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Four Tips of the Toque for Neuf; Jason Sheehan Loves Meltkraft's Grilled Cheese

And Craig LaBan revisits Zeppoli in Collingswood.

South Philly Review's Phyllis Stein-Novack dropped into Restaurant Neuf this month, giving Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan's new restaurant its first official review. She loved the restaurant's back-and-forth between North African and French influences, and was excited to see a Paris-Brest back on a restaurant menu:

We traveled to France for fried oysters ($14). Lachman has created an outstanding dish in coating the oysters in bulgur and quickly deep frying them to a crisp golden brown. He makes his own tartar sauce with preserved lemons, a hallmark of Moroccan cuisine. I easily could have eaten a dozen of them.

Jason Sheehan continues to cover all things Philly restaurants, even the fast-casual spots (just two weeks ago, he gave Stargazy a three-star review). This week, it was Meltkraft, Center City's grilled cheese-erie. Sheehan starts with somewhat of a love-letter to grilled cheese sandwiches, even calling them the "Queen of Sandwiches". He then proceeds to list nine things to love about Center City's booming lunch spot, #4 being:

4) Idaho nachos. These aren't really a thing, because I just made that name up. But it's what I'm calling it when you take a kettle chip (they come with every sandwich), use it to scrape a little bit of overflow cheese off the wax paper inside your to-go box, and then eat it. Boom: Idaho nachos.

Craig LaBan crossed the bridge to Zeppoli. Originally dubbing it a two-bell restaurant, after his revisit, LaBan added a bell (count 'em, three bells), praising Joey Baldino's soulful Italian pleasures:

That rabbit is braised so carefully in wine and tomatoes that those elements literally meld into one, the meat just barely still clinging to the bones beneath dusky green oregano leaves. Basil is the sweet herb that adds a fresh zing to the tomato sauce that coated toothy rigatoni and melty cubes of roasted eggplant. Sheep's milk ricotta gnocchi ribboned with spinach melted away at the bite beneath a gloss of brown butter and sage.

Restaurant Neuf

943 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-309-5847

Meltkraft

46 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Zeppoli

618 West Collings Avenue, , NJ 08107 (856) 854-2670 Visit Website

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