Baby Care

Check out 36 new restaurants

We’re in peak new-restaurant season, so let’s go. Also this week, Craig LaBan visits his favorite dim sum house (and his pup points out dog-friendly restaurants), while we offer a spectacular chicken sandwich as well as creative shopping tips for your Thanksgiving feast.

Mike Klein

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The last two months of the year are usually chock full of restaurant openings, as owners push to serve holiday crowds. This year is no different. I count at least three dozen restaurants headed toward the finish line. Here are the first public looks of two of them, shot this morning: Bake’n Bacon (shown above), the city’s first bacon-theme bar-restaurant and a top-to-bottom redo of Devil’s Den in South Philadelphia, and SIN, the Italian steakhouse claiming a vibe-dining theme in Northern Liberties (shown below). Both are awaiting final permitting. Also on the way is Miss Saigon, a sleek bar-restaurant in Center City that promises both drag shows and Đồ Nhậu, aka “Vietnamese drinking food.” Read up!

👇🏼Royal Tavern’s comeback is among the openings. Scroll down for some intel.

The dim sum carts are again wheeling through the busy dining room at China Gourmet in Northeast Philadelphia, and our critic Craig LaBan — a longtime fan — is overjoyed with the selection and quality. Where else can you eat like this for about 20 bucks a person?

🐕 Buttercup, Craig’s Great Dane mix, shares her thoughts on Philly’s dog-friendly restaurants. Among them is Barc, er, Parc.

🐶 I’m hearing “December” for the opening of the Boozy Mutt, which will become the city’s second bar-restaurant aimed at dogs and their owners. It’s at the former site of North Star Bar in Fairmount. Last spring, Bark Social opened in Manayunk, putting a coffee house, a sports bar-restaurant, and a retail store all under one woof.

Matthew Ferry and Stephanie Chisholm at Children’s Village Child Care Center cook for about 400 pre-kindergartners — who don’t hold back on their opinions. Of course, the kids love pasta, but Lynette Hazelton finds out how the chefs got them to enjoy such dishes as baked salmon and Indonesian beef.

Of all the entries in Philly’s classic hot-hoagie canon, the unsauced chicken cutlet is the hardest to pull off, says contributor Lewis Pollis, aka @LewieTheFewdie. He says the Chicken Cutlet Lagasse from Cosmi’s Deli in South Philadelphia sets “the gold(en-brown) standard,” and he’ll tell you why.

Fund-raiser for chef David Ansill, at his old restaurant space

Over the summer, longtime chef David Ansill — creator of the critically acclaimed Pif and Ansill and later chef at the Good King Tavern and Bar Ferdinand — was deep into his fight against lymphoma. And now, two months after his last chemo treatment, Ansill told me today that he’s received two clear scans. He’s still out of work, though, and his friends and former staffers set up a GoFundMe to help.

There’s more good news. His former chefs David Goody and Sean Murphy have cooked up a tribute dinner featuring Ansill’s classic dishes. They’re working with chef Emily Chellew at Cry Baby Pasta, at Third and Bainbridge Streets — which happens to be Ansill’s former kitchen from 2006 to 2009. It’s Monday, with seatings starting at 6 p.m.

The $100 tab, proceeds of which will go to Ansill, includes a three-course menu with options for the first course (beef tartare or marinated beet salad or crispy breaded pig trotters) and the second (pappardelle with braised snails or hanger steak with onion marmalade or grilled branzino and root vegetables). Ansill’s wife, Catherine, will reprise her chocolate hazelnut pot de crème and almond financier for dessert. An alcoholic or nonalcoholic drink is also included.

Ansill, 65, who reports weakness in his hands and feet, said he will try to attend. He said he was touched when Goody stopped by with old menus and a desire to host. “I’m surprised people still remember this food,” Ansill said.

Working at Ansill had special memories for Goody. Not only did he learn the art of offal cookery there, it was where he met his wife, Ann Miller. Reserve through Resy.


Nabin Chhantyal’s Nirvana Indian Bistro is one of the fastest-growing Indian restaurants in the region, with locations in Blue Bell, Chestnut Hill, Lafayette Hill, and an “express kitchen” in Queen Village. (He started in Conshohocken in 2013 and relocated to Lafayette Hill in 2015.) Two more are coming up: at 610 Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr in December (with a liquor license) and a BYOB in Crossroads Plaza (800 Bustleton Pike in Richboro) next spring.

Restaurant report

Been to a pop-up collab? These partnerships among chefs are always fun as they get creative and show off new concepts. Hira Qureshi has found six collabs this month, including one involving the soon-to-open Filipino restaurant/market Baby’s Kusina.

Briefly noted

You can buy your holiday meal ingredients at the supermarket. Jenn Ladd has some ideas of specialty shops to score turkeys, pies, and whatnot.

If you don’t tip on your Doordash deliveries, the company says, expect slower service.

Pinwheel Provisions, which specializes in healthful frozen dishes, reopens Saturday in a larger space at 860 W. Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr. (It was in Narberth previously.) New will be a midday takeaway sandwich bar called ‘Wich Way.

Eater is the latest national outlet to chime in with its favorite restaurants in America. As Jenn Ladd points out, West Philadelphia’s Honeysuckle Provisions and Rittenhouse’s My Loup, which swept this year’s crop of best-restaurants lists nationally (New York Times) and locally (Craig LaBan’s Top 10), made it. Also: Sister publication Punch’s list of best new bars includes Post Haste in Kensington, which has an interesting philosophy of local sourcing.

Bluebird Distilling of Phoenixville and the Jetty Rock Foundation are collaborating on Breakwater Bourbon. From 1-6 p.m. Sunday, the distillery will sell pours and cocktails and offer pay-as-you-go raw bar and roasted oysters with 10% of proceeds headed to the Jetty Rock Foundation, whose mission is maintaining and preserving East Coast waterways.

Taste of Fairmount, the 19th edition of Fairmount CDC’s annual fundraiser and restaurant showcase, returns 6-9 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Divine Lorraine with drinks and dishes from 20-plus local businesses. Tickets ($85 each, $160 for two) are here.

❓Pop quiz

Cacia’s Bakery uses its oven to roast neighbors’ turkeys on Thanksgiving. How many birds get cooked each year?

A) 25

B) 55

C) 90

D) 120

Find out if you know the answer. (And Go Birds.)

Ask Mike anything

What’s on the menu at Royal Tavern? — A reader

Lots of folks are delighted that this South Philly tap will be reopening Thursday after three-plus years. New chef Nick Macri is now on board. Click here to see the menu.

📮 Have a question about food in Philly? E-mail your questions to me at [email protected] for a chance to be featured in my newsletter.

Enjoy your week. Eat something worth sharing? Let me know!

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