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Preview: Inquirer Columnist - Craig LaBan

Dining Critic Craig LaBan

The Inquirer's Dining Critic

Published: Fri, 16 Mar 2018 19:30:25 GMT2018-03-16T19:30:25Z

Copyright: Philadelphia Media Network

At Old City's Tuna Bar, sushi, a sleek space, and a side of Fujianese family flavors

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 19:30:25 GMT2018-03-16T19:30:25Z

He studied to be in finance, but the restaurant business kept calling him back.

Looking beyond Riesling to Spätburgunder, Germany's take on pinot noir

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 09:27:38 GMT2018-03-16T09:27:38Z

Germany is the world's third-largest producer of pinot noir, also known as Spätburgunder. This lighthearted bottle from Erbeldinger is a nice place to start.

The best BBQ in Philadelphia | Craig LaBan

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:04:55 GMT2018-03-15T16:04:55Z

I've long complained that our BBQ scene is not as deep as I'd like. But we do have some longstanding classics.

One of Philly's best bakeries now makes one of its best pizzas

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 13:33:49 GMT2018-03-14T13:33:49Z

Local grains milled in house daily are the secret to the exceptional crusts of Metropolitan Bakery Cafe's new pizzas.

M aims to regain restaurant relevance after years in the wedding ring

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 22:18:11 GMT2018-03-09T22:18:11Z

A well-regarded chef has been brought in to consult at M Restaurant in its quest to become a dining destination, not just an elegant party space. It still has a way to go.

Taiwanese street food gets sleek University City showcase at Danlu

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 11:09:19 GMT2018-03-02T11:09:19Z

Nectar's stylish city sibling, Danlu, delivers a fusion menu inspired by Taiwanese street food. It's more a spot for affordable small-plate grazing, though, than the special-occasion dinner destination it could become.

Craig LaBan picks Philly's best butchers

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 21:08:23 GMT2018-02-28T21:08:23Z

We're experiencing a period of flux in the meat department.

Tod Wentz taps the thrill of wood-fired Spanish flavors at Oloroso

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:37:02 GMT2018-02-25T16:37:02Z

Chef Tod Wentz, already known for French cuisine at Townsend and Italian flavors at A Mano, turns his culinary sights to Spain at his latest restaurant.

The many personalities of Pedro Ximénez

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 11:12:42 GMT2018-02-23T11:12:42Z

A new dry white Spanish table wine rendition of Pedro Ximénez, set beside a more classic version made as a sweet after-dinner indulgence, shows the grape's range is as vast as the world of sherry itself.

Pasta revolution hits extruder overdrive, and creativity, collaborations, and profits emerge

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:15:10 GMT2018-02-22T23:15:10Z

A boom in pastas being made on small extruders in restaurants has unlocked surprising creativity and chef collaborations. The two largest manufacturers of those machines in the country are based in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Standout pasta from Philly chefs

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:58:53 GMT2018-02-22T13:58:53Z

Up your pasta game and give some extra zing to your sauce with the products featured in Market Basket this week.

The best Philly versions of New England-style IPAs

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:57:19 GMT2018-02-22T13:57:19Z

I've complained for years about the over-hopping of IPAs as the West Coast style took over American craft-beer culture in increasingly exaggerated examples.

Keen evokes quirks of a classic, but isn't sharp enough

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:56:38 GMT2018-02-22T13:56:38Z

Keen takes aim at reviving a space made famous by the long-running Astral Plane. An epic number of kitchen issues, though, hold it back.

Cheese of the Month: In praise of Pecorino Romano, a sheep's milk cheese with swagger

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:56:23 GMT2018-02-19T18:56:23Z

A high-quality sheep's milk Pecorino Romano deserves just as much consideration for your pasta as Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Lancaster's gastronomic leap continues

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 20:26:01 GMT2018-02-18T20:26:01Z

"It's much more than the all-you-can-eat Amish buffets we used to hear about."

German beers get crafty, creative (and hoppy!) at coming Bierfest

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:45:36 GMT2018-02-16T12:45:36Z

German craft brewing, with both new American influences and a back-to-tradition push, will be pouring on display at the seventh annual Philly Bierfest.

Crispy spicy pork, from Taipei to Susanna Foo's Sansom Street kitchen

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:36:14 GMT2018-02-15T14:36:14Z

Susanna Foo has continued to make improvements to her SuGa on Sansom Street, with more direct regional Chinese influences and bargain bento boxes for lunch.

Where to eat on Valentine's Day

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:01:46 GMT2018-02-14T19:01:46Z

The holiday is one of the worst nights of the year to eat out. Try zigging where others zag.

Ditch the Dilly Dilly for a local beer with Philly style

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 20:56:33 GMT2018-02-12T20:56:33Z

Few new creations capture that special combo of Philly attitude and sophisticated craftsmanship quite like the latest edition of Second District's "RAF" series of wild sour ales: Rude AF.

At Royal Boucherie, Elmi and Co. conjure historic vibe and updated brasserie flavors

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 18:15:02 GMT2018-02-08T18:15:02Z

Star chef Nicholas Elmi has collaborated with the gastropub masters behind Khyber Pass to create a moody brasserie that feels like it belongs in Old City.