The Other Critics

Route 6 Earns Marks For ‘Straight-Ahead Lobster Cookery’; Fried Smelts Are ‘Addicting’ at Melograno

• Perhaps the most interesting part of Inky critic Craig LaBan’s lackluster review of Stephen Starr’s Route 6, was the curious footnote about Starr’s love of erstwhile fish house Bookbinder’s and the revelation that he once considered rescuing it from permanent closure. Noting that Route 6 is by no means a “terrible restaurant,” LaBan gives the raw bar, the “excellent chowder,” and “some of the better straight-ahead lobster cookery in town” all the thumbs up. It’s the “disaster” of a lobster spaghetti special, the “paired with nothing” crab cake and swordfish that was “cooked until it was dry as sawdust” that kept LaBan from giving Route 6 a “full two-bell endorsement.” [Inquirer]

• Adam Erace checks out Da Soli Restaurant in Haddonfield, where a “more-is-more philosophy” undermines the restaurant’s “superb enough to stand on its own” pasta. “Flavors were on point” for a grilled calamari dish, and “featherweight” gnudi were a success, but a “butterflied and stuffed” steak pushed things back up “over the top.” [Courier-Post]

• Two eat Philly takes Craig LaBan’s advice, and checks out Sansom Street’s Melograno where the “salty, oily flavor” of fried smelts is “addicting.” The Pappardelle Tartufate was “satisfying and filling,” while the Zuppetta di Mare was the “least favorite [dish] of the night.” [Two Eat Philly]

Route 6 Earns Marks For ‘Straight-Ahead Lobster Cookery’; Fried