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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Irish Bacon Grilled Cheese at St. Stephen’s Green | Photo by Jason Varney
No longer content wit’ Whiz, Philadelphia has become a cheese-lover’s paradise. Here are five cheese dishes you must try now.
Five cheese dishes you must eat before you die (or leave philadelphia) »
Back in September we reported that Talula’s Garden expanding with Talula’s Daily. Then in April we snapped a photo of the construction site and gathered a few more details. And now we have a little bit more info, as reported by Philly.com. Talula’s Daily will open in mid-July as the less-expensive, more relaxed version of Talulas’ Garden. Talula’s Table sous chef Scott Megill will take the helm at the new restaurant, which will offer sit down options as well as on-the-go sandwiches, cheeses, and pastries. The hours for the 22 grocery will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Then, after 7 p.m. the restaurant will serve a $50 four-course menu that will change each month, highlighted by a cheese cart that will roam the restaurant.
Talula’s Table expanding on Washington Square [The Insider]
On Foobooz, we’ll be running daily surveys, polling readers about where they believe certain restaurants will land in the Philadelphia magazine list of the 50 Best Restaurants.
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
50 Best Restaurants will be in the January issue of Philadelphia magazine, hitting newsstands on Wednesday, December 26th.
So this is one of those weird things… It feels like it has been forever since we’ve written anything about Talula’s Garden, the Aimee Olexy / Stephen Starr project over on Washington Square that got one of Philly mag’s highest rankings ever when Trey Popp reviewed it back in August of last year. And when we were writing about it with some regularity, it was all because of the revolving door Olexy seemed to have installed in the kitchen–running through three exec’s in four months.
But then things cooled out, the kitchen righted itself and, suddenly, there was nothing more to say. We knew the place was good. We knew everything was ticking along smoothly. And no one really wants to read a post entitled “Everything At Talula’s Garden is Just Swell.”
We knew that what it would really take to get Talula’s Garden back onto the radar was some kind of big news. Something huge happening over there that would shake up the game. And lucky us, that’s just what we found in our inboxes this morning…
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Sure, you could go to Wawa at 7 a.m. to wrestle an icing-slathered and probably stale doughnut out of another commuter’s grubby hands to get your morning sugar rush. Or, you could wait for the dessert menu after dinner at one of Philadelphia’s finest restaurants for a twist on the breakfast staple.
If you’re bored with the same old Boston Cream check out these six restaurants serving up daring and delicious dessert dougnuts.
Read more »
Since we started our Foobooz Flickr Group we’ve enjoyed looking through the excellent shots that have been contributed and thought we should periodically award a favorite shot. So we tasked the Philadelphia magazine photo department with picking the best of the initial bunch. So congrats to Dave Garonzik, your shot of the cheese plate at Talula’s Garden gets you a very sought after Sriracha inspired Foobooz t-shirt.
Contribute to our Foobooz Flickr group and maybe you too can be featured on Foobooz.
Photo by Dave Garonzik from the Foobooz Flickr Group
Craig LaBan recapped his Year in Bells this weekend and adjusted three ratings upward and smacked Serafina one more time.
Talula’s Garden (now Three Bells), White Dog Wayne (Two Bells), and Thai Kuu (One Bell) were all raised a grade.
Farm-to-table on menu all over [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Photo by dgaronzik | Foobooz Philadelphia Flickr Pool
There’s an orange liquor license application in the window at the former Hot Potato Cafe on Girard Avenue. Michael Klein says it will be a whiskey bar with New York roots. [The Insider]
Han Chiang is looking to open his 4th Han Dynasty location. This one will be in University City. Also coming soon, a speakeasy bar catering to hospitality types in the basement of his Old City location. [The Feast]
Several of our readers thought Brinn Sinnott would make a good choice for Talula’s Garden’s top job. That didn’t happen as Sean McPaul got the gig, but Sinnott is joining the TG team as sous chef. [The Insider]
Chef Carmen Cappello is out at the Wishing Well. The chef has also sold his interest in the bar and North South Meatery & Canning Co. (product line) and the Smoke Truck (mobile BBQ), the collaboration between Wishing Well and Mark Coates. [Meal Ticket]
So long to Trattoria Alla Costiera at Passyunk and Catharine. The Italian BYOB managed to last 5 years at the location. [The Insider]
That’s what this week was about: booze, booze and more booze. Sure, we covered some news (a new chef at Talula’s Garden, Tashan’s opening, Japan’s cesium-fighting culinary isolationism), and we talked about food (pho and figs and our new guide to Philly’s Restaurant Week), but mostly, it seemed, we were thinking with our livers and chasing down every single alcohol-related tip that came our way.
Which isn’t a bad thing. Check out below for stories of gin, birthdays, $1 microbrews and choosing Philly’s official cocktail.
Sean McPaul Takes Over At Talula’s Taking bets now on how long he lasts
Philly Restaurant Week Guide Everything you ever wanted to know about this year’s festivities
Pils Picnic at Johnny Brenda’s I would go just for the pin-up girls alone
Choosing Philly’s Official Cocktail Invent the winner, be famous forever
Session Beers at Farmers Cabinet Lower alcohol content just means that you can drink MORE
Tashan Opens We have the Tale of the Tape
Cook survives Opening Night And so do we
$1 Beers, Secret Figs and a week-long birthday party at PBR