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Zinc, the new name of Olivier Desaintmartin's reconceptualized La Boheme, will debut in the first week of September. The chef says the "bistro a vins" approach is a nod to the Le Marais district of Paris, known for its quirky, bohemian cafés and businesses. The interior will feature the spot's namesake, a nearly-century-old 8-foot zinc bar that Desaintmartin imported from France. Head chef is fellow countryman Laurent Leseur, who cooked in Bucks County kitchens as well as in the Virgin Islands. Bite This: Leseur's menu features many French bistro classics, including rabbit ragoüt with pappardelle, steak frites and calf's liver with shallots and sherry vinegar.
Chef Mark Smith plans on opening the second location of Tortilla Press, his popular Mexi BYOB, by early October. The new space will bear the "Cantina" distinction for one simple reason — he's secured a liquor license. Smith says he's invested in a "heavy duty" citrus squeezer to render fruit juice for margaritas; they'll also be doing a house-made sangria. At 150 seats, the new space will be substantially larger than the Collingswood location; a 25-seat lounge area will accommodate guests waiting for tables. Bite This: Popular specials at the original Tortilla Press, including coconut habanero grilled shrimp, will likely find a permanent home on the Cantina's dinner menu.
I was at Hung Vuong Supermarket the other day when I came across mangosteen juice — the can was plastered with these bouncy purple bulbs that looked like bloated cartoon grapes. It left me wondering: A) What the hell is a mangosteen? and B) Where can I get one? Turns out: A) It's a fleshy, aromatic fruit native to Southeast Asia, and B) Nowhere. That is, until now. The FDA recently lifted a ban on selling mangosteens Stateside (damn fruit flies), so Puerto Rican- and Thai-grown cases of the stuff are starting to surface on the East Coast. In the coming weeks, Di Bruno Bros. (1730 Chestnut St., 215-665-9220) will carry a very, very limited supply of the fruit, at an intriguing/slightly frightening price of $45 per pound (the average mangosteen weighs about a third of a pound). "It's sort of this mythical thing," says Di Bruno Specialty Team Leader Scott Case, who personally tracked down the shipment for the store. "They have an amazing reputation, but they can supposedly be finicky. But for anybody into culinary adventures, this is definitely something to check out." Unfortunately, I don't think my boss would let me write off "mythical fruit" as a business expense.