That’s Not Blind Luck At Lucky 13


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Owner Clark Newman has to be pleased with the glowing 2-bells review for his Lucky 13.

It is chef Benjamin Johnson, though, Newman’s fedora-topped compadre in the kitchen, who puts Lucky 13 on the map of gastropubs that are worth heading to for dinner. Like the pub’s smart beer selection (five taps and 20 bottles), his affordable menu is concise but distinctive, with cheeky twists on familiar flavors, from “deconstructed” meatballs to sausage and peppers gone exotic.

“Punk-rock grandma cooking” is how Johnson characterizes his creative take on comfort classics, which may not be a surprising angle from a chef who grew up at a West Philly commune and whose rebellious streak even extends to the conventional white toques he shuns in favor of “nicer lids” such as a bowler or Panama.

Two Bells – Very Good

Lucky 13 [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Lucky 13 [Official Site]