March 16-22, 2006
Eats : FoodWhat's Cooking
The Week In Eats
Luck of the Irish
Fri., March 17, 6 p.m., dinner lecture $15, festival $23-$47
Your favorite Book and the Cook dinner all booked up? Celebrate St. Paddy's Day instead. The Annenberg Center is hosting a dinner lecture right before Mick Moloney's Irish-American Music and Dance Festival. Learn about St. Patrick's Day origins and customs while chowing on pub favorites like Guinness casserole, broiled salmon and shrimp and vegetable pie. Penn Presents St. Patrick's Day Origin and Customs, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St., 215-898-3900.
Fri., March 17, 6 p.m., $65
St. Pat's isn't the only ethnic holiday happening this time of year. Feast Your Eyes catering and InLiquid.com are celebrating the Vietnamese New Year with a salon dinner. Artsy folks will dig Doug Didyoung and Peter Checchia's photo essay chronicling Didyoung's first trip to Vietnam, while gastronomes salivate over the steamed red snapper, Vietnamese curried chicken and caramelized catfish. Vietnamese New Year Salon Dinner, Feast Your Eyes Catering, 914-20 N. Second St., 215-923-9449.
Sign of the Cross
Sat., March 18, 7 p.m.-midnight, $150-$250
For one of the oldest charities in the country, the Red Cross sure knows how to party. The annual black-tie Red Ball brings together more than 40 chefs and bartenders from Philadelphia area restaurants, including Estia, Café Spice, Gigi, Georges, Tommy Gunns and Chez Colette at the Sofitel. Drinks will be provided at an ice bar flown in from Canada. (What, American ice not good enough?) If you purchase VIP tickets, expect a pre-reception where you can hang next to a chocolate fountain with Gov. Ed Rendell and the chefs from Stephen Starr's restaurants. Reservations required. Red Ball '06, National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St., 215-299-4000.
Yet Another Excuse to Drink
Mon.-Fri., March 20-24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $10
Ten dollars. Ten wines. It's that simple. Smith and Wollensky's is offering a lunch special where diners can sample 10 different wines along with their meal. The wines change daily, but come on a Monday and you'll sip vintage from Ravenswood, Clos du Bois and Kenwood wineries. National Wine Week, Smith and Wollensky's, 210 W. Rittenhouse Sq., 215-545-1700.
Tue., March 21, 6-11 p.m., $7-$20 per entree
For one night only, four Philly mainstays (Sabrina's, Caribbean Feast, Rx and Jamaican Jerk Hut) are doing the whole Caribbean-in-March thing with tropical-themed dinners. They'll be trotting out the usual suspects (jerk chicken, tilapia, curried goat, etc.) but also cooking up specialty items of the chefs' designs.
One to watch: Rx owner Greg Salisbury is planning a Walkers Wood jerk waluu with pineapple chutney, a trio of vegetarian patties and homemade sorrel and hibiscus punch.
One-third of the proceeds will be donated to Team Jamaica Bickle at the 2006 Penn Relays. Call 267-266-1612 for more info.