Little Nonna’s in the New York Times

Spaghetti and meatballs at Little Nonna's | Photo by Jason Varney

Spaghetti and meatballs at Little Nonna’s | Photo by Jason Varney

Ingrid Williams visits Little Nonna’s for the New York Times. The only flaw she finds is in the pricy wine list.

[O]n a chilly evening in November, I couldn’t resist the Sunday gravy. A heaping portion of “gravy” (marinara made with San Marzano tomatoes) and paccheri (the macaroni of the day) arrived on one platter, and on another were assorted meats — pork braciole, spicy fennel sausage, meatballs stuffed with fontina. Other memorable dishes deviated from the traditional tried and true, like bruschetta with roasted figs, Gorgonzola dolce, celery hearts and crunchy hazelnuts. And a standout pasta dish featured braised duck, pecorino and turnips atop chestnut ravioli stuffed with roasted heirloom squash.

Restaurant Report: Little Nonna’s in Philadelphia [New York Times]
Little Nonna’s [Foobooz]

Mistral in Princeton Gets Two “Very Good” Reviews


Mistral in Princeton lands reviews in the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer this week. Scott Anderson and business partner, Stephen Distler who also on Elements in Princeton, opened the BYOB in May with Ben Nerenhausen as the chef de cuisine. Both the Times’ Fran Schumer and the Inquirer’s Craig LaBan gave the Mistral a “very good” rating. Both highlighted the octopus and scallops. LaBan definitely had problems with service (they lost his reservation on one occasion) or he might have even rated it higher.

Small Plates, and a Taste of Many Cultures [New York Times]
Mistral helps put Princeton in culinary Ivy League [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Mistral [Philadelphia Magazine]

The New York Times on Le Bec-Fin at Vetri


The New York Times’ Frank Bruni was at the final night of Le Bec-Fin at Vetri where he was able to enjoy a heavenly dinner from a bygone era.

Mr. Perrier teamed with Mr. Vetri in the kitchen, and they produced a seven-course tasting menu that wasn’t just a distillation of the best of Le Bec-Fin but a valentine to a lost civilization, the one where LutèceLa Caravelle and La Côte Basque in Manhattan once flourished.

And what a valentine. From the caviar and the escargots, my dining companion and I proceed to sautéed sweetbreads, a crab galette, a fillet of beef and more, some of it with sauces so rich and intense they’re druggy.

For 3 Nights, a Legend Lives Again [New York Times]

Philadelphia in the New York Times: Starr 5, Cheesesteaks 0

Mark Makela for The New York Times

Philadelphia made the New York Times in another of their 36 Hours pieces. This marks the third time Philadelphia has been featured in the series,  other visits coming in 2006 and 2009. In that time we’ve gone from 5 cheesesteak mentions back in 2006 to zero in 2013. Across that same timeframe we’ve also seen Stephen Starr and his restaurant mentions go from zero to 5 this year.

36 Hours in Philadelphia [New York Times]

Photo via Mark Makela for The New York Times

The New York Times on Le Bec Fin


Alexander Lobrano of the New York Times writes about Le Bec Fin, rather succinctly summing up the dichotomy of a French room serving up a American locavore’s delights.

So the same distracting question recurs throughout a meal here: Does serious food in the United States really still need a French benediction? By proving that it doesn’t, the new Bec Fin rather curiously succeeds in spite of itself.

Restaurant Report: Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia[Official Site]

Photo via New York Times

First Taste Fundraiser with Eric Asimov

The First Taste Fundaiser, a dinner that helps fund First Person Arts, has just announced a special guest for the event: Eric Asimov, chief wine critic for the New York Times. The event, which includes a silent auction, will be held on October 24th from 7-10pm at the Omni Hotel in Independence Park. Asimov will be reading from his upcoming book How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto as well as consulting with the executive chef of Omni Hotel on the night’s wine list.

Read more »

New York Coffee Shop Joe to Open in Philadelphia

One of New York City’s favorite coffee shops will be opening up two locations in Philadelphia. Joe, which has nine locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, will be setting up shop in Rittenhouse Square at 1845 Walnut Streeet early next year. The second location will be on Drexel’s campus and open later in 2013, possibly in one of the two new buildings on campus set to be complete at that time. Joe’s Rittenhouse space has 1,200 square feet of indoor space and 400 square feet of outdoor terrace space. It will be twice as large as any of the New York stores.

Just in time for their move to Philly, Joe will soon be roasting their own coffee too. Right now they get most of their product from Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea and Ecco Café. Joe runs through 3,000 pounds of coffee a week throughout the chain so they will only be roasting about 300 pounds of their own coffee a week at first.

With our own coffee renaissance in Philadelphia, it’s a good time to be a coffee drinker.

Joe to Open in Philadelphia [New York Times]
Joe [Official Site]

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