Archive for July, 2012

Gilmore’s… Adieu

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

There’s been a lot of hubbub about the closing of Gilmore’s in West Chester this week. The restaurant was once considered the class of the western suburbs by many diners, so its closing is probably the Main Line equivalent of Le Bec Fin closing (and yes, Peter Gilmore worked at LBF for many years). The thing that so many others seem to be afraid to say, however, is that it was past due. Gilmore’s was a dinosaur from another era, and was no longer a relevant player in the local restaurant scene.

Reading between the lines of Peter Gilmore’s comments after the news came out, it’s obvious that the restaurant’s financial results back up this assertion. Though they had a reputation for being a tough reservation, sellouts were far less common over the past few years. Gilmore tried gimmicks like adding small plates, and offering a discounted mid-week prix fix menu to get more people in the door, but nothing could save the business.


The Great Pesto Challenge

Monday, July 9th, 2012


Pesto. It’s one of the great summer treats. Fresh, pungent basil from the garden, mixed with garlic, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and a liberal amount of EVOO. Traditionally, of course, it’s used as a pasta sauce, but it also works great on grilled chicken or fish, swirled in dipping oil for bread, as a sandwich spread, and surely many other creative methods.

Nowadays, of course, one doesn’t need a herb garden to get pesto. It’s available in the supermarket year-round, both in the uninspiring jarred form as well as a somewhat better fresh format. In addition, we’re lucky enough to be blessed with quite a few excellent Italian specialty stores in this area, that almost always offer up their own fresh versions. Pondering this one day, I wondered: who makes the best? A taste test was the obvious and inevitable result.