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Preview: Inquirer Columnist - Craig LaBan

Dining Critic Craig LaBan



The Inquirer's Dining Critic



Published: Sat, 25 Feb 2017 18:02:59 GMT2017-02-25T18:02:59Z

Copyright: Philadelphia Media Network
 



Jose Garces' new Italian restaurant is a simple success on its own terms

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 18:02:59 GMT2017-02-25T18:02:59Z

When it comes to new restaurants from star chefs, the first course - expectations - will inevitably be reckoned with before we even take a bite.



VERY GOOD

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 02:39:07 GMT2017-02-24T02:39:07Z

24 WOOD FIRED FARE 2401 Walnut St.; 215-333-3331, 24philly.com Jose Garces' foray into the wood-fired Italian wave serves solid renditions of tasty antipasti, excellent pastas, and fresh salads at fair prices in a casual, industrial chic setting that occupies a special perch overlooking the Schuylkill River Trail. Th






Look to Los Gallos for South Philly's best chicken tinga tostadas

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:04:14 GMT2017-02-23T18:04:14Z




New book explores history of African Americans who fed the nation's presidents

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 03:51:54 GMT2017-02-23T03:51:54Z




Harp & Crown: Rittenhouse's new hot spot

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:02:57 GMT2017-02-17T21:02:57Z

'Do you have a reservation?" It's been a long time since I ate dinner at a place with a bouncer. So I'll admit to being a little startled when Big Kevin emerged from the topiaries in front of Harp & Crown and asked me in his deep baritone to verify that I belonged.



Dinner and drinks (and maybe some groceries, too) at Whole Foods

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 16:01:18 GMT2017-02-17T16:01:18Z




Drink: Captain Lawrence Clearwater Kölsch

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 14:02:28 GMT2017-02-17T14:02:28Z

The best of America's craft brewers tend to make their mark with big, creative flavors. And Captain Lawrence, the rising star from Westchester, N.Y., that entered the Philadelphia market a couple of years ago is no exception, with brews that range from vi



Cheese of the Month: Tubby, an American cheese aged in a Brooklyn tunnel

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 04:03:58 GMT2017-02-16T04:03:58Z




The best things to eat at the new Whole Foods

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:13:40 GMT2017-02-15T16:13:40Z

Whether you're vegan or a porkoholic, there's lots to choose from at the four independently run kiosks at the new Whole Foods Market. My favorite bites from each are in my order of preference.



At Royal Izakaya in Queen Village, a torch passes

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 15:13:35 GMT2017-02-10T15:13:35Z

Look for the glowing red lantern. It hangs like a mysterious beacon in the quiet heart of residential Queen Village, the only sign that something might be happening behind this nameless brick facade at Second and Fulton.



Hungry Pigeon | At Queen Village's 'lovable' Hungry Pigeon, chefs reach 'another level of ambition'

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 14:56:48 GMT2017-02-10T14:56:48Z

There comes a moment of self-awareness in most chefs' lives when they realize they no longer have the appetite or patience to work for someone else.



What you should drink at Royal Izakaya

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 06:41:25 GMT2017-02-10T06:41:25Z

There are so many special things to drink at Royal Izakaya, my sipping agenda can waver depending upon circumstances. If my bon vivant pal is paying, we'll splurge big on a pricey tumbler of Yamazaki, Nikka, or Hakushu malt whisky (then segue into the lis



This little Bakeshop puts heart into its Valentine's Day sweets

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 22:09:18 GMT2017-02-06T22:09:18Z




Panorama: Better - and more relevant - than ever

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 22:19:23 GMT2017-02-02T22:19:23Z

Timing is everything when it comes to wine and food, not to mention restaurant reviews. So it's fair to say my timing was supremely rotten when, after several meals in mid-2015 at what was then known as Ristorante Panorama, I made the call to inform Luca Sena that I was about to write a review of his restaurant.



Arepas get a makeover under the El

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 17:06:21 GMT2017-02-02T17:06:21Z




Drink: Due Amici at Panorama

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:18:09 GMT2017-01-31T14:18:09Z

With a world of international wines by the glass at his disposal, one might expect Panorama owner Luca Sena to name one of the many Italian beauties there as his favorite. But it is perhaps precisely because he is an old-school Italian that he's thinking



LaBan reviews La Mula Terca's updated Mexican fare in South Philadelphia

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 04:53:09 GMT2017-01-27T04:53:09Z

There's much more to Mexican food than tacos. That becomes clear when you consider the menu at La Mula Terca - brimming with soulful caldos and huitlacoche-sauced steak - and realize there are none.



Local wines hit gold in biggest competition for Americans

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 04:50:57 GMT2017-01-27T04:50:57Z