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matthewj

April Whites article in Philly Mag-

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I never said that Kellers is solely about keeping the locals happy.

What I said was in the beginning, when no one knew about the French Laundry,( there was that period of time) and the tourist season slowed down, which it does in November through the months of rainy season. Napa and Sonoma both get. Keller, like a lot of the restaurants depended on the local clientele to get him through the slow months.

This is what I was trying to illustrate.

Keller has a strong local following that has remained loyal with him and his vision for years. They may not eat at the Laundry now, but they sure eat at Bouchon, and Ad Hoc.

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Phil.

I think you are right, I thought Morales's food was the best in Philly at the time but again it wasnt cutting edge on the scope of places like Moto/Alinea, it was a clever amalgalm of technique fusing Adria with Boulud.

Most people's issue with Salt wasnt with the cuisine or the chef, it was with the owner and the perception that he had burned bridges by being an anonymous food critic at philly mag but in fact the places he gave lukewarm reviews like susanna foo didnt really deserve much better. The same people who said the food at salt was "salty" raved about the tasteless quail at pumpkin.

At the end of the day, all these discussions mean nothing because we are not operating on equal planes of flavor perception and thus any comment about any restaurants food (unless phil, Shacke,Percy and William-jefferson-Lundstrom agree) is meaningless. That being said the conversations should continue because that is what the forum was created for.

Speaking of tasting, I have decided to go ahead with that pseudo scientific olive oil tasting in 3 weeks courtesy of Dibruno, downtown cheese and Armando Manni.

I need 7 volunteers.

PM me, you will be picked based on the answer to this question.

Which is saltier ?

bottarga or serrano ham.

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I'd like to see what the Michelin Guide would have to say about the Philadelphia dining scene, and particularly how it would deal with the BYOB. I realize that people do not like to compare Philly to New York, but within the context of an internationally accepted restaurant review I think the comparison would be appropriate.

I just took a minute to flip through the 2006 guide for New York. Over 500 restaurants received mention, 31 got one star, 4 got two stars and 3 got three stars. The Philly Michelin pamphlet would have maybe 2 two-star, a half-dozen one star restaurants and then what? BYO's may sometimes offer good food, but they do not offer the type of service that characterize a restaurant worthy of mention. And they are not that cheap either. You can eat at Balthazar or Babbo for a similar outlay of cash as you can at Matyson or Django. As others have stated, they have a local appeal and cannot command the dollars from business and tourism that sustain city restaurants.

To synthesize a sentiment I see peppered throughout this thread, what Philly lacks are the restaurants that would receive mention or maybe one star in Michelin. We need more restaurants that offer creative and appealing food, an interesting beverage program, good service and a pleasant, convivial atmosphere without being overly expensive. Let me go leaf through my pamphlet for some.

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Bigboss

The Michelin Guide no longer has any credibility because not only are they hypocrites, the only people who care about it are japanese and chinese tourists seeking the western perception of refinement that is why there is a Taillevent-Robuchon restaurant in Japan.

Michelin never gave 3 stars to any restaurant in it's first review in europe but for some reason, they gave it to a whole bunch of places in Ny just to legitimize and appease the American audience by competing with Zagat which by the way is the ultimate bullshit index.

Strangely after NYC, they went to California solely because they could review French laundry.....i am not saying those places may not deserve it but creating new rules as you go vaporises any claims of structure or eveness that they claim.

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But there are the rare crazies among us (does that include most eGulleters?) who plan our trips (or make 100-mile detours) for specific eating experiences.

There are, indeed! I've gone out of my way to different parts of the UK and France, as well as Japan and the US, purely for the food ... and I've clearly scheduled business meetings based on the cuisine that might make the discussions and negotiations go more smoothly. No question ...


JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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A small place like this, serving innovative food for not a ton of money, with an interesting and reasonably-priced wine and beer list is a really nice exception to the same-old predictable places, no matter how good those may be.

I lived in the UK for 2 years and ate regularly at my local pub, which had a regional reputation for the excellence of its beer and its food ... at reasonable prices ... it had been there since 1278, so it had developed a local following ... it was a responsible member of the community (sponosred a soccer team in the local league; sponsored an antique car show in the summer). It was inexpensive enough that you could afford to stop in regularly.

If there's something like this in PHL, where you can stop in and meet your neighbors for a meal and/or a beer ... I have yet to find it. The BYOBs don't do it and the big-name restuarants certainly don't do it ...


JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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If there's something like this in PHL, where you can stop in and meet your neighbors for a meal and/or a beer ... I have yet to find it. The BYOBs don't do it and the big-name restuarants certainly don't do it ...

Maybe: The Standard Tap, Johnny Brenda's, North Third, The Abbaye, Royal Tavern, Cantina los Caballitos, 1601, Grace Tavern, Monks, Nodding Head, Sugar Mom's, Fergie's, Brigid's, Rembrant's (Bar), White Dog (Bar) The Gray Lodge...

I'll agree that none of them exactly have that local British pub vibe, but then, we've got no place that's been pouring beers since 1278! But I get the sense that many of the folks patronizing those places are from the neighborhood, and drop in often, meet friends, grab a beer, get something simple to eat. But we just don't have quite the same tradition of everyone, of all ages, all walks of life, dropping by the local public house regularly. But as cities go, I think Philly does pretty well with the pub-esque thing.


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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I lived in the UK for 2 years and ate regularly at my local pub, which had a regional reputation for the excellence of its beer and its food ... at reasonable prices ... it had been there since 1278, so it had developed a local following ... it was a responsible member of the community (sponosred a soccer team in the local league; sponsored an antique car show in the summer). It was inexpensive enough that you could afford to stop in regularly.

If there's something like this in PHL, where you can stop in and meet your neighbors for a meal and/or a beer ... I have yet to find it. The BYOBs don't do it and the big-name restuarants certainly don't do it ...

What philadining and I (already) said. This is actually a strong area in Philaddelphia.

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I lived in the UK for 2 years and ate regularly at my local pub, which had a regional reputation for the excellence of its beer and its food ... at reasonable prices ... it had been there since 1278, so it had developed a local following ... it was a responsible member of the community (sponosred a soccer team in the local league; sponsored an antique car show in the summer). It was inexpensive enough that you could afford to stop in regularly.

If there's something like this in PHL, where you can stop in and meet your neighbors for a meal and/or a beer ... I have yet to find it. The BYOBs don't do it and the big-name restuarants certainly don't do it ...

What philadining and I (already) said. This is actually a strong area in Philaddelphia.

Maybe relative to elsewhere in the US. But not most of Europe. Bars, even the best of them, aren't particularly convivial places, I don't think. Even pubs are better, and the cafes and holes-in-the-walls of the Continent are, to my mind, much better yet.

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From Labans discussion forum yesterday:

Question.

Did you read April White's Philly Mag article about Philly dining being at a fork in the road, and if so, wha are your thoughts about it

brendan, philly 1/16/07

Hi Brendan - thanks for the question. That was an interesting article, I thought, but something didn't quit ring true for me in the assertion that Philly's restaurant scene is simply stuck in a BYO rut without an ambitious young rebel chefs to set a more sophisticated course for the future. I remember saying t someone recently that the premise - pegged on a quote from Food and Wine editor, Dana Cowan - probabl would have been true about 2 years ago. Then, ironically, I had a meal with Cowan last Friday and she told m that she had, in fact, said that comment at a magazine conference two years ago. In fact, she was in tow researching a more in-depth story on Philly after coming to the conclusion that our city was indeed moving out o that rut with a host of ambitious young chefs and restaurateurs - Garces, Vetri, Stern, Ansill, the Marigold people the Tria people - who were starting second restaurants, and pushing the scene forward with wine bars, smal plates, more avant garde menus, etc. That said, I find it intriguing how Philly Mag wants to have its cake and eat i too. One month, they're touting a cover story of their "ultimate guide to BYOs", next thing they're running an essa (at least the second I've seen) about how BYO's are ruining the city's dining scene. Personally, it sounds lik they've been listening to too many young chefs who feel the city needs more molecular gastronomy to be great. disagree. Some of that is fine - even exciting. But Philly needs to cook from its soul, and the BYO movement ha provided an incredibly fertile landscape from which the city's young talent could find its voice. More on this later.

Craig LaBan 1/30/07

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a fair comment i think.

we don't discuss laban and his reviews too much here. i mean,nothing like the bruni thread on the new york board. a little bit of thread drift, but what is everyones opinion of his reviews, writing style, impact on philly dining scene?

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