Breaking: Kristin Mulvenna Has Changed Her Relationship Status

Tomorrow marks the last day for Kristin Mulvenna, former co-owner of cozy, charming Café Estelle and former squeeze of the bruncherie's other half and chef, Marshall Green. “We broke up,” Mulvenna told us, “and thought it would just be best if I left the business.” Her name is already wiped from the website.

Maybe we should have seen the writing on the wall when Mulvenna (commenting on the media's focus on Green) told Felicia D. of Meal Ticket in January: “‘It really pisses me off […] I put in just as many, if not more, hours. Though Marshall is so talented, if I didn’t do all the things I do, it wouldn’t work at all. The thing that bothers me the most is that no one thinks I’m an owner — just Marshall’s little wife!’ She mimes a person putting an arm around her; in a mocking voice: ‘Oh, you’re Mrs. Marshall! We loooooove his food!’ She softens a little. ‘I understand why people are interested in him—the chef draws people to the restaurant. But we do it all together.’”

Though she doesn’t sound so in that particular interview, Mulvenna is sweet, having run the front of Café Estelle with oodles of grace and charm since it opened late in 2007. Hate to think we’re partly to blame for the trouble in paradise; we praised Green in a PW review and named him a Chef To Watch in the January/February issue of Philly Style.

Though we’re sad to see Mulvenna's cheery self go, you won’t get an argument from blogalicious; we’re major advocates of the clean-break break-up, without which the risk of relationship relapse is exponentially greater. And let’s be honest: Green’s food does put you on that kind of blissful, I’m-so-happy-I’d-do-you-even-though-I-know-it’s-a-terrible-idea-and-I’ll-regret-it-later mood.

Today’s brunch saw a crisp pizzette piled with speck, goat cheese and leeks; Green’s inimitable house-made breakfast sausage; brioche French toast stuffed with a cinnamon-cream cheese-pecan concoction reminiscent (in a good way) of Cinnabon icing; and the Eggs Juan, two poached eggs served over crisp bacalao (salt cod) fritters and dressed with tomato hollandaise and smoked paprika. Smoky, salty and rich, this is the new breakfast of champions, and so delicious we forgot to snap a picture. We don’t know if Mulvenna will miss Green or his food more, but other than her departure, the Cafe is operating business as usual.

Stop by and say hello to her tomorrow—and to our boy and local photog Mike Persico’s haunting hanging in the Cafe. After tomorrow, you can holler at her at Jose Pistola’s, but sister is already thinking ahead: “My goal is to have my own place in a year and half.” If it’s half as good as Café Estelle, we’re looking forward to it.
Photo: MealTicket, blogalicious

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