Awoke this morning to a few tweets between Kristina Burke of James on S. 8th St. and former cheftestant Jen Carroll that suggest James is shutting down operations in South Philadelphia.
What a great restaurant. Loved the atmosphere, the service, the drinks and the food. Helen and I went exactly twice: first for her 30th birthday and then Valentine’s Day this year. Both meals were probably the best I’ve ever eaten. Always felt that James delivered an amazing food experience without feeling like a Stephen Starr experience, which is to say, great food in a sometimes cartoonish atmosphere. I guess he’s on to something.
Here’s to whatever incarnation the Burke’s dream up next. Whatever it is, I know I’ll eat there.
My eyes rolled very hard when I read this bit from Michael Klein. Fishtown needs another fancy beer place like a hole in the head. I may be willing to give it a pass if the food isn’t just another run-of-the-mill gastropub as they say, but the thought of squeezing into Moe’s doesn’t really appeal either. It would be like setting up a restaurant in my skinny little home.
I know I complain about this all the time, but restauranteurs looking to take advantage of reasonable terms here in Fishtown and beyond: please understand that simply boasting a craft beer selection won’t be enough to lure customers away from their regular haunts. Even bars like Starboard Side offer some nice taps. Want to know how often I go to the Abbaye now that I’m around the corner from Memphis Taproom and Kraftwork? Hell, I don’t even venture as far as Johnny Brenda’s unless I’m going to see a band. Be more creative!
I know most local beer critics revel in this. It’s an embarrassment of riches, to be sure. But I can’t help but think that Philly could really use an enfant terrible in the beer scene. It’s soft and bloated and increasingly self-important. Who will set things straight?
I promised Helen at least 12 date nights last Christmas and I’ve been doing my best to keep up my end of the bargain with the help of friends and family. We finally got around to Zahav last Friday. (Fair warning: their website enables sound. It’s loud.)
We got the three course tasting menu, along with the wine pairing. We weren’t disappointed. Tried lamb tartare, called kebbe naya, and it blew my mind. It was so luscious it just melted in my mouth and the grilled avocado was a pleasant finish. Drank arak for the first time, too. If you’re into licorice-flavored liqueurs, I highly recommend.
If you’re looking to try something new, definitely hit it up. They have some great happy hour specials if you’re just looking to try it out before you get a reservation.