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Sep 25, 2007 12:03 PM

Mandoline closing (but good news...)

From Craig LaBan's weekly chat. I'm bummed I never got there...guess i'll have to try the new digs:

Craig: Well, on further research, Trisha, I'm sorry to report your suspicions are true. I just got off the phone with chef/owner, Todd Lean, who informed me that yes, this will be Mandoline's last Saturday night. Lean cited 'landlord issues' and the impending arrival of a second child with wife, Carrie, for the big change. The good news, though, is that he plans to transfer much of Mandoline's menu to his new gig as executive chef at Deuce, the gastropub in Northern Liberties. He starts Tuesday.

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  1. I'm very sorry to hear that. I live around the corner from Mandoline, and I'll miss Todd and the rest of the folks there. Not to mention the wonderful food, which I wish I could have enjoyed even more of.

    Deuce isn't too far away, though, so I'll definitely be revisiting now. I hope he revives some of his lunch items, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gina

      oooh, that's good news for me!!
      i love the sunday night open mic at deuce but struggle with their meat-heavy menu. hopefully the new chef brings some fresh ideas (and veggies) to the table.

    2. I saw this and immediately made a reservation for Saturday as I have a gift certificate to use. Are there any can't miss dishes here?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dib

        If you like goat cheese, you must get the goat cheese appetizer. I once read a review that said it was too much for one person to eat. Don't believe it. I LOVE goat cheese and can easily eat the entire thing. Last time, I had the goat cheese and got one to go for dinner the next night. I'm so sad to hear about the closing. Moved to Tampa and found out about the closing when I called to make a reservation for an upcoming October visit. Wonder if he'll serve the goat cheese at Deuce.

        1. re: ncfoodgal

          Thanks, ncfoodgal. Had goat cheese and veal ravioli apps, and the pork chop entree. The apps were constructed carefully and utilized bold flavors--the contrasting textures and flavors of crushed pistachio dusting a cylinder of creamy salty goat cheese, dotted with sweet black mission figs and topped with delicate sprouts; the veal ravioli (using pasta striped in spinach) in the richness of brown butter with the sweet currants and salty chorizo bits. I liked how the currants and chorizo appeared identical, so you don't know whether you're going to get a sweet or salty taste, or both.

          However, I wish the pork chop had been on the same level of intensity--seared to a higher degree of caramelization, served with a reduction instead of a jus, something. The bananas were sweet and asparagus was crisp, no surprises there. It was a good dish but at that price point, I expect more. I really liked the apps though. Hope Todd Lean serves them at Deuce, at lower prices.

          1. re: Dib

            hey dib,

            I was there Friday and also got the goat cheese app. and my gf got the pork chop. I agree with both your assessments. After that goast cheese cake, the pork chop fell a little flat. For my entree though, I got the scallops with english pea and marscapone risotto. That was amazing. I am sad to see this place go, but I am sure Todd might do a Mandoline dinner now and again at Deuce, or at least I hope so.

      2. talk about timing, I made a res for Mandoline for Friday about a month ago.

        1. Man, that totally stinks. I loved Mandoline, but saw that it was never that busy and feared this might happen. I just called and was unable to get a reservation before the closing. It's nice that he's going to Deuce, but I don't think the level of cooking at Mandoline will be able to transfer to a bar atmosphere/menu that easily.

          1. Oh no! Nobody seems to stay in that space for long--maybe it has something to do with those dreaded "landlord issues."