

But what the former Cinder chef does have is a new job with Michael Schulson‘s restaurant group. He got it on Wednesday, he tells me. And he hasn’t even really started yet. But he knows one thing: “[Schulson] wants his places to be as close to perfect as possible. And I’m there to help him implement that.”

He chuckles.

“I guess.”

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The Authenticity Trap: Harp & Crown Reviewed

Photo courtesy Will Figg

Photo courtesy Will Figg

On a cold night in December, we threaded our way through the crowds on Sansom Street and found the unobtrusive door. We pushed through the heavy curtains hung to keep the drafts out and stepped into the front room hung with green and living things like a Charleston sunporch, then into the massive, vaulted main space of Harp & Crown, Michael Schulson’s newest experiment in feeding and watering Philadelphia.

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Harp & Crown Does Lunch

The upstairs bar at Harp & Crown | Photos by Arthur Etchells

The upstairs bar at Harp & Crown | Photo by Arthur Etchells

Michael Schulson’s newest project, Harp & Crown, has been running on a dinners-only schedule since opening night. But starting yesterday, they quietly rolled out lunch service, offering all sorts of salads, sandwiches and snacks in the big, upstairs room.

We’ve got a look at the menu for those of you that are interested. No word yet on whether or not you can duck out at noon for a little afternoon bowling between meetings, though…

Show me the menu

Here’s What You’ll Be Eating Tonight At Harp & Crown

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Michael Schulson’s new, huge, beautiful and vaguely nautical Center City restaurant, Harp & Crown, is opening tonight. We already got a look inside last week (and came home with pictures), but one thing we didn’t get to see? The opening menus.

Well, now we have them, and they’re a mix of curated charcuterie and cheese, salads, wood-fired pizzas, snacks and full plates upstairs, with a more limited menu (mostly the charcuterie and small plates) available at the bar or downstairs in the hidden basement bar and bowling alley.

Anyway, Karen Nicholas is on board as chef, and I’ve liked what she’s done in the past, so I’m looking forward to seeing what she can do here. You can check out both menus after the jump.

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First Look: Inside Harp & Crown

Harp & Crown: Michael Schulson's latest on Sansom Street | Image via Harp & Crown

Harp & Crown: Michael Schulson’s latest on Sansom Street | Image via Harp & Crown

Harp & Crown is close. It is, by any reasonable measure, already finished. There are some plants that need to arrive. A few walls that need paint. Some stuff that needs to go up on the walls. But the big (seriously big) new restaurant from Michael Schulson (the guy behind Double Knot, most notably) is more or less ready to go. They were cataloging and polishing the glassware when we showed up this morning. Trying to staff up a place that seats more than 150 people (just counting the top floor). And it is gorgeous.

No, seriously. We’ve got the pictures.

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The Leftovers: Double Knot

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Stray thoughts, random musings and extraneous details from this week’s review of Michael Schulson‘s new izakaya/cafe, Double Knot.

  • “This is one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia!”

That came from the comments on yesterday’s review, and the guy who wrote it is absolutely right. It is one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia. It’s one of the most ambitious, the most daring, the most exciting in a long time. So why didn’t it score 4 stars?

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What Lies Beneath: Double Knot Reviewed

In the basement of Double Knot | Photo via Double Knot

In the basement of Double Knot | Photo via Double Knot

Breakfast, 9:30 a.m. // Like Garfield and 10,000 novelty t-shirts, I don’t do mornings. Particularly not ones that haven’t snuck up on me accidentally—the sun rising while I’m still out doing whatever it is that insomniac food editors do—and caught me still in last night’s clothes.

One of the reasons I became a writer was so I’d never have to get up before noon. Sadly, somewhere in my youth I missed an important distinction. Some writers get to sleep the mornings away, sure. They’re generally the ones who own more than zero berets and have strong opinions about pencils. And then there are the ones who actually have to make a living.

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First Look: Double Knot

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A few weeks ago, Michael Schulson opened the doors of Double Knot in what was once a gay porn theater smack in the middle of Midtown Village. Though the entrance is still a little understated, a diminutive sign hanging next to a windowless wooden door, expect to see many more people going, and coming (get it?), at the address in the weeks ahead.

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A Look at Michael Schulson’s Double Knot

Michael Schulson's Double Knot | Double the concepts in one space.

Michael Schulson’s Double Knot | Double the concepts in one space.

Michael Schulson’s Double Knot is set to open Tuesday, February 2nd next to his Sampan on 13th Street. The two-floored space is a gorgeous coffee focused cafe and bar upstairs, with a sexy izakaya and sushi bar downstairs. The cafe will open at 7 a.m. daily serving coffee under the guidance of Elixr’s Evan Inatome. Schulson has loved Elixr’s coffee since its original location on Sansom Street. So when it was time to get coffee help at the cafe, Schulson sought Inatome out to do the coffee at Double Knot. Inatome has installed a Modbar coffee system with bar top espresso, steam and pour over coffee stations. It is only one of ten such installations in the country. In addition to the Modbar system, one of the beer taps behind the bar will offer cold brewed draft coffee on nitro.

The cafe has seating for 35 along a comfortable banquette, leather armchairs and along a drink rail in the back. In addition to exposed brick, distressed mirrors and exposed tiles and reclaimed wood lath (the strips of wood found behind plaster walls). The front of the cafe includes floor to ceiling walls of knick-knacks and newspaper racks.

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The Porch 2.0 Is Here

The Porch 2.0 | Photo by HughE Dillon

The Porch 2.0 | Photo by HughE Dillon

Michael Schulson’s food truck and booze wagon are now set up at the Porch next to 30th Street Station. Rotisserie at the Porch will serve lunch seven days a week. Wednesday through Saturday, a beverage trailer will offer beer and liquor from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. On those days, the Rotisserie at the Porch will serve food till 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday lunch will be served til 2 p.m.

The Porch 2.0 solidifies an experiment to breathe life into what was a parking lot next to 30th Street Station. The University City District teamed with Groundswell Design Group and Gehl Studio to enhance the space with new planters, seating and lighting. The UCD also partnered with Michael Schulson as the food purveyor.

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