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Restaurant Reviews

Catapulted to France

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

There we were dining for the first time at Et Voila French Bistro just hours after friends touring Paris had taunted us on social media with magnificent pictures of the Eiffel Tower, as seen from their hotel balcony.

And earlier that day, my dining companion saw Disney’s adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” set within a fairytale French village and castle. We were in a Francophile state of mind.

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A familiar address reinvented

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Prior to closing the cherished Tractor Room last year, restaurateur Johnny Rivera assured he would hold out for a buyer committed to “enhancing the neighborhood” before selling it.

He made good on his promise with Concept Two Seven Eight, which opened in early January with a concise menu of “new American” cuisine and a cocktail program that puts things like dragon fruit and pink guavas into your glass.

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‘Little licks’

Posted: January 27th, 2017 | Feature, Food & Drink, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Cafes in bustling Italian cities typically cater to five meal cycles: breakfast; lunch; a late-afternoon period for wine and light snacks; dinner; and dessert in the mid-evening hours, when more wine or an end-of-day cappuccino is in order. Locally grown Pappalecco, founded in 2007 by two brothers from Pisa, covers those bases.

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An encounter with jackfruit

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

As we began perusing the menu at Del Sur Mexican Cantina in South Park, our waitress interjected to describe the fare as “Mexican grandmother food with healthy twists.”

After indulging shamelessly in too many butter-laced dishes over Thanksgiving, we took comfort in knowing the frijoles achieve their creaminess from olive oil instead of lard. Seasonal fish that appears in certain items is locally sourced and grilled — no battered, fried stuff from what we could see. And if you come knocking for a salad, the “cantina” medley combines about 10 different veggies with charred panela cheese and citrus vinaigrette.

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Where the sea meets 30th Street

Posted: November 18th, 2016 | Food & Drink, North Park, Restaurant Reviews, Top Story | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Limes, avocados and fresh fish rule the day at Ceviche House, a brick-and-mortar offshoot to a farmers market venture started a few years ago by Mexico City native Juan Carlos Recamier.

In the absence of a stove and fryer, the ceviches incorporate a variety of raw fish choices in lively constructs inspired by different regions of Mexico and Peru.

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