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Tag Archives | Reviews

What's Happening in:  Passyunk Square 

Brigantessa receives 3 bell review from Laban

Brigantessa opened in October at 1520 E. Passyunk Ave. Originally the restaurant was slated to be mostly about pizza before changing their direction to include a whole menu of Southern Italian cuisine.

Brigantessa-3 The Inquirer’s Craig Laban paid Brigantessa a visit, and from the impressive 3 bell review, it seems as though this restaurant from the crew that brought you Le Virtu is worth a visit.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Townsend, at 1623 E. Passyunk Ave., dazzles both Laban & Philly mag

A pair of glowing reviews has given a big boost to Townsend, the newest fine-dining addition to the Passyunk restaurant boom.

The Inquirer’s Craig Laban gave chef Townsend Wentz’s unapologetically French reboot of the former Sophia’s and Salt and Pepper a stellar three-bell review. And Trey Popp of Philadelphia magazine lauded it with three of four stars.

Townsend

Laban particularly was as pleased with the restaurant’s embrace of fine-dining touches — actual table cloths! —  as he was the refined cuisine coming from the kitchen. He says:

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Philly mag gives Townsend, 1623 E. Passyunk Ave., an ‘excellent’ 3-star review

Townsend, the latest gastronomic newcomer to the red-hot Passyunk strip, found a big fan in Trey Popp, the Philadelphia magazine restaurant critic who bestowed three out of four stars on the restaurant.

Townsend

Popp praises chef Townsend Wentz as a jack of all trades and a master of them all for his French-influenced menu of precious plates. Highlights include the stingy nettle soup, sautéed sweetbreads, seared striped bass, rabbit pot-au-feu and more.

From the review:

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What's Happening in:  Bella Vista :  Passyunk Square 

Reviews: The Good King Tavern & Mole Poblano

These two reviews from Inquirer critic Craig Laban are a bit old now (they’ve been on our to-do list for weeks) but they’re still worth checking out.

good king tavern-logo

mole poblano

  • And Mole Poblano, a Mexican joint in the former Acapulco space in the Italian Market, at 1144 S. 9th St., was lauded as having “some of the best tamales in the city,” Laban wrote in another two-bell review. The restaurant opened partly to service arrivals from the owner’s “small community on the slopes of the active Popocatépetl volcano [who] moved to sub-Washington Street South Philly — a.k.a. ‘Puebladelfia’ — in the mid-2000s.”

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What's Happening in:  Girard Estate :  West Passyunk 

Cousin’s Grubhouse a sign of life in ‘South Philly’s Wild West’

The breakfast/lunch joint Cousin’s Grubhouse, which we told you was revamped in March 2013, got some much-deserved praise in the City Paper last week.

Cousin's Grubhouse

Reviewer Adam Erace says the place, at 2340 S. Hemberger St., on West Passyunk near 23rd Street, is making “foodie baby steps for a bacon, egg and cheese crowd.” He liked the pancakes, pulled pork, biscuits and more, but he noted that the restaurant is doing more than just serving good food:

Though the food is terrific and the prices dirt cheap, Grubhouse is almost more important for what it represents for this neighborhood, where the nearby corners host Philip’s Steaks, Dati’s Water Ice and the kind of nail salons with Gina Gershon-in-Cocktail faces emblazoned on the signs and windows.

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What's Happening in:  East Passyunk Crossing 

Laurel nabs three bells in glowing Laban review

Fresh off his $125,000 triumph on “Top Chef,” Nicholas Elmi won another tough award this weekend – three bells from the Inky’s Craig Laban for his restaurant Laurel, 1617 E. Passyunk Ave.

Laurel 020

Laban gushed over Laurel’s torn New Jersey scallop, ricotta gnocchi and albacore starter, which “may be the best raw tuna dish in town.” He also praised the roomy accommodations – for a matchbox BYOB, anyway – as being comfortable as the space as ever been.

There’s also a bit of an explanation for why Elmi so far has passed on cashing in with the inevitable investors that would have followed his TV glory:

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