Archive: September, 2012
This spring Le Virtu (1927 E. Passyunk Ave.) chef Joe Cicala is inviting fellow Italophiles on a nine day journey to explore the culinary wonderland that is Abruzzo. A limited number of spots are available at $4800 a pop and includes stays in fancy hotels and rustic agriturismos, tours of farms, vineyards, fishing villages, medieval fortresses and churches. And of course there are going to be some truly memorable meals featuring traditionally made local specialties. For the full rundown of the itinerary get in touch with Le Virtu owner Francis Cratil Cretarola at email@example.com.
If a nine day Italian getaway isn't in the cards for you, Le Virtu is offering a taste of the trip at their East Passyunk digs. On October 4th chef Cicala will be serving a four-course $80 menu inspired by some of the stops on the tour including cheeses from La Porta dei Parchi, seafood via the Adriatic coast and wines from the Abruzzese cellars of Cantina Frentana and Cataldi Madonna. A portion of the proceeds from the dinner go to benefit Tratturo Magno, a natural and historical preservation society in the region.
Bierstube Tsingtau (206 Market St.), the Old City German-Chinese concept from the Eulogy folks is hosting a roster of irreverent Oktoberfest events that go way beyond lederhosen and stein swinging drinking songs.
On September 21st and 22nd pork, chiles and pilsner are coming together in the form of spare ribs, pork sliders and barbecue paired with pilsner served in a boot shaped glass. From the 23rd to the 28th Bierstube is matching up full, malty Marzens with brownies and chocolate fondue. Most places celebrating Oktoberfest are rolling out a roasted pig at one point or another but Bierstube is invoking its Chinese roots and serving up both sucking pig and Peking Duck on September 28th to the 30th. Finally from October 5th to the 8th pumpkin beers will be flowing. Be on the lookout for rare finds like Elysian Night Owl, Eveil Twin Trick or Treat Pumpkin and Harpoon UFO Pumpkin along with pumpkin and squash specials on the menu.
When James closed at 8th and Christian, it left a huge hole in many, many hearts (present company included), but in The Mildred (824 S. 8th St.), Jim Burke's baby has a noble successor. Tonight, Mike Santoro makes good on his post-Talula's Garden promise to bring his talented cooking to a self-owned spot; the Mildred will open for dinner at 5:30 with a menu that straddles summer and fall like a Russian gymnast: verbena-poached cod, toasted squid with fennel, brats with grapes and celery, family-style, $24-a-head bouillabaisse and more. If anyone gets there tonight, holler in the comments tomorrow. Or just live vicariously through the menu, posted below.
Today on Afternoon Snacks: rare beers at the Khyber, crab tasting in Chestnut Hill, and an old favorite for brunch at Kris.
There are some rare beers on tap today at Khyber Pass Pub (56 S. 2nd St.) at their Ales from Afar event with Austin’s Artisanal Imports—in fact, as you read this, you’re already missing it. If your priority right now is still that project you’re getting paid to work on, the event will continue all night (though we can’t promise the most interesting kegs won’t be kicked by the time you roll in, worker bee).
- Sünner Kölsch (Germany)
- St. Feuillien Saison (Belgium)
- Bocker Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge (Belgium)
- Meantime Naval College Old Porter (England)
- La Trappe Isid'or (Netherlands)
- Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet (Belgium)
- Bosteels Pauwel Kwak (Belgium)
- Urthel Hop-It (Belgium)
Chestnut Hill’s Mica (8609 Germantown Ave.) has a special tasting menu in store that will only be available tomorrow, Thurs., Sept 13th. The menu, which they’ve dubbed “Tasting of Crab, East & West,” captures the end of summer with a variety of crabs and heirloom tomatoes, and brings in hints of fall with a hearty surf-and-turf main featuring veal skirt steak, and a dessert featuring crabapples and cranberries. The full menu, seen below, goes for $45 a person, with pairing options available.
Dungeness Crab Bisque, Corn Pudding, Heirloom Tomatoes
Peekytoe Crab Risotto, Saffron, Red Shiso
Jumbo Lump Crab & Veal Skirt Steak, Bernaise, Trumpet Mushroom
Crabapple Strudel, Cranberry, Creme Fraiche
This weekend, Kris (1100 Federal St.) will unveil an overhaul of their brunch menu. Classics like ricotta donuts and pasta fagioli remain, but there are some notable additions, like a pair of burgers (we sat up a little straighter at mention of the “Gabagool,” which comes topped with housemade capicola, smoked scamorza cheese, roasted long hots, and lemon aioli) and an old Italian Market favorite: the Southern Italian stew called giambotta. In its base form, it’s a hearty vegan stew with zucchini, potato, tomatoes, greens, and garbanzo and cannellini beans, served with grilled bread. The menu allows you the option of topping yours with a couple of poached eggs, chicken, and/or sausage for a few bucks a piece, depending on where your diet and your whims take you. Sounds like a perfect cool-weather brunch dish to us!
This Saturday the second annual Red Bull Flugtag is coming to the Pier 1 (1 Cooper St.) on Camden waterfront. You might be asking why Meal Ticket is reporting on an event that brings together 35 teams and their homemade, human-powered flying machines. Well, there's a pretty serious bar and restaurant contingent happening at this year's event.
If you know anything about Amis chef Brad Spence it won't come as a surprise that his crew's flying machine is a 16-foot winged sausage dubbed The Beast of Amis.
The Philly Bars215 Flying Mummers are made up of barkeeps from Drinkers and Lucy's Hat Shop and No Che.
The Skydive School Dropouts are coming from Rebel, Zee bar and Delilah's with a two man glider.
We're not sure what the drinking and flying protocol is for an event like this but with so many industry folks participating we're eager to see who makes it up in the air. The first flight takes off at 1p.m. and if you're wondering 'flugtag' is German for flying day.
Football season just got a little tastier at Lincoln Financial Field with the help of Top Cheffer Kevin Sbraga. The Insider is reporting that he's teaming up with concessions hanchos Aramark and introducing a line of sandwiches and snacks never before seen in the confines of a stadium.
Inspiration seems to be coming straight out the Italian Market. Aramark chef James Hennessy is offering up nachos topped with Bolognese, ricotta and mozzarella and a roast pork sandwich with arugula and fontina on a seeded roll and Sbraga's kicking in a Mexican accented Sloppy José with a combo of chorizo and short rib topped off with a radish-jalapeño slaw and chipotle mayo.
If back to school blues are getting you down head over to Resurrection Ale House (2425 Grays Ferry Ave.) for an evening of beer-centric education brought to you by the craft brew pioneers of Sierra Nevada.
Beginning at 6 p.m. tonight local beer hero-distributer Eddie Friedland is going to be on hand to walk eager students through Sierra standards like Pale Ale and Torpedo as well as lesser seen pours such as Kellerweisse, Beer Camp Floral IPA, Hoptimum and Ovila Dubbel.
At $10 a head the tuition is cheap and comes with a few snacks and plenty of sippable samples.
If you were on the fence about attending the epic tasting extravaganza that is tonight's Feastival, we're back to tempt you with more intel on what some of the 75 participating restaurants are going to be serving to benefit both Fringe and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival.
We're assuming that George Sabatino's Vodka-cured Skuna Bay Salmon is going to be a show-stopper with melon, shishito peppers and crispy horseradish.
Lacroix will be offering up the daring pairing of Corn Custard with mackerel and coffee.
Nick Elmi of Rittenhouse Tavern is serving a Rabbit and Foie Gras Croustillant with Concord grapes and cocoa.
It's not going to come as too big of a shock that Shake Shack is going with their namesake burger. We'll take it.
Le Virtu's Joe Cicala is doing what he does best i.e. making pasta. He's filling Agnolotti with wild hare and tossing them with black truffle and sage.
And finally, the folks from Federal Donuts are promising a Donut Robot and one time only Feastival-flavored donut.
Busy day in the world of food news, here's a look at some of the top stories.
Eater's reporting that former Mercato chef Christina Wilson is the Hell's Kitchen champion beating out a motley crew of line cooks to win $250,000 and the head chef spot at Gordon Ramsay's Vegas restaurant in the Paris.
Loudmouth blogger Joshua Scott Albert of Staphmeal infamy got in some serious trouble via facebook yesterday. Turns out that calling for the slaying of Mitt Romney amongst a few others on social media is enough to get you charged with harassment, solicitation to commit murder and terroristic threats. Ouch.
The Insider has caught word that NoLibs' A Full Plate Cafe is moving north come 2013. The new spot at the intersection of Norris, Cedar and Susquehanna will be called Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen is planning on Southern-inspired retro menu items and a beer focused bar.
Suburban red sauce lovers rejoice, Italian Market old timer Ralph's is opening a location in King of Prussia. Classic like clams casino, veal parm and manicotti are going to be on offer at the Sheraton Valley Forge (480 N. Gulph Rd.)
Today's Afternoon Snacks has tacos at Lolita, a Mexican Independence Day blowout at Cantinas uno and dos, and a milkshake at Jake's because why not!
Tonight, Taco Tuesday is coming back to Lolita (106 S. 13th St) for a second go-around. $20 gets you a casual, family-style meal including your choice of taco fillings (covering all the bases from beef and pork to mahi to mushrooms), a stack of tortillas, sides including mexican street corn and bbq baked beans, and salsas to top it all off. Check out the full menu here. Oh, and as always, it’s BYO tequila.
In our opinion, a milkshake makes a perfect snack. Actually, more often than we’d like to admit, they make for an entire meal. And Jake’s Sandwich Board (122 S. 12th St.) has a special shake for September that’s setting our hearts aflutter: the birch beer shake! Sure, it’s a little like a float, but way better because it’s homogeneous. (Sorry, float fans, but you know you’re just mixing it up anyway.)
If Taco Tuesday and the beautiful, sunny weather the atmosphere’s lined up for us this weekend have you in the mood for more Mexican, check out what Cantina Los Caballitos (1651 E. Passyunk Ave.) and Cantina Dos Segundos (931 N. 2nd St.) have planned for Sunday, Sept. 16th. Both locations are throwing an all-day Mexican Independence Day celebration, with tons of food and drink specials on board. Try a “Mexican Flag” (a potent combo of Espolon Blanco tequila, lime juice, and sangrita) for $6, or a red, white, or green margarita for just $5 a pop. We’re celebrating freedom here, though, so you might as well get in the spirit and spring for one of each. Food specials for the day will include menudo and queso fundido con huitlacoche y rajas, amongst other tasty additions.
And in case you want to know more about these tri-colored margaritas, here's the full breakdown:
Margarita Verdeo (cucumber, basil, lime juice)
Margarita Roja (Jarritos tutifruit soda, lime juice, orange juice)
Margarita Blanca (coconut, pineapple)
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