Hot chef: Dan James creates rotating menus at Vintage

 Dan James sees you looking at his wine bottles.
Dan James sees you looking at his wine bottles.

 

Midtown Village is no longer a restaurant-goers coveted secret. The word is out — and has been out for some time now — that 13th Street, specifically between Chestnut and Locust, is ripe with fine dining. Among the hot spots is Vintage Wine Bar, where chef Dan James is creating rotating menus. We scored insider info on what to expect from his kitchen this month.

Can you explain the upcoming wine and cheese flights that Vintage will have on the weekends?
Starting in mid-May we’re highlighting cheese from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It’ll probably change weekly. And we’ll have a new spring menu around the same time.

You previously worked at Brasserie Perrier, Southwark, and Pub & Kitchen. How is Vintage Wine Bar different?
Vintage is really unique. We’re a wine bar and bistro, but I feel like the bar vibe is still really strong here. I keep the cooking really simple. I think that type of food works with the atmosphere. It’s still a bar and bistro at the end of the day, just rooted in fine dining.

That part of Midtown Village has become a great food destination.
Oh yeah. I remember when Sampan was a parking lot. This is a really interesting neighborhood.

What’s your neighborhood?
I just moved back to South Philly. I was in Fishtown for a while but my girlfriend and I just bought a house in Newbold, so I spend plenty of time at South Philly Tap Room. Right now we’re renovating the house and working on a new kitchen.

Is that taking up a lot of your free time?
Yep, but it’s fun.

Are you doing anything else on your days off?
We’re planning a few day trips to the mountains and down the shore.

You were trained in Napa Valley. How did you adjust to cooking in Philly?
Well I’m from around here, I’ve just been moving around for about 10 years. The job market here is so much better because there’s a real sense of community between fellow Philly chefs. Napa was more cutthroat, kill or be killed, you know?

So you came back to Philadelphia in 2008. It’s become a progressive food town since then.
It’s really changed even in just the past three years. There are a lot more small restaurants with a focus on fine dining and seasonal menus. Everyone’s doing their own cool thing.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Police look for man suspected of threatening Muslim…

Police seek man suspected of calling a teen Muslim girl a "terrorist" and spitting on her multiple times while on a Queens bus.

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

The Word

Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg are engaged

If Donnie Wahlberg wants to get vaccinated against anything, he should do it soon: he and Jenny McCarthy are engaged, she just announced on "The View."

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Movies

Curtain raiser: The Tribeca Film Festival arrives this…

The Tribeca Film Festival begins its two-week run in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, boasting dozens and dozens of films of all stripes.

NHL

Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.