Leading off the news today, Starr’s D.C. outpost, Le Diplomate, got a big, wet, sloppy kiss of a write-up in the Washington Post. Roxanne Roberts gushed about the place (and about Starr), talking about the famous people who’ve come through the doors (Michelle Obama, Newt Gingrich, Joe Biden, etc) and Starr’s history.
For us, the most interesting stuff was about the restaurant itself and how it has quickly become one of the hottest addresses in a city full of very hot addresses. Here’s Roberts:
The bistro is the brainchild of Philadelphia restaurateur-impresario Stephen Starr, who made his fortune correctly predicting what audiences want — and even he’s surprised with the success of the Marais-inspired mob scene, his first foray into Washington. It’s not a power spot in the traditional clubby, steak-and-martini sense, nor the only French restaurant in the city.
But the guy from Philly guessed that Washington was primed for his meticulously detailed brand of theatrics. It’s not just about the food, or the wine, or the bread. What we want is an experience, this time a two-hour trip to Paris complete with crusty baguettes, steak frites and naughty pictures in the bathrooms.
Nice, right? But that’s not the only news on Starr today…
Read more »
Today, Stephen Starr and STARR Restaurants launched a “Support Our Schools” fundraising and awareness effort with The School District of Philadelphia. The month-long initiative will request that patrons to all of Starr’s Philadelphia restaurants to add a donation to the schools, right onto their checks.
Starr says “the School District’s needs are at historical proportions, we simply can’t turn our backs on it and wait for others to try to fix it; we all have to do our part.”
Areas that will benefit »
The 2014 James Beard Foundation Semifinalists have been announced. Local chefs and restaurateurs and restaurants made it to the semifinals in ten categories including Outstanding Restaurant, Fork, and three nominees for Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chris Kearse, Will, Ben Puchowitz, Cheu Noodle Bar and Ben Nerenhausen, Mistral (Princeton, NJ).
Read more »
In tonight’s episode of the Travel Channel’s Dangerous Grounds, Todd Carmichael goes to Nepal in search of a coffee for Stephen Starr and his Buddakan restaurants.
Check out the show tonight at 9 p.m. or DVR it and save it to watch on Saturday morning with a cup of fresh La Colombe coffee.
Himalayan Outpost – Dangerous Grounds [Travel Channel]
Photo via COOK
Michael Klein posted his 2014 Philadelphia Restaurant Forecast with all sorts of juicy bits of news and rumor.
Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy are going to be collaborating on another new restaurant. Not many details are revealed but we know Starr has been hiring for a new Italian concept in Philadelphia. Whether this is it or not isn’t so clear. But we have heard whispers of not one but two wood-fired ovens.
UPDATE: Michael Klein is now reporting that Starr and Olexy are going into business together in Fishtown. The next collaboration will be at 1526-30 Frankford Avenue, next to Philadelphia Record Exchange. The project will contain a vegetable garden and will open this spring.
More opening dates and rumors »
The grand staircase at PAFA. Photo by Laura Novak Photography.
Stephen Starr’s Starr Events is now the exclusive catering provider to North Broad Street’s Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In addition to the providing food and service for weddings and other events, Starr Events will be refreshing PAFA’s cafe.
The cafe will undergo a complete renovation and rebranding this spring. Look for made-to-order salads, gourmet sandwiches, desserts and La Colombe coffee.
PAFA Will Now Be Catered Exclusively By Stephen STARR Events [Philadelphia Wedding]
Photo: Sandy Smith
No, probably not. But that isn’t stopping the Property crew from speculating on whether or not His Stephenness might be able to make something of the 3,000 square foot restaurant space (with attached outdoor seating area and parking garage) that just hit the market at 6th and Market. To wit:
This summer we wrote, “Paging Stephen Starr: Great Restaurant Space Up for Grabs on Independence Mall.” We were talking about the Dow Chemical Building, listed on the National Register, which had just come on the market. At the time, the listings agent, Robert Fahey of CBRE, was highlighting the 10,000 square feet already equipped for food service.
You can check out the whole story (or, you know, if you’re looking for a little bit of restaurant real estate…) over on the Property blog. And Mr. Starr? If you do happen to be interested in that space, you know who to call first, right?
How Do You Do, Stephen Starr? [Property]
Can’t get enough dancing on Friday night? Then check out the new Saturday brunch party at Alma de Cuba. All three floors of Stephen Starr’s Cuban restaurant are transformed into a brunch-and-dance affair with progressive DJs, Latin brunch favorites and lots of mimosas.
Doors open at 11 a.m. with dishes ranging from French toast and mini banana pancakes with crispy Serrano ham and candied walnuts to a chorizo and Manchego breakfast quesadilla and Cuban sandwich. Get those plates polished off by 1 p.m. because that’s when the DJ begins spinning in earnest.
Read more »