» Local props: Edgemont’s Spice Indian Thai Bistro, Ardmore’s A la Maison French Bistro and Manayunk’s MangoMoon all nabbed spots on Philadelphia Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan’s “Very Good” list in 2009’s “This Year in Bells” installment. As someone who’s frequented all three, I must concur. My proximity to Spice makes it a shoo-in for vindaloo cravings. And even if you’re not keen on Thai with a twist, MangoMoon’s spirited elixirs are well worth a visit.
» Who’s your daddy? Apparently, John Mims scored big with Daddy Mims’ Creole BYOB’s $30 holiday tasting menu. This one included shrimp and N’awlins-worthy grits, blackened scallops over jambalaya, and a juicy, seared petite cut of filet over a mountain of mashed potatoes—followed by a deconstructed crème brûlée. Recent patrons of the Phoenixville eatery declared it the best meal they’d had in a long time.
» Rubbed out: I’d been unsuccessfully stalking former Lacroix culinary wizard Matthew Levin ever since I’d heard he was opening up a barbecue joint on Manayunk’s Main Street. Now official word has come that the elusive chef is no longer on the project. Disappointing news for BBQ hounds, considering the following he’d garnered with his mobile tastings.