Hot on the heels of Nick Elmi's Top Chef win, the Inquirer's Craig LaBan has awarded three bells to Elmi's East Passyunk BYOB.
With only a couple of mildly negative comments ("slightly overcooked" walu; unnecessary snails; "not many great choices for dessert"), could there be an eventual four-bell update on the horizon for Laurel? Although there still seems to be some amount of public resistance to the idea of giving the top rating to a BYOB, LaBan clearly disagrees, and told Eater in 2012 that he "thought we were over that."
While the "hiccups" were minor, the review is full of strong raves:
His albacore starter may be the best raw tuna dish in town, firmed ever so slightly in tepid olive oil before being dressed with the delicate sweetness of shaved Asian pears and a powder of frozen horseradish and yuzu "snow" that melted in mouth with a cooling sparkle.
Similarly poetic praise is applied to the Spanish mackerel and a "study in Berkshire pork," but "Elmi's foie gras terrine was even more beautiful, a silken slab of creamy pink marbled with bitter cocoa." LaBan is also fond of the polish exhibited both by the dining room and the serving staff, and muses that Elmi has "matured on the plate."