Posts for November 15, 2012

Jane G’s ‘Raises the Bar;’ ‘Not One Dish’ Impressed at Red Owl Tavern

• Brian Freedman writes “at its best, Jane G’s raises the bar of pan-Asian cuisine.” “Seriously considered” flavor, “unimpeachable technique,” and an “excellent waiter” made the meals there “more interesting, more memorable.” “Well-fried” popcorn rock shrimp, “impeccably crisped” dumplings, and “familiar and exotic” beef rendang get special shout-outs. [PW]

• Phyllis Stein-Novack writes that “inedible” pickled vegetables with “way too much vinegar” served at Red Owl Tavern nearly ruined hubby Edward’s birthday. The roasted eggplant spread that arrived at the table at the same time was “ok.” Congealed sauce that “tasted like glue”plagued the chicken pot pie, while spicy ketchup “detracted from the overall taste” of the “short ribs.” “Not one dish” served “impressed” her taste buds, so naturally, she tips her toque just once. [South Philly Review]

It’s Not Too Late to Order Your MANNA Pie For Thanksgiving

MANNA's Southern Pecan PiePhoto: Jason Varney

MANNA sends word this afternoon that its extending the deadline to get in on its Pie in the Sky Thanksgiving fundraiser. Proceeds from pies purchased each year fund the non-profit organization’s mission of delivering nutritious meals daily to homes of individuals and families living with life-threatening illnesses. The group hopes to raise $200,000 to feed more than 2,000 clients this holiday season. The new deadline is Saturday, November 17. Pies will be available at more than 30 pick-up locations throughout the city on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 20 and 21. Order yours here.

‘Plumbing’ Sinks Union Trust

Union Trust

We’re willing to wager that there’s more to Union Trust’s closure than just a case of bad pipes. Foobooz is reporting that the overly-showy steakhouse, which defied all odds when it opened amid 2009‘s economic armageddon, has shut down. In spite of being in bankruptcy since April 2011, tax liens, and a sidelined liquor license, a sign out front cites plumbing — it’s always the plumbing — as the reason for the restaurant going dark. Here’s hoping Stephen Starr, or another multi-concept operator steps in before the whole place gets turned into a giant drug-store sushi joint. [Foobooz]

Earlier: Steaks Are High as Union Trust Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Legendary Sommelier Larry Stone on Charlie Trotter’s Wine Collection (Which He Built)


Tomorrow, Christie's in New York will auction off the top bottles from the collection amassed over 25 years by Chicago's legendary Charlie Trotter's restaurant. (The remainder will be on sale online through the end of the month; you can see the collection catalogue here.) Master sommelier Larry Stone was Trotter's most celebrated wine director, working at the restaurant from 1989 (when it was two years old) to 1993, and then returning for its last few months. But more than that, he was Trotter's collaborator in developing an American way that wine and food could go together in contemporary fine dining, largely responsible for building the restaurant's celebrated cellar and setting the direction that it followed after he left. Stone recently took a new post as dean of Wine Studies at the International Culinary Center in Campbell, California; we caught up with him via e-mail in Burgundy and asked him about the collection, which Christie's buyers will be bidding on tomorrow.

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Where to Eat In and Take Out for Thanksgiving

Devil's Alley's Turkey Day spread.Photo: Devil's Alley

The countdown to Thanksgiving is on. There’s just seven days to go until the gobblers (or their meatless surrogates) go in the oven. And that means if you don’t have your plans firmed up yet, your goose — or in this case, turkey — is cooked. To help you cobble together a last ditch plan we’ve put together a guide of eat-in, take-out, and one delivery option for your turkey day. Keep reading to see what we’ve come up with.

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Padma Does Playboy

But don't get too excited, fellas: It's for a Q&A, and the accompanying photo is very tasteful. (The same cannot be said for the ads on the site.) Anyway, topics discussed: Lakshmi's lack of sentimentality ("I’m like a truck driver trapped in this body"), ex-husband Salman Rushdie ("Now there is somebody who has great wit and is a great flirt"), her role in the 2001 box-office bomb Glitter (money job), and attractive people who don't have a lot to say ("A lot of people I see in magazines or on TV bore me"). So it goes. [Playboy]

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Personal Branding and Geopolitical Humblebrags

Photo: Bravo

I’d like to apologize for last week’s disparaging comments about soup. After doing a little research, I realize that soup can be, in fact, quite complicated and delicious. I must remember to eat it someday.

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South Philly’s FrancoLuigi’s Drops the High Note Cafe


You’ll still be able to get the veal Marsala, chicken Abruzzese, sides of garlicky broccoli rabe, and the occasional Italian standard from chef-owner Franco Borda’s golden pipes, but High Note Cafe, the more polished sibling to longstanding South Philly pizzeria FrancoLuigi’s has been phased out. A rep for the restaurant tells Grub that Borda decided to fuse the concepts, and carry it all under the FrancoLuigi’s name. So in addition to serving pasta dishes and other Italian specialties, the 30-year-old institution at 13th and Tasker will also serve pizzas and sandwiches in its bi-level dining room. Don’t worry, High Note’s weekly roster of lively entertainment isn’t going anywhere. Pasquale will continue belting out traditional Italian numbers on Fridays and Saturday, and Kenny Gates will still be there on Sundays performing jazz standards.

Department of Deportment: The End-All, Be-All Guide to Using Your Phone at the Table

Resist the urge to play some mid-meal Angry Birds Star Wars.Photo-illustration: Konstantin Sergeyev

Look around any hot-ticket dining room and you'll see it: the vulgar, telltale glow of smartphones laid on tables, bars, and laps. iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxies full of Twitter updates and text messages; equipped with cameras ideal for mediocre food photography; even able to, in the most loathesome of at-table scenarios, make actual phone calls. They're a great technological advancement, and an even greater nuisance to both diners and the cooks whose food has to compete for your attention with push notifications. The ubiquity of smartphones in restaurants now has even led to calls for a hard ban — or the invention of odd games involving stacking phones on the table during the meal. But such extreme measures are unlikely to succeed, and the use of phones at the table should be a matter of etiquette, not law, so here is the definitive road map to using your phone at the table.

"A phone left on the dinner table is a shifty kind of power play." »

Guy Fieri Responds to Times Smackdown [Updated]

Guy Fieri didn't say anything yesterday in the wake of Pete Wells's public thrashing of Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, but he did show up on Today — increasingly becoming the go-to morning stop for Food Network stars in damage control mode — to address the issue.

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Grubstreet Sweeps

Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

  • Bryn Mawr Pizza See the menu

    “Pizza is alright”

    The food is alright... there honestly is no "atmosphere" since it consists of just an oven, two small tables and a television.

  • Derek's See the menu

    “Everything a restaurant should be!”

    Others talk the talk, Derek has always walked the walk.

  • Lion King See the menu

    “My other spot”

    When it comes to the generals...(chicken that is) they'll make you sign up for recruitment


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