The Year In Bells


Craig LaBan looks back at the year in dining, naming Jose Garces’ Distrito as the best overall new restaurant.

Among the other highlights, he refers to Bindi’s Marcie Turney as a contemporary Muse of Indian food, notes Cafe Estelle is his “favorite new funky brunch place” and adds no new 4-bellers to his list. In fact it’ll be interesting to see the fate of several of his 4-bell restaurants as there have been regime changes at Lacroix and the Fountain plus Le Bec-Fin went a la carte and Striped Bass out-and-out closed to make way for Butcher & Singer.

LaBan also revisited several restaurants, awarding a third bell to Xochitl, that provides Steven Cook with three three-bell restaurants (Marigold Kitchen and Zahav are the others). Chima went from zero to one bell and the sprawling Maia in Villanova slipped from 3 to 2 bells.

Big doings on the dining scene [Philadelphia Inquirer]