Rob Wasserman (owner of Rouge and 500º), is opening his new restaurant, Parlor, on March 1, and he’s doing it in the same Suburban Square location as his not-so-successful former restaurant The Saint James.
The Saint James in Ardmore has been plagued by a number of poor reviews since it opened just a few months ago. Critics complained about weak service and even weaker food, to which owners Michael Schulson and Rob Wasserman responded by purging some of the opening staff (including chef Matt Moon) and reworking little things like Happy Hour menus.
But now the St. James has made a big menu change. A few weeks ago, they rolled out a new board which is much more limited than the opening menu, with the daily specials and flat breads sections cut entirely along with a number of smaller revisions. Having eaten there several times over the past few months, I saw a significant uptick in the quality of the food when I dropped by on a quiet Thursday night (less than a third of the tables were filled at 7 p.m.) after the recent change. There’s a solid raw bar, bowls of mussels, a pork belly sandwich and sides of English pea risotto and brussels sprouts with bacon. I enjoyed a simple cheeseburger that was not overdone and served on a soggy bun like the others that I had failed to enjoy on previous visits. And now, with this tighter, more focused menu, the St. James may even start producing food good enough to make folks forget about the terrible reviews handed down by both Craig LaBan and Foobooz’s Trey Popp and get some customers back through the doors.
You can check out the St. James’s new menu here.
Saint Or Sinner? [Trey Popp’s Review]
St. James [Official]