Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello's latest endeavor, Buckminster's, finally received its LaBan review, and the Inky critic awarded chef Rob Marzinsky and the team a strong two bells. Marzinsky, previously of Fitler Dining Room, won high praise for his deft hand with the bivalve: raw, poached, what have you. At Buckminster's, he managed to recreate his oyster-ly talents for the geodesic dining room in Point Breeze:
Marzinsky's most compelling ode to oysterdom, though, is a humble bowl of milky stew. But with good Lancaster double-cream, diced chowder potatoes, a nutty splash of sherry, and oysters warmed just enough for their edges to curl and their centers to firm into soft pillows, each buttery spoonful triggered an unexpected hum of primal satisfaction, just as Fisher wrote after such a meal at the Doylestown Inn in her 1941 essay, "A Supper to Sleep On," from which Marzinsky took his recipe: "It was . . . the best in the world . . . mildly potent, quietly sustaining, warm as love and welcomer in winter."
Besides some subtle contention with the kitchen's lack of menu-theme (items range from Polish peirogies to a Thai Massaman curry), LaBan liked to see the talented chef, and sous (Palmer Marinelli), cooking what they like to cook, and having fun doing it:
The unifying theme, perhaps, is that Marzinsky and his sous-chef, Palmer Marinelli, are having fun cooking what they want to eat - which is usually a positive sign. Some experiments will fall flat. And they may find some more neighbor-friendly sandwiches are needed for menu balance. But as long as there is oyster stew - "quietly sustaining, warm as love and welcomer in winter" - I'll consider Buckminster's essential proof that Point Breeze's emergence is for real.
Over at Philly Mag, Jason Sheehan dropped in on Eater Philly's no-frills Chinatown favorite, Ting Wong, confidently ordering items off-the-menu, something seemingly key to a three-star Chinatown experience.
So how does the new-new Ting Wong stack up to the old-new Ting Wong and the OG Ting Wong? The new-new version is better, how's that? Not by much, because there wasn't much better it could get, but it certainly hasn't suffered at all. I miss the sticky tables a little bit (they added character) and the harsh lighting (I like a place where it's perpetually high noon), but the food, if anything, is even better—which is the only judgment that truly matters. They do a house soup (you have to ask for it) that's made with all the bits and pieces of meat scraped up from the cutting boards, all that fat, all that meat, and stock from the bones of all the animals the kitchen runs through in a day. It's murky and looks like dishwater but tastes amazing—one of the most comforting things imaginable. The last duck I had there was the best I've ever had from Ting Wong's kitchen (meaning, probably, one of the best ducks I've ever had, period), but that likely had as much to do with the duck itself as it did with the kitchen. The ginger and scallion noodles were exactly as wonderful as they've always been.