Archive: June, 2012
We've selflessly volunteered to be your official guide to the wonderful world of the Summer of Riesling. We'll be taking you on tour of the city's finest Riesling repositories, keeping you abreast of the best pours of the summer.
Today we're heading over to a.kitchen (135 S. 18th St.), a spot with an already stellar wine list. Wine director Timothey Kweeder considers this stuff to be the greatest wine out there, so it's going to be a wild ride through the Rhine over at a.kitchen this summer all summer long. Selections are rotating on a weekly basis and these are the that Kweeder is currently offering.
Riesling Kabinett, Spreitzer, 2008 - This Rheingau white is all about white peaches and floral notes with a hint of salinity.
Riesling, ‘Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg,’ Hexamer, 2010 - Aggressive acidity rounded out with quince, and bite of ginger.
Riesling, ‘Les Éléments,’ Bott-Geyl, Alsace, 2009 - Despite it's golden hue, this Alsatian sipper is full of clean minerality.
And since we're on the subject, we thought we'd share a few of Summer of Riesling founder Paul Grieco's recommended activities including reading the Kraftwork biography, writing a 500 word essay on the topic: "Why drinking Riesling makes me a better person," and making sure to use plenty more umläuts in to your wrïtïing.
It's prime farmers' market season which is pretty sweet in and of itself but imagine how much sweeter those leisurely strolls around the farm stands would be with a cold pint of Victory Prima Pils. Rep. Dante Santoni is pushing for craft breweries to be able to buy daily permits that would allow them to pump pints at farmers' markets and other public food events.
Given the fact that craft brewers provide hundreds of thousands of jobs nationally and drunk people tend to spend more money, even on produce, House Bill 2429 seems like a win-win situation. So if you're in favor of shopping for heirloom tomatoes with hefeweizen in hand, be sure to show your support for 2429.
And Mr. Santoni, if your bill passes, the next round is on us.
You’ll want to check out the latest from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society: a pop-up community garden at 20th and Market streets. The garden, sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill, is designed to be a hub for the community — a round table, if you will. And you’re invited to dinner. At the pop-up garden, you'll be able to take gardening workshops. Local chefs — including Marcie Turney, Daniel Stern, Guillermo Tellez, Chris Scarduzio, Michael Schulson and Lynn Rinaldi — will also be holding cooking demonstrations at the garden, so visitors can learn to cook from the pros. You’ll never go back to microwavable mac n’ cheese again.
Besides cultivating veggies (and your own green thumb), the pop-up garden will do its part to feed the hungry. The garden’s focus is PHS's City Harvest program, which uses community gardening to provide thousands of families with fresh produce every week. A garden that indulges your inner foodie and does social good? Hats off to you, PHS
The garden opens today, with a celebration from noon to 1 p.m. Check out the PHS website for full hours and schedule.
Prudent oenophiles know that the quickest was to beat the heat is to pop open a bottle of something crisp and light with plenty of good acidity. Something like a bottle of Riesling.
Today the fourth annual Summer of Riesling kicks off. This celebration of all things Riesling related is the brainchild of Paul Grieco, the mastermind behind Terroir, a mini chain of "elitist wine bars for everyone" based in New York. Grieco's devotion to the Rhine varietal compelled him to share his passion, promoting this oft misunderstood wine by pouring it, obviously, but also putting on Riesling themed concerts, giving out Riesling temporary tattoos and spreading the Riesling gospel throughout the country and now the world.
There are plenty of places in town to get your Riesling on and we're going to be highlighting them throughout the 94 days of summer.
First up we've got McCrossen's
Monsters Attack - This fruit forward Riesling from down under has a sugariness that's borderline slutty.
The grassy canopied outdoor dining space, dubbed Il Campo, of Passyunk Avenue's Le Virtu is one of the loveliest in South Philly, and it just got even lovelier when we caught wind that they're kicking off a weeknight happy hour there from 5 to 7 each evening. Plan on whiling away those twilight hours with $3 beers from LV's well-curated craft list or a L'Aquila, a bright blend of gin, saffron, grapefruit and basil.
But beverages aside, perhaps the biggest draw of Le Virtu's happy hour are the graze-worthy dishes that chef Joe Cicala has on offer. On special are a porchetta panino, Affettato Misto, a selection of his out-of-this-world house-cured salumi including prosciutto di Philly, cotechino and n'duja, a firey spreadable salame. There are plenty of reasons to love this Abbruzzese gem (hello, house-made pastas) but this whole al fresco salumi happy-hour deal just brought it one step closer to our heart.
Local ice cream innovators Little Baby's Ice Cream is looking to go big time with a little help from their loyal fans. The Baby's dudes recently launched a Kickstarter campaign get their singular ice cream creations into stores. As of right now, if you'd like to enjoy a scoop of Earl Grey Sriracha or Balsamic Banana, your options are limited (well, not really all that limited) to heading over to Morgan's Pier or Union Transfer, tracking down the FlavorBlasterOne via Twitter or trekking down Passyunk to score a pint at Green Aisle.
If Little Baby's meets their goal of $5,952, they'll be able to package up their flavors and stock the shelves of finer groceries in the area. They're planning on responsible packaging, too, that people can reuse. Besides the satisfaction of giving to a a tasty cause, there are all sorts of benefits to backing this ice creamy endeavor. Just like a good, old-fashioned PBS telethon, there are rewards to be gotten with each level of pledging. Kick in more than $5, you'll be rewarded with a phone call regaling you with a Shakespearean sonnet; $13 gets you an autographed pint; $25 wins up a steamy pin-up pic of Baby's co-founder Jeff Ziga; and for the big spenders out there, $350 will get you three gallons of a no-holds-barred custom flavor of your own creation.
Just a friendly reminder that there's some big-deal barbecue happening tomorrow night: Gene Giuffi of Cochon fame will be previewing the menu for his new barbeque joint, Blue Belly BBQ, at Southwark. From 6-9 p.m. you can taste your way through jerk chicken legs, pulled pork, and garlic and oregano sausage paired with the likes mac and cheese, greens and slaw. The kind folks at Philadelphia Brewing Company are letting the Kenzinger, Fleur de Lehigh and Newbold IPA flow, and the whole thing wraps up with a homemade chipwich. Not a bad deal for $35.
If you're planning on hitting up what promises to be a barbecue bacchanal, be sure secure a spot by reserving with Southwark (701 S. Fourth St.) at 215-238-1888.
Encased-meat mavens, mark your calenders: on July 28 COOK (253 S. 20th St., 215-735-COOK) will be hosting an exclusive evening with noted hot-dog heroes Hawk Krall and Keith Garabedian. Garabedian, Hot Diggity proprietor and mayor of South Street wieners, and Krall (pictured), an internationally renowned hot-dog illustrator and journalist, will be hosting an educational evening of hot-dog history complete with a menu of eight fiercely regional dogs.
Rumor has it that Vienna Beefs are being shipped from Chicago, pizza bread trucked in from Jersey for Italian dogs, and Winter's Sausage Brand L-901 Coneys are getting topped with beef-heart chili for an over-the-top Detroit hot-dog experience.
Tickets are extremely limited (we're talking 16 seats), so if any or all of those options get your hot-dog-loving heart pumping, head on over to COOK and sign up for this once-in-a-blue-moon hot-dog happening.
photo: Michaelangelo Ilagan
Water-ice chain Rita's and the Please Touch Museum want your child to learn reading, math and, yes, water-ice-scooping skills. In partnership with the Girard Avenue Rita’s, the Please Touch Museum will host a new exhibit space for the sweet Philly staple. The space, open Wednesday, June 20, will allow children to don mini Rita’s uniforms and man tiny water-ice carts. And for all adult-sized museum visitors, Please Touch will unveil a new Italian ice flavor, along with announcing the winner of the contest to name it. Some of the suggested names: Purple Sunshine and Please Berry. In true democratic style, Please Touch let the public vote for the top three on its Facebook page. That’s social media working for you.
Seems wifey in is good company. Jennifer Prensky, spouse of chef Mitch and co-owner of Supper (926 South St., 215-592-8180), is reading that Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy I can’t seem to escape. On Wed., July 27, the Prenskys are recreating the Masked Ball in the second book (I haven’t read it, but from what I understand, it probably has more to do with balls being put somewhere they typically don’t belong.)
The four-course menu, which mimics the book with salmon tartare and roasted duck with foie, is $65 per person, with an optional $100 supplement for the exact wine pairings featured by author/apparent oenophile E.L. James. Lingerie and toy boutique Coeur will have a pop-up at Supper that night for, umm, dessert.
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