Archive: January, 2013
In yesterday's paper we told you all about Romanesco, a vegetable whose mathematically sequenced spiral staircases of green florets will make you go blind if you look long enough. Michael Santoro of the Mildred is a fan of this member of the mustard family. Right now, he's using it with his braised beef rib with macaroni mornay, and we've got the recipe. It's a doozy, but also the perfect thing to bust out on a cold and lazy Sunday afternoon.
Anyone familiar with South Philly Review Restaurant critic Phyllis-Stein-Novack knows that "flawless" is not a word that pops up too frequently in her reviews. Butin this week's review of Ela (627 S. 3rd St.) both the service and the meal were just that.
PSN and husband Edward experienced Jason Cichonski's culinary magic on a recent visit to the Queen Village corner. Beginning with a glass of Falanghina from the Cruvinet and a martini for Edward, PSN enjoyed the tableside French onion soup service. Almonds lent a Spanish flair to a beet and carrot salad.
Not a fan of molecular gastronomy, PSN is not too keen on kitchens that tread into the weird world of foams but Cichonski's melt-in-your-mouth whipped foie gras is not to be missed.
Other successful experiments included shiitaked-dressed scallop noodles which had the look of udon but tasted fresh from the sea.
The marrow-filled agnolotti that accompanied the Waygu beef sirloin were so good that PSN might be in the market for the recipe.
Foam made another appearance at dessert with a sweet and salty butterscotch and chocolate pudding.
PSN doesn't dole out four tips of the toque very often but Ela earned 'em with a flawless meal and service to boot.
A special prix fixe to usher in 2013, free food at Davio’s, and how to support a new business coming to E. Passyunk Ave, all on today’s Afternoon Snacks!
To celebrate another year, London Grill (2301 Fairmount Ave.) is cooking up a special “customer appreciation” prix fixe for the entire month of January. The deal is one special three-course menu, available for lunch, dinner, or any time the kitchen’s open, for just $20.13 (GET IT?). The offering will change each day, but by way of example, a recent menu featured cauliflower-saffron bisque, seared scallops with wild sturgeon caviar, and eggnog tiramisu.
With pretzel cheesesteaks, guinea hen poutine and a totally insane draft list there are plenty of reasons to go to Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon St.) pretty much any day of the week but in case you need another one, here ya go: Adam Garbinski of Adam and Dave's Bloodline and South Philly Taproom fame is DJing tonight!
Here's what Garbinski has on the agenda for this eveing:
"Probably gonna start with some psych and bubblegum then depart for points unknown...kraut jams? Prog mania? Soul madness? Deep cuts from before the dawn of the 90s? Yes, yes, YES!"
The party starts at 10 p.m. and there are plenty of late night happy hour specials including $1.50 oysters, beef fat fries, mortadella hot dogs, cheap beer and danger zone $3 shots of Fernet Branca. For more info check out the event page. Should be a good time.
Please put your hands together and welcome South Philly Taproom and American Sardine Bar chef Scott Schroeder back to Meal Ticket for the third installment of 10 Questions!
Name: Nicola Macri (no middle name)
Born: Toronto, Canada
Job: Chef, Southwark
Scott Charles Schroeder III: So you’re taking the kitchen over at Southwark and changing the menu around a bit. What is it you are doing? What’s the philosophy behind it? And what are you hoping to accomplish with it?
Nick Macri: Philosophy-wise, we’re keeping it the same, what we’ve always been doing—keep it, as stupid as it sounds, farm-to-table. We’re still using all the same producers we’ve been using, we’re not bringing in anyone new. We’re extending the kitchen hours to midnight, Tuesday through Saturday. And then hopefully revitalizing the kitchen a little bit, in the sense that it’s a good kitchen over there and I think people kinda forgot about that, so they need some sort of reminder.
SCS3: Do Canadians have an inferiority complex to Americans?
NM: No, not at all. We’re actually very smug about how much better we are than all of you guys.
New menu items, super-cheap empanadas, good news about D'Angelo's, and a few things that made us laugh today: all on today's Afternoon Snacks!
Yesterday we were talking about menu changes at Osteria, and today we’re drooling over new fare coming to Amis (412 S. 13th St.) this week, too—like the ribeye involtini with bitter greens and shaved parmigiano shown above. Check out chef Brad Spence on Twitter or Instagram for lots more additions, like borlotti bean and farro soup, marinated shrimp and fennel, and a hazelnut cake inspired by the recent Vetri family visit to Piemonte.
Relax, it's just for one night! The chefs are Beard House-bound next month, where each will cook a $170 ($130 for members) dinner in the esteemed foundation's dining room. Look for black truffled hazelnut soup, cold-smoked venison carpaccio with spruce oil and poppyseed noodles with rabbit ragout and blood sausage from Nolen on the 2nd, followed by prosicutto di Philly, juniper-smoked gnocchi and the ridiculously good porchetta-style rabbit from Cicala on the 25th. Booze included at both meals. Make reservations here and here.
JG Domestic (2929 Arch St.) has another beer dinner coming up towards the end of the month, and they've fully reeled us in, given the BBQ menu inspiration and the brewer they're teaming up with. Because, well, Great Lakes makes great beers. (You can have that one for free, fellas!) The quick specs: Four paired courses, $65 per person, Thu., Jan. 24, starting at 7 p.m.
The menu embodies that thing we start to do around January, when produce is still limited mostly to squash and especially hearty leafy things, but we've come down from the holidays and the cold starts to gnaw at us (well, if it ever gets cold again) and we start dreaming of summer, when we can fire up the smoker out back. And while it all sounds really good (you can see the full offering after the break), what we really want to talk about is the dessert course, made to pair with the brewery's excellent Edmund Fitzgerald porter: Lemon panna cotta with smoked apple butter, granola and licorice. Sorry, did we say "talk about"? We just meant we wanted to say it, let it hang there, and start the impatient countdown to the moment when we can actually eat it.
Upcoming nanobrewery Saint Benjamin Brewing Company is going to be tapping their latest brew tonight at Llyod Whiskey Bar (529 E. Girard Ave.) in Fishtown. The beer is a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Cream Ale and according to the folks at Saint Benjamin it's a beast: with double the hops, malt and corn as their regular cream ale, and of course, twice the ABV thanks to the bourbon-soaked oak that it was aged with. The keg taps at 6 p.m. and the folks at Llyod are going to be serving it with Buffalo Trace Bourbon because you can never have enough bourbon, right?
For a little more info on this upstart brewery check out Drew's report.
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