Archive: January, 2013
Marc Vetri and his restaurant family are pretty well known for their charitable and educational efforts through the Vetri Foundation. But even before they had their own initiative, they forged a lasting relationship with children's cancer-fighting org Alex's Lemonade Stand. Vetri and business partners/Jeffs Benjamin and Michaud were responsible for creating the Great Chefs Event in 2005—and for growing it into an event that in 2012 alone raised more than $1 million. Their influence and connections have also drawn other chefs around the country into creating their own programs to benefit ALSF.
So it's no big surprise that Alex's Lemonade Stand has chosen Vetri, Benjamin, and Michaud as the recipients of its 2013 Alex Scott Crystal Cup, the top honor to be presented at this weekend's Lemon Ball. The annual gala will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown (1201 Market St.) on Sat., Jan. 12. Tickets are $250 and can be purchased here; in addition to the Vetri family honors, awards will be given to top fundraisers and volunteers for the charity over the past year. And, of course, there will also be all the dinner and drinks and dancing and top-to-bottom revelry you'd expect of a gala event to celebrate saving kids' lives.
On today's Afternoon Snacks, brunch and Sunday supper menus to help you plan out your weekend.
Starting this month, Russet (1521 Spruce St.) is giving a little adjustment to their (already excellent) brunch. Hours remain 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays, but will run from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sundays to provide a little more wiggle room for anyone who rides the snooze button a little too hard. (P.S., Russet’s a BYOB, but they’ve got bloody mary mix if you’ve got the vodka.) Menus change each week, but here’s the current selection:
Tim Spinner's suburban Mexican destination Cantina Feliz (424 S. Bethlehem Pike, Ft. Washington) is celebrating its second birthday with a celebratory prix fixe menu, available starting tonight through Sat., Jan. 19. The special menu features tuna ceviche, salmon tacos, duck sopes, and an as-yet-undecided dessert for $26, with optional wine pairings for an additional $12.
In this weekend's New York Times travel section Freda Moon spends the weekend in Philly and hits up some of our favorite spots around town. On Friday night she heads out to the U-City outpost of Han Dynasty (3711 Market St.) for happy hour tiki cocktails and dan dan noodles and then over to Fishtown for barbecue at Fette Sau (1208 Frankford Ave.) and beers and bands at Johnny Brenda's (1201 N. Frankfort Ave.).
It would be easy to recommend brunch stand-bys like Sabrina's or Green Eggs but Moon went with two less hollandaise-y South Philly options: the unbeatable combo of fried chicken and fancies at Federal Donuts (1219 S. 2nd St.) and French-Vietnamese patisserie Artisan Boulangerie (1646 S. 12th St.). Lunch is mussels at Monk's (246 S. 16th St.) followed by the world's best gelato at Capogiro (119 S. 13th St.) and stroll down 13th St. to a BYOB farm-to-table dinner at The Farm and Fisherman (1120 Pine St.).
After dinner cocktails at both Franklin Mortgage (112 S. 18th St.) and The Ranstead Room (2013 Ranstead St.) make that infused vodka bloody mary at National Mechanics (11 S. 3rd. St.) pretty much a must.
Head over to The Times for more on this well planned weekend in Philly. There are more than just restaurants on the agenda, we promise.
At the end of this month, mega-popular Pub & Kitchen will close for a short renovation, and when it reopens in February, Jonathan Adams won't be the chef. He's leaving to concentrate on Rival Bros., the roasting company he operates with pal Damien Pileggi. No replacement has been named yet. Meanwhile, the Pub & Kitchen crew's Fitler Dining Room will open later this month in the old Meme space. Chef is Robert Marzinsky, a PK and Diving Horse veteran most recently at Stateside. A taste of the opening menu includes oyster stew, porcini-poached chicken with savory bread pudding and gnocchi with Burgundy snails and Chartreuse butter. Happy trails to Jon and good luck to Rob.
Fans of the big red Hub Bub Coffee truck will soon have the option of visiting them in a more permanent Center City locale: the new Hub Bub Coffee Shop (1717 Arch St.) is scheduled to open on Mon., Jan. 14.
Just like on the truck, coffee and espresso beans will come from various sources, including Fishtown's ReAnimator and Portland-based Stumptown. But the shop will come with plenty of perks beyond shelter from the cold, like wifi and a huge wraparound bar to perch at and some nice outdoor seating once the weather warms up.
And no worries, University City: the truck will stay parked on 38th St. (between Spruce and Locust) on weekdays, same as ever.
Cocktail Party: Adam Erace had just finished eating pizza when a message on my phone proffered a mysterious invitation from a number I didn’t recognize: “Good evening, Mr. Erace. This is Lee from Hop Sing Laundromat, and I would like to invite you in for a personal tasting at your convenience.”
Cookbook Shelf: Check out a volume that transports you to a place where healthy eating is an ancient tradition, produce is abundant and meals are centered around fresh vegetables, grains and olive oil. That place is Israel and the cookbook is Jerusalem (Ten Speed, October 2012) by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
Local sandwich scribe and sketcher Hawk Krall has teamed up with urban improvement blog Next City to give us a vision of the future of South Philly's famed Passyunk Avenue. Hawk's contribution illustrates a miniseries of case studies about urban corridors the beat the odds penned by Ryan Biggs.
Passyunk has been on the up and up for a while and in Hawk's depiction is a look at things that may very well pop up sometime in the near future and would be right at home on the Ave. He's got a ramen spot next to the former King of Jeans, which has been transformed into a loft building complete with rooftop Phillies fans (and thankfully, that amazing sign stays put), a vegan hot dog truck and 24-hour taco shop interspersed with brick and mortar spots like The Bottle Shop, Beautiful World Syndicate and Green Aisle Grocery. Say what you will about gentrification, Hawk's version looks pretty tasty.
On today's Afternoon Snacks we've got a seasonal outdoor pop-up in Bucks Co., Hawk Krall rounding up his favorite hot dogs of the year, and a great afternoon snack suggestion from Craig LaBan.
Uwishunu has all the details on the Snow Bar at Chaddsford Winery, which sounds like a lovely stop if you’ll be doing any local touristing during the snowy season. Only open on weekends now through March, the space is a heated tent with fire pits and mulled wine (or wine cocktails, or, y’know, wine wine) in the midst of a picturesque Bucks County setting that, with any luck, will be blanketed in snow when you visit.
In this week's South Philly Review Phyllis Stein-Novack decides to make her way back to Passyunk beer bar Devil's Den (1148 S. 11th St.) to see if the pub grub fared any better since her initial review back in '08.
Upon first review PSN and Cousin Carl couldn't find too much to love, calling the meal lacking on all levels. Luckily newly instated chef Tom Trowbridge, who won PSN's heart with the burgers at Moriarty's Pub, has greatly improved the offering.
On this past visit, a day after Christmas, PSN rolled in with husband Edward in two. The pair kicked off their meal with two flights from the huge and overwhelming beer list. Things were off to a good start with pleasant pub decor (with linen napkins!), helpful service and happy hour pricing on the beers.
A duck flatbread was sweetened with caramelized red onions and heated to perfection.
PSN has been suffering from a period of burger disappointment as of late but the Devil's Den prime burger finished with bacon and Gorgonzola was met with an enthusiastic response.
A roast roulade of chicken breast stuffed with chorizo was finished with a marvelous, intensely flavored pan sauce that rivaled PSN's Thanksgiving gravy.
Housemade, buttery crusted pecan pie topped off with fresh whipped cream was good enough to make PSN regret not taking a slice or two to go.
It appears as though Devil's Den has truly redeemed itself with a very good three tips of the toque.
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