He helped to open NoBL, and then helped close it. He did four years at sister restaurant Sycamore, and then left to travel, learn some new tricks, and find a new kitchen to call home. He landed next at Southwark (after working a bit in the Pacific Northwest, and at Cerise on the Main Line), where he took Nick Macri‘s position, but then left again after owner Sheri Wade decided she wanted to get back into the kitchen a bit more herself.
Now, it looks as though Jacobson has settled down again. He’s going to be behind the stoves at Leila’s Bistro in Jenkintown, running things in the kitchen while chef-owner Jose Vargas (who also owns Forcella just down the way) digs into his new project, Robert’s Block, which he’ll be opening in Glenside.
Jacobson doesn’t officially take over at Leila’s until February, but apparently he was so jazzed about the new gig that he’s decided to throw a party (at Leila’s, where he’ll be cooking) on January 4. Four courses, $45 a head, and while there’s no menu yet (it’ll be announced on Facebook once Jacobson figures out what he’s going to be cooking), reservations are already being accepted. Call Leila’s at 215-589-0736 to get yours.
Leila’s Bistro [f8b8z]
Typically, we prefer to toot our own horn here at Foobooz, but today we’ll admit that we’re really enjoying Danya Henninger’s column The Spot over on philly.com. In it, she profiles restauranteurs who have been in business for a decade or more. And while she hasn’t yet paid Southwark a visit (yet), they very well could be next on her list. Why? Because it’s turning 10, too, and is looking at some pretty substantial changes to the menu and in the kitchen.
Read more »
On Sunday, September 14th, Southwark chef Sam Jacobson is inviting Elijah Milligan (Taproom on 19th, formerly, Laurel, Stateside, Le Bec Fin) to celebrate local farms’ bounty. The dinner at Southwark begins at 6:30 p.m. and is $55 per person, $80 with wine pairings.
Read more »
Video by Josh Charette
Watch chef Sam Jacobson assemble a chocolate mille crepes cake for today’s Valentine’s Day dessert in this time-lapse video.
The easiest way to tell a bar from a restaurant is by the smell of the men’s room.
I couldn’t keep that thought away from my olfactory nerve during a recent night at Southwark. It had been years since my first time there. And my first time had also been my last. I remember having a fine dinner, but one that failed to cast the spell that so many other folks had fallen under at the then-new, classically styled Queen Village haunt.
In retrospect, that was probably because I’d eaten in the back dining room instead of at the bar, where bartender George Costa was mixing Gibsons and Aviations when the rest of the city was still one big slosh of pink-lemonade Cosmotinis.
Almost ten years later everyone else has caught up—and Costa has moved on—but Southwark is still humming along. It recently installed a new chef, Sam Jacobson, whose previous tenure at Sycamore helped put Lansdowne on the dining map.
Read more »
Nick Macri at Hop Chef
Michael Klein has the story on some major chef shuffling that’s been happening around town. Aaron Gottesman, who until recently you could spot whipping up lamb dishes behind the counter at the Reading Terminal’s Border Spring Farms is moving on to Kevin Sbraga’s Fat Ham. Gottesman was a participant in Foobooz’s first ever Open Stove night at Cook. Back then he was planning on working in Jen Carroll’s Concrete Blonde kitchen.
The opening at Border Springs is being filled by Hop Chef champion and Southwark chef, Nick Macri. Macri gets daytime hours and the opportunity to butcher, which is something he enjoys.
Read more »
On Monday, December 3, six local chefs will come together to create an offal dinner at Le Virtù. The six-course meal is $60 and reservations are required as space is limited. The menu will be served only twice, at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Read on for the participants and menu »
Chef Sam Jacobson is leaving Sycamore in Lansdowne. Jacobson has been in the tiny but highly regarded kitchen for nearly four years and will be doing some traveling before landing somewhere else. Jacobson says he wants to get out of his comfort zone and continue to learn.
Jacobson was also the chef at NoBL, which also recently closed after a short run.
Here is his farewell post on Facebook »
NoBL, the follow-up restaurant to Sycamore from Stephen Wagner and Sam Jacobson closed on Friday. According to a message posted to the Lansdowne restaurant’s web site, the team has decided to take another look at the concept and business model. The restaurant is closed in the meantime.
Letter on the site »
Trey Popp urges you to see him in Lansdowne, the dry borough just west of Philadelphia where Sam Jacobson is turning out “banging” plates at NoBL.
NoBL offers Mediterranean comfort food with a compelling edge. From raw oysters with sriracha-lime cocktail sauce to ultra-tender octopus arms glistening with oil, the cooking is both sharp and as down-home as NoBL’s hodgepodge of grandmotherly dinner china.
Two-and-a-half stars – Good to Excellent
NoBL, New Kid on the Block [Philadelphia magazine]
NoBL [Official Site]