Top Chef Jen Carroll has stayed pretty quiet since leaving her post at 10 Arts late last year, but today we caught up with her after being followed by a mysterious Twitter account bearing her name. Her dreams of opening a new place are the worst kept secret in the world, but today, they became a little more real.
"Yes, I am working on the new restaurant. It's going to be called Concrete Blonde," said Carroll. "I'm still ironing out the lease, but it's going to be in Center City. Once that's done, demolition will begin. I can't wait."
The name is a reference to Carroll's personality, being known as a Philly city girl and notoriously tough in the kitchen. "I think it sounds like me. And hopefully a little soft and feminine, at the same time," she said with a laugh. "And I was a fan of the band of the same name. It works."
Carroll said that the menu will be heavy on seafood, but don't expect a fish restaurant a la Le Bernardin. We particularly enjoyed her Buffalo sweetbreads and Amish fried chicken at 10 Arts, and would be stoked to see them at the new place. Lest we not forget, too, that the lady can make a good burger, as she walked away with the 2011 Burger Brawl title in Philly.
"It's going to be small plates, and affordable, so, yeah, the same damn thing as everyone else says," Carroll said.