Tag Archives: pork chop

The Tao of Richard Blais: Part I

Richard Blais is a truly nice guy and an amazing chef. He also plays one on TV.

And although part of me wishes his last name was “Blaze” and he secretly fought crime with a combination of modern gastronomical techniques and hair product, that’s just not him. The guy is a beast in the kitchen, but one of the most cordial, approachable of the new rank of “food celebrities.”

How do I know this? I actually got a chance to meet the winner of Top Chef All-Stars last week at the National Pork Board’s pop-up Pork Inspiration Cafe.

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Marigold Kitchen

This is Erin O’Shea and she is directly responsible for the best meal I had in Philadelphia.

As the new executive chef of Marigold Kitchen, O’Shea was given the task of reinventing the menu of this nearly 70 year-old restaurant location yet again. And for inspiration, all she had to do was look south.

Yes, we’re talking grits, bacon and plenty of old-fashioned butter. But this is no country style breakfast joint. Marigold serves some of the most sophisticated Southern fare this side of the Mason-Dixon, and O’Shea has won over the local Yank population with an endlessly inventive menu of new classics.

So let’s get to them, shall we?

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Bindi

I’ve been waiting for a serious attempt at high-end Indian food since I moved to Philadelphia four years ago. Bindi, from the people behind one my favorites, Lolita, has ended that wait.

The first thing you should know about Bindi is that it’s not authentic Indian. Just as Lolita heightens and contemporarizes Mexican spices and flavors, Bindi takes the same approach to Indian tastes. In other words, leave your  chicken tikka craving at home.

Again like Lolita, Bindi offers pitchers of drink mixers. These can be paired with either rum or vodka (as opposed to tequila for Lolita’s margarita mixers) and taste so phenomenally good that they are a legitimate danger to you and your loved ones. We ordered a pitcher of the Nimbu-Pani (Indian style pomegranate-ginger lemonade); I doubled the suggested dose of vodka and still couldn’t taste the alcohol. As I said, dangerous.

The food – that’s a different story. But before we get to that mixed bag, I feel forced to add a disclaimer: Because we went here over a month ago and the menu had just changed (and is not yet updated online), food details may be a little sketchy in this review. Bear with me.

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