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Craig LaBan Awards Three Bells to Princeton's elements; Jason Sheehan Swoons Over South

LaBan loved elements' quirky take on naturalist food, Sheehan dug South's next-level pickling.

Princeton's Elements leaves a strong impression
Princeton's Elements leaves a strong impression
Elements/ Facebook

Craig LaBan trekked up to Princeton to taste Chef Scott Anderson's whimsical creations at elements. He found much to adore, as he graced the 28-seat space with three bells. In particular, LaBan rhapsodized over the exquisite presentation of the food:

One of the most memorable dishes was essentially steak and mushrooms. Of course, the meat was an ember-roasted morsel of Ideue Farm Wagyu beef from Japan, so shot through with marbling it looked glazed. And the mushroom was an unlikely fresh porcini picked that morning "just down the street" by chef de cuisine Mike Ryan. The mushroom snapped with woodsy perfume. The beef practically melted. And my taste buds hummed for hours after Japan met Princeton terroir in the very best of bites.

And Jason Sheehan found a lot to love at Fairmount newcomer South, where Chef Paul Martin is putting his spin on Southern cuisine. In particular, Sheehan was taken with their pickle plate:

On an appetizer plate of pimento cheese and benne seed pocket bread (big enough to be a meal, nearly), there are pickled beets and asparagus and beans and mushrooms and cauliflower florets turned purple, and they are all—every single one of them—amazing and different and better (in their mean) than any other pickling being done in Philly right now.

But he also found a few areas ripe for improvement. He thought the cocktail list was "muddled", and some sides lacked flavor. But, overall, he seems hopeful South can iron out the kinks. He awarded the restaurant two stars.


600 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA

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