'Craig LaBan' on Serious Eats

Philadelphia: Pizzeria Stella Reviewed in the 'Philadelphia Inquirer'

[Photographs: Pizzeria Stella] The Philadelphia Inquierer's Craig LaBan files a rave review of restaurateur Stephen Starr's relatively new Pizzeria Stella in the City of Brotherly Love. Did someone say love? Because, damn, LaBan LOVES the pies here. While LaBan still views Marc Vetri's Osteria as the gold standard of pizza in Philly, "...no restaurant has refined the eat-in pizza experience with the single-minded focus, quality ingredients, and overall finesse of Stella." Oh, and after the jump, our man Ed Levine makes a cameo in LaBan's review.... More

Man Bites Dog: Serious Critic Reviews a Chain Restaurant

Photographs by Robyn Lee Craig LaBan, restaurant critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer, recently reviewed the first Legal Sea Foods restaurant to open in Philadelphia. He liked much of the food he ate there (the raw bar, chowder, fried clams, fish and chips) but was left cold by other dishes (the "leaden" stuffed shrimp, desserts, "odd" "everything" tuna). What's interesting is that he decided to review it at all. Serious restaurant critics in cities with vibrant independent restaurant scenes like Philly typically thumb their noses at chain restaurants and don't deign to review them. But places like Legal Sea Foods, Houston's, and The Cheesecake Factory, to name three, are in fact decent restaurants that should be taken seriously. I have... More

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