Bells Ring for Will BYOB

Craig LaBan has been promoting and demoting restaurants almost weekly in his online chats and Thursday food columns. Today, the Inquirer critic sings the praise of Will BYOB. He promotes Chris Kearse’s BYOB to three bells, stating:

[E]very intricate touch amplified the central themes, rather than distracting. Foie gras mousse enriched a bar of rabbit rillettes accented by wine-poached figs. Citrus-caramelized Belgian endive and licorice called out Sichuan spice on the duck. An entire hen of the woods, meanwhile, was cooked to two striking textures – buttery-crisp across a pan-roasted face of flattened fronds scented with sumac and rose hips, lusciously fleshy and moist at its heart, beneath which a Madeira caramel and smoked ricotta smear amplified its earthy savor.

The news wasn’t as good recently for Osteria Moorestown or Meritage. LaBan dropped Marc Vetri’s first out-of-state restaurant to two bells after a meal that wasn’t up to the normal Vetri family standards. LaBan also felt that Meritage at 20th and Lombard was missing “sharp execution and exciting flavors since chef Anne Coll left.

In today’s Inquirer, LaBan also praises Philadelphia’s new generation of French restaurants, from Laurel to Le Cheri.

Good Taste: Chris Kearse matures and gets another bell [Philadelphia Inquirer]
A New French flourish [Philadelphia Inquirer]