the other critics

Bar Ferdinand ‘Benefits Tremendously’ From the Addition of David Ansill; ‘Few Better Places to Brunch’ Than Talula’s Garden

• Did David Ansill really get booted from Jamaica for being a pothead? No, but kind of. That’s what Craig LaBan reported in his favorable, two-bell review yesterday of Ansill’s current hitch, Bar Ferdinand. While trying to blaze a new trail in the resort town of Negril, a post on Foobooz about the chef and his affinity for the island nation’s … ahem, famously irie vibe … brought scrutiny from the Jamaican tourist board. The good news is, he’s back in Philly, and the longstanding NoLibs tapas joint should “benefit tremendously” from the “serious food” he turning out from its kitchen. Paella Valenciana was “the best [LaBan has] had in Philly in recent years,” while the tortilla EspaƱola was “a Spanish classic done right.” However a braised lamb tongue was “the single gamiest thing” LaBan says he’s eaten all year, adding “in a good way” as clarification. But it suffered from being “wickedly oversalted.” Another drawback was a squid stewed in squid-ink-blackened tomato sauce, which “was overwhelmed by spice.” [Inquirer]

• Adam Erace says there are “few better places to brunch” than mini urban Eden, Talula’s Garden. Though it can be a “pricey proposition,” the “enchanted atmosphere,” he writes, is “well worth the price of admission.” A “robust” smoked North Carolina trout salad, a “golden-yellow” omelet loaded with Kennett Square mushrooms, and ricotta blintzes proved the kitchen staff “holds up its end of the bargain.” [Courier-Post]

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