STEPHEN STARR’S GRANITE HILL Special Event Monday Night w/Philly’s Sweethearts Aditi Roy, Lesley Van Arsdale and Me

The genius of Stephen Starr spreads. Last night I went to a Press/VIP event at the new Stephen Starr restaurant Granite Hill at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 2600 Ben Franklin Pkwy Philadelphia, PAThe evening began with a cocktail party in the cafeteria, which is also run by Stephen Starr. In Fact Stephen Starr is dominating the food industry in Fairmount Park, as the Horticultural Center has a new partnership with Steven Starr and Starr Restaurants Catering Group to be the facility’s exclusive caterer. (The design of this sign looks familiar, can you recall where else you’ve seen it?)
Donna Coghlan, Advanced Staging Productions, Ken Alan, MidAtlantic Events Magazine, and Brooke Hartka, Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine.
Gail M. Harrity, President and COO, Marilyn Phister, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Executive Producer 6ABC Wendy Daughenbaugh, Nikki Hawkins, 6ABC Producer.
Artist Noel G. Miles and author Thom Nickels are collaborating on a book about the buildings in Philadelphia. About 10 years ago Noel did a beautiful book on Philadelphia City Hall, which had a limited run. The City had commissioned the book, and when the Street administration ended so did the run. Recently Thom Nickels has been promoting his latest book Spore. If you look in the margin of this blog you will see the information on his latest reading/signing this Friday.
Always fun to see my friends Aditi Roy and Lesley van Arsdale. Lesley and her husband Mike, as you know just had a baby boy Grayson. She showed me the most adorable picture of him in his Halloween costume, a pumpkin. Look for a holiday return to the anchor seat for her. (I wanted to take a picture of her picture, but I restrained myself.)
Timothy Rub, Art Director of the Philadelphia Art Museum greets the guests. First off he tells the group that always a perfectionist, Stephen Starr just told him the lights were too low, and they need to upgrade them – LOL. So all you interior designers get on the phone and call Tim today.
Which included Stephen Starr (so you know this was a big ta do if he was in the audience.) Starr said he is getting his English Pub ready which will be located at 18th and Sansom Streets. Says he’s working on perfecting the Plum Pudding this week. Sounds delish and warm for the winter.
Am I at the right table? Maybe now that I have a blog, a column and am on TV I get to sit next to the Director of the Art Museum and right next to Aditi Roy? Or maybe I just sat at the table with a great overall view of the room and wasn’t thinking.
Our menu for the evening
Salad was delicious, frisee, roasted golden beets, apple, pecans, walnuts and ricotta salata
I had the Potato-Fried Chicken Schnitzel, which was delicious and makes my mouth water as I write this. Mike, yes the elusive Mike went with me, had the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. I would have a picture, but when I got up to shoot the director, the president and Stephen Starr, then returned to the table, Mike had finished it off. Crab cakes are his favorite.
Erin Swanson, Anthony Sica, City Paper/Meal Ticket and Barry Eichner,
(I usually rave about my Lumnix, it takes good food & daylight pixs, but the reviews are right, low light inside, not too much.)
K Miller and sister Kristin Detterline-Munro, Phila Style Magazine
My table mates, Timothy Rub, Art Director of the Philadelphia Art Museum, Edward J. Sozanski Philadelphia Inquirer, an art critic at the Inky since 1982 and Marilyn Pritchard, an artist in the discipline of pottery.
Mike had the S’Mores. Not only delicious, or AWESOME as he said, in fact that was his description for the whole meal, anyway the S’Mores were not only delicious, but fun to eat, he said. (The Yelpers seem to like it too.)
I had the fall Crumble, which was Awesome. Again just a really unique concept, especially the topping of the sugar maple Leaf.
There’s also an adjoining dining room for private events. The restaurant is opened to the general public, without the museum’s entrance fee. It’s best to enter via the west side of the building.

From Open Table:

  • Price: $30 and under
  • Website:
  • Phone: (215) 684-7990
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Tuesday – Friday: 11:30am – 2:30pm, Saturday: 11:00am – 3:30pm
    Dinner: Friday: 5:00pm – 7:30pm, Sunday Champagne Brunch: 10:30am – 2:30pm (starting in mid-September).

An Upcoming event at the Art Museum, as well as at Granite Hill

WHEN: Thursday, November 4, 2010, 6 pm at the Van Pelt Auditorium
VIP Reception to follow at Stephen Starr’s Granite Hill RestaurantWHAT: Screening of The Olmsted Legacy and VIP Reception
WHERE: Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA
TICKETS: $15 for the screening, $100 for screening and VIP Reception
Reservations are required. To reserve your tickets online, please click here. For additional information, please contact Michelle Nicoletto at
215-988-8762 or With grateful appreciation to The Speedwell Foundation and RedFields to GreenFields Initiative for their generous support of this program.