The Other Critics

Gemelli on Main Impresses With a ‘Subtle But Smart Evolution’; Village Belle’s Crab Gravy Is a ‘Winner’

• Noting a noticeable shift toward France, Craig LaBan writes that he was “impressed with the subtle but smart evolution” of Gemelli on Main chef Clark Gilbert’s “hybrid Euro style.” Though Gilbert’s dishes utilize “good ingredients” and they are, “for the most part … well-cooked,” LaBan would “be happy to pay $5 less for smaller portions.” The signature gemelli pasta in “a hearty lamb Bolognese” “sparked with the snap of chickpeas and green olives,” and a “silky eggplant puree exotic with turmeric and cumin, and a sweet-tart marmalade of candied green tomatoes” took the “crsiply seared” salmon from “safe to stellar.” [Inquirer]

• For a soup that was “made with bacon and tarragon,” Village Belle’s chowder “beneath six seared scallops” was “watery and lacked flavor.” One “winner among a parade of small-ish plates” was “chef/partner Lou Campanaro’s crab gravy.” The “tangy, funky Taleggio” that oozed from the “seared in butter,” “triangle-cut” tramezzino was a “heaven-made complement to the fresh sliced figs layered between.” [Courier-Post]

• Two Eat Philly trek up 95 for a stop at Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse and discover “sweet, smoky hickory flavor” is present in the “pulled pork, pulled chicken, rotisserie chicken (thigh), beef brisket, baby back ribs, smoked salmon, and a bite of smoked turkey” they sampled, but it wasn’t “overwhelming.” As far as sides go, the collard greens were retained “a good bite” and were “slightly spicy.” The macaroni and cheese was “solid enough,” but were no match for the “smooth, creamy, with just that hint of natural sweetness” of the mashed sweet potatoes. [Two Eat Philly]

Gemelli on Main Impresses With a ‘Subtle But Smart Evolution’;