Two Retro Reviews from the Weeklies
Brian Freedman visits Olde Bar for Philadelphia Weekly while Adam Erace reviews Franky Bradley’s for City Paper. Freedman is in love with the fried clams at Jose Garces’s redone Bookbinders and he’s even more impressed with the redo.
The Olde Bar is a Jose Garces project—the kitchen is helmed by Chef de Cuisine Mike Siegel—but it feels different from his other restaurants around town. Indeed, in his attempt to honor the legendary space, he has accomplished something both difficult and important: Bringing the past into the present, without peddling in either preciousness or hokey nostalgia. The Olde Bar feels both classic and vibrant at once, just like that fried clam.
Erace writes as much about Mark Bee’s space as he does chef Dave Kane’s menu at Franky Bradley’s. Though he does have lots of praise for Kane’s wings.
As for the wings, it’s rare to find ones that are both crispy and tender, but these had the right textural contrast — thanks to a two-step process that includes gently cooking the paprika-and-oregano-rubbed chicken in the basement smoker, then quickly crisping them in the fryer. Brown-sugared bourbon barbecue coated the wings in thick maroon lacquer. “I wanted to do something different than Buffalo,” Kane says. “I’m really proud of them.” He should be.
Olde bar brings new life to the Old Bookbinders [Philadelphia Weekly]
Franky Bradley’s breathes new life into a storied restaurant space [City Paper]