Sushi School is Back in Session At Pod

No, your sushi won't look this good.

No, your sushi won’t look this good.

By Isabelle Gallicchio and Ella Torres

Last year Stephen Starr’s West Philly pan asian restaurant, Pod, launched an in-house Sushi School, taught by head sushi chef, Tomoyuki Takasu. After a successful first summer session, Pod decided to bring back the popular class this year. Sushi school provides hungry students the opportunity to learn how to prepare and roll their own sushi under the watchful and helpful eye of chef Taka. It’s also very popular with the first date crowd, in case you need some inspiration.

And because we kept hearing unceasing praise for Pod’s class, we decided to check it out ourselves. So last week, Foobooz went back to school…

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Where We’re Eating: Barclay Prime

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Ten years into its existence on Rittenhouse Square, Stephen Starr’s first Philadelphia steakhouse remains the city’s most stylish and expense-account-crushing ode to red meat. As at Starr’s supper-clubby Butcher and Singer, service here is A-1. But while Butcher and Singer is the kind of place you can take Mom to for an impressive birthday dinner, Barclay Prime is the type of modern see-and-be-seen dining room where you’ll be embarrassed when she shows up in anything less than Prada. Skip the gimmicky wagyu-foie cheesesteak and cut into the signature rib eye. Just expect to drop $150 to $200 per person if you’re going all in.

Barclay Prime [Foobooz]

Starr Exploring New York Real Estate with Peter Serpico

Photo via Starr Restaurants

Photo via Starr Restaurants

Eater alerts us to an interview with Stephen Starr on Grub Street. In it, Starr talks about El Vez NYC and his future plans for New York, including a potential collaboration with Peter Serpico, who Starr first brought from New York to Philadelphia.

Serpico was David Chang’s right hand man and the former chef at Momofuku Ko in New York where he won a James Beard Award. He then partnered with Stephen Starr to open his own restaurant last year on South Street in Philadelphia.

The pair are still shopping for New York real estate so any Serpico NYC is still a ways off.

Stephen Starr on El Vez and the Cutthroat World of Restaurant Real Estate [Grub Street via Eater]
Serpico [Foobooz]

Stephen Starr Opening El Vez in NYC Tomorrow

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On Friday, April 25th, Stephen Starr is opening his New York City version of El Vez. The 190-seat bar and restaurant is opening at 259 Vesey Street, in the Battery Park City neighborhood. The menu has been developed by executive chef David LaForce, who also has worked at the Philadelphia location of El Vez and a Starr task force that includes James Tracey, the culinary director for STARR Restaurants and chef Dionicio Jimenez of Starr’s El Rey.

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Bid on Starr Dinners and Support Philadelphia Schools

starr-charity-buzzLast month we told you how Starr Restaurants was making it easy for diners to donate to support Philadelphia schools. Stephen Starr’s restaurants have also put together some interesting packages that you can bid on online. They include everything from omakase for four at Morimoto to a kids’ pizza party at Pizzeria Stella. There’s even an item that includes dinner for two at all 20 of Starr’s Philadelphia restaurants.

Philadelphia’s Children First Fund [Charitybuzz]

End of the Road for Route 6

lobster-route-6The closing of Stephen Starr’s Route 6 has long been rumored. But today, Michael Klein has the official word that the seafood spot on North Broad will close on Thursday, March 20th.

Starr says he will reconceptualize the space and open something new this fall.

Starr to Close Route 6 [The Insider]

Stephen Starr Is Making News In Philly And Washington D.C.

lediplomateDC

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…

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STARR Restaurants Launches School Fundraising Initiative

support-our-schools-starrToday, 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 »

Stephen Starr Will Ask Patrons to Donate to Philly Schools

Nice news this morning:

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2014 James Beard Semifinalists Announced

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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).

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