It’s exciting when the Philadelphia restaurant scene receives national attention. National food and wine writers dine all over the globe, and so it’s always interesting to see how the depth and breadth of their palates inform their opinions of our little corner of the culinary world.
John Mariani is the latest to weigh-in on Philadelphia’s restaurant scene. He is one of the most seasoned and highly respected food and wine writers around. He is a columnist for Esquire, Wine Spectator, Diversion, Bloomberg News & Radio, and Restaurant Hospitality. He has also authored The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, The Dictionary of American Food & Drink, and with his wife Galina, the award-winning new The Dictionary of Italian Food and DrinkItalian-American Cookbook.
Mariani also publishes a free weekly newsletter on his site, JohnMariani.com (free registration required for archives). In the September 23 issue, Mariani profiles Philadelphia restaurants and reviews some of his current favorites: Rae, 707, Tinto and Susanna Foo in Radnor.
Like other outsiders, one of the things Mariani bemoans generally about Philadelphia is the high mark-ups on wine. However, despite the constraints under which our restaurants must operate, Mariani is impressed with what he sees. He calls Ryan Davis’ wine list at Rae “first-rate,” he recognizes Tinto’s 100+ bottle wine list and says that 707’s wine list “carries some of the best bargains for good regional bottling you’ll find in Philadelphia.”