Archive: October, 2009
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Meal Ticket dropped by the kitchen at P.Y.T. yesterday for a peek at what Tommy Up last week dubbed his World Fucking Champion (WFC) Burger. Chef Kevin Maskol walked us through the construction of the $25 beast (named, of course, after Chutley's timeless parade-day quotable), which'll be available as a special starting today at 5 p.m. and ending whenever the Phillies get around to shaming the Yankees into perpetual submission.
The Piazza burger joint just started sourcing game from Texas' Broken Arrow Ranch ï¿½ Maskol starts by forming an 8-ounce patty (P.Y.T.'s signature burger is 5 ounces) of the purveyor's free-range venison meat, which is blended with 20 percent beef fat to bump up juiciness. It's cooked medium-rare or medium (max), then topped with an ounce lobe of pan-seared foie gras, a shallot/cranberry relish and rutabaga straws. They melt a few generous slices of Memoire black truffle gouda on the top half of a brioche bun (not on the patty) before completing the plate with hand-cut spicy butternut squash chips. We got an opportunity to sample a couple bites of the burger, and it's balanced, if decadent ï¿½ you can most definitely taste the foie in each bite, and that truffled cheese is an umami-tastic buddy for the venison, lean and subtle by its very nature.
Since this is a Tommy Up production, there's a sprinkle of extra flash involved, beyond the built-in notoriety of being the most expensive burger in Philly right now (it edges out Jose Garces' Whiskey King alphaburger by $1 in the price column). Every WFC will be finished off with a sparkler bearing a Phillies pendant (not pictured). "Yes, a little over the top," Up admits. "But we're the World Fucking Champions, and this is the burger to go with it."
|Twitpic | UWISHUNU|
Hell of a deal today (and every Tuesday) at Paul (1120 Pine St.) ï¿½it's "Neighborhood Appreciation Day," meaning you can get a three-course meal for just 20 bones. Effie Bouikidis-Schweich, who opened the Pine Street BYOB in July with sister Christina Jimenez, tells Meal Ticket that chef Adam Merlin will switch up the courses every week, but it's basically a soup/salad, entrï¿½e and dessert breakdown. Wednesday to Sunday (Paul's closed Monday), they offer a $30 three-courser off the menu, too.
Thanks to the Meal Ticket tipster that put us on to this one: Shinju Sushi, the popular neighborhood BYO at 930 Locust, is in the process of moving a few blocks to the northeast to 719 Walnut, the former home of Aso Sushi, which closed in July. This new space is nearly three times the size of their current digs, and the move'll coincide with a name change ï¿½ Shinju will soon be known as The Fat Salmon. This'll all go down seamlessly in the month of November, a staffer tells Meal Ticket; The Fat Salmon will also be BYOB, and they'll keep the same menu (with a few additions). Oh, and if you're fond of the sushi-themed movie posters that decorate Shinju, rest easy: They're working on an entirely new series for the move.
Darin Picorella says he's thisclose to opening Grey Social (132 Chestnut St.)ï¿½ ï¿½ as of right now he's committing to "this weekend" for the debut. (This project's been in the works for awhile ï¿½ we first had word of it back in May.)
The story on this address is that it operated as a teahouse before Prohibition, and then later as a speakeasy, so Picorella's nodding to both traditions with dï¿½cor and bevs. A triple-tiered chandelier is the centerpiece of the ground floor (the second floor is about a month behind), hanging in a main room, past the bar area, that features low lounge tables, exposed brick walls with candle recesses and a classy leather wraparound banquette. Edison lightbulbs and aluminum cafï¿½ tables round out the speakeasy feel. Drink-wise, they'll be mixing classics ï¿½ the French 75, the Clover Club ï¿½ as well as a selection of tea-based tipples (spiced rum, black tea, cran, simple syrup, grenadine; ZEN Green Tea liqueur, dry sake; Beefeater, chilled Earl Grey, lemon, sugar, lime).
Picorella's been renting out Grey for a number of events over the past few weeks to warm up his staff ï¿½ this Thursday, for example, he's hosting a $500-minimum fundraiser for State Senator Anthony H. Williams. Opening hours will be Mon., 4:30 p.m.-midnight; Tue.-Wed., 4:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; and Thu.-Sat., noon-2 a.m.
After the jump, take a look at Grey's opening menu, which is affordable and has a French bistro feel ï¿½ tartares, raw bar, crepes, an en croute selection, etc.
Chopped Filet, Quail Egg, Parmigiano, Dijon, Ice Cream 12
Yellow Fin Tuna and Scallop
Carpaccio of Watermellon, Mirin, Daikon Radish, Ginger and Wasabi Oil 10
Roasted Beetï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Chevre, Verjus and Petite Greens 7
Port Poached Pearï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Roquefort, Honey and Fig Jam 6ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
FRUITS DE MER
Oysters du Jourï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
1/2 dozen on the half shell 11
Littleneck Clamsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
1/2 dozen on the Half shell, Spicy Tomato Salsa 9
Shrimp Cocktail "Grey Style"ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Jumbo Shrimp, Louisï¿½ XIII Sauceï¿½ 12
Petite Lobster Tailsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Saffron Remoulade 15ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Served with: French Kettle Chips, Cornichons, Pommerey Mustard
Croque - Monsieurï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
"Toasted Ham and Cheese" Jambon and Gruyere Cheeseï¿½ 8
Mini Philly Cheese Steaksï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Shaved Certified Angus Tenderloin, Sauteed Onions, Banana Pepper, Raclette Cheeseï¿½ 8
Furmaggi Aux Tomato "Panini Style"ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Toasted Tomato and Cheeseï¿½ï¿½ 7
French Dip "Shabu Shabu"ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Horseradish Brandade, Sliced Baguetteï¿½ 8
Crab Cake Slidersï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Mini-Crab Cake sandwiches served on French Boules, Chimay Creole Mustard Mayonnaiseï¿½ 10
Pan Bagnatï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Split-Loaf Brushed with Olive Oil, Onion Slices, Green Pepper, White Anchovies, Tomato Slices, Champagne Vinaigrette 6ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
BAGUETTES / BRUSCHETTA
Tomato and Basilï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Vine Ripened Tomato and Thai Basilï¿½ 6
Wild Mushroom & Boursinï¿½ï¿½ 7
Hummus "Roasted Garlic"ï¿½ï¿½ 6
French Herbed Cream cheese with Crabï¿½ 10
Roasted Pear and Blueï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Toasted Walnutï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ 8
Creamed Salt Cod, Chive and Fingerling Potato 8
Vegetarian Cellophane Rollsï¿½ï¿½ 5ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Tomato, Ginger, Jam
Grey House Saladï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Organic Greens, Red Onions and Tomatoesï¿½ 5
Verte A La Nicoiseï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Haricots Vertes with Red Onion, Tuna, Hard Cooked Egg, Fingerling Potato, Capers and French Herbs 8
With toasted Gnocchi, Frisee, Bacon, Poached Egg and Sherry Vinaigrette 9
Agnolotti Pastaï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
With Pesto, Artichoke, Red Pepper and Tomato Surbot 7
Shrimp and Avacadoï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Lemon Tyme Vinaigrette 10
Coq Au Vinï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Natural Springer Mountain Chicken Breast, Pinot Noir-Infused, Mushroom Duxelle, Smoked Bacon 8
Chilean Sea Bassï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Marinated in Miso and Sake Glaze, Duxelle of Shitake Mushrooms, White Truffle Oil 10
Beef Wellingtonï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Beef Tenderloin, Blue Cheese and Baconï¿½ 10
Salmon Oscarï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Fresh Atlantic Salmon, Bernaise Sauce, Young Spinach 7
Brie and Framboisseï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Pomegranate and Corbarnet Molasses, Marcona Almondsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ 5
Snails cooked in Burgundy Chervil, Garlic 10
Quiche Lorraineï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Egg, Cream Custard and Smoked Bacon in an Open Pie Crust 6
Charred Tomato Soupï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Gruyere Cheese Straws 5
Roasted "Three Onion Gratinee"ï¿½ 8
Cream of Asparagusï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Asparagus Tips and Bechamel 7
A Rich Creamy Puree of Pumpkin and Potato, Grated Nutmeg, Raisin Walnut, Toast Points 5
Vichy Carrot and Gingerï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Lilett Chastally, Toasted Brioche 6
French Marinated Olivesï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Tarragon Pernod Marinade 4
Stuffed Figsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Chevre, Marcona Almonds, Burgundy Syrupï¿½ 4
Crispy Artichoke Petalsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Warm Parmigiano Crustedï¿½ 4
Smoked Salmon Canapesï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Caperberries, Parsley Oil, Crï¿½me Fraiche 5
Grilled Octopus ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½
With Citrus Salad, Micro Mint 5
Smoked Troutï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Endive spears, Kumquat and Grapefruit Salad 5
Asian Dumplingsï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Chicken and Cashew, African Peanut Sauce 4
Bento Boxï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
An Assortment of Traditional French Pastriesï¿½ 7
French Waffle (Serves 2)ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
Warm Belgian Waffle, with French Vanilla Gelato Pernod Scented 10
Selection of Sorbet or Ice Creamï¿½ 6
Butter Poached Lobsterï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
With Asparagus Sauce Americaine 15
Roast Chicken and Spinachï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ ï¿½
With Gruyere and Tomato Hollandaise 12
Wild Mushroom, Warm Potatoes, Roasted Onion, and Sauce Mornay 15
|Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Eric Asimov unravels the mysteries of stout in the New York Times today, tasting 19 bottles of the North American versions of the United Kingdom classic.
PEOPLE get stuck on the word stout. It confuses, the way it connotes size and fleshiness. And the color, too ï¿½ inky, impenetrable black ï¿½ suggests mass and power. As a result, many people think stout is a formidable blockbuster of an ale, heavy and alcoholic, just the way they assume darker roasts of coffee have more caffeine than lighter roasts. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Stout in its classic form is one of the lighter ales, paradoxically full-bodied yet delicate.
As a bartender with a nitro tap devoted to Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout, a local riff on the quintessential dry, roasty Irish stout that most of us tasted first in Guinness, people daily wrinkle their noses when I suggest they try the black brew.ï¿½ "It's so heavy. It makes me feel so full," is the common refrain.
Nevermind that a dry Irish stout has fewer calories (about 100 per 12 ounces) and less alcohol (4.5 to 6 percent for most; excepting big Imperial or double styles)ï¿½ than a typical IPA.ï¿½ï¿½ The solution?ï¿½ Read Asimov's rundown for the top tastes in their field, then taste a fresh, sprightly local version -- with your eyes closed.
|Courtesy of Jolly's
Jolly's Dueling Piano Bar (2006 Chestnut St.), which Meal Ticket has been following for a few months now, opens to the public this coming Friday, Oct. 30 (a World Series off day) at 3 p.m. Here's a peek inside Jolly Weldon's new 125-seat space, the centerpiece of which will be two baby grands (not pictured) that'll double as battle stations for pianists Anthony "Tony T" DeCarolis and "Wildman Joe" Marchetti (more on concept here). On Friday, the music, which'll normally run Tuesday to Saturday from 8 p.m. on, will begin early, at 6; Jolly's first day will also see the unveiling of their happy hour (6-8 p.m.), which'll feature $3 cocktails, $3 wine/beer and $3 eats (sliders, flatbread pizzas, hummus, guac, etc.).
After the jump, more interior pics, a few looks at the food and the opening menu/drink list.
|Courtesy of Jolly's|
Here are the specialty cocktail list and the small-plates menu, the latter of which was put together by chef/caterer Brendan Smith, owner of the nearby *smiths restaurant | lounge (39-41 S. 19th St.):
|Click to enlarge|
|Have a beer, dear.|
Saturday, Oct. 31 is the deadline for entering your best home-brewed beer into Mï¿½mï¿½'s (2201 Spruce St.) second homebrew competition going down Nov. 3.ï¿½ Visit the restaurant Wednesday through Saturday between 1 and 4 p.m. with a sample of your best-home brewed offering for chef/owner David Katz to try: the top ten entries will be judged by attendees as well as beer experts George Hummel (Home Sweet Homebrew), Suzanne Woods (BeerLass) and Chris Fetfatzes (Bella Vista Beer Distributors) for a winner-takes-all prize of Best In Show.
The $25 event ticket buys samples of all the homebrews, plus plenty of beer from sponsors Sly Fox, Victory, Unibroue and Ommegang.ï¿½ Guest chef Joe Chmiko of Resurrection Ale House will be plating up lamb skewers, roasted cauliflower with sweet and sour onions and pan con tomate, homemade grilled bread with chorizo, tomato and manchego cheese -- all items from Resurrection's lunch/dinner menu.ï¿½ Host chef/owner David Katz will throw down tasty bites as well, but today is the man's birthday and we're not calling him on his day off.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Chew Man Chu, in the Symphony House at Broad and Pine, opens to the public this coming Wednesday, Oct. 28. Tons of photos and info after the jump.
This noodle/dumpling bar concept (first mentioned earlier this month) represents a dramatic shift from Grims' first Du Jour city location, which the restaurateur (Moshulu, White Dog, The Inlet, Daddy O's) opened in Symphony House in the summer of 2008 ï¿½ there's nothing quite like Chew in this part of the city, so they're hoping it becomes both a dining destination as well as a regular lunch/dinner drop-in for near neighbors (they're doing takeout, curbside pick-up and delivery). Du Jour's hyper-mod interior is now done up with plenty of deep, sexy reds, oranges and purples, with neat talking points like the wall of koi fish-laden plates behind the bar and a chef's counter where guests can watch the cooks work a giant steam cooker and a triumvurate of huge woks.
Chew's chef is Tyson Wong Ophaso, who learned the ropes in France working under titans like Paul Bocuse and Daniel Boulud before landing in NYC and opening/running a number of restaurants, most notably Chinatown Brasserie. In 2007, he relocated to Cali in 2007 to join the Domaine Restaurant Group as a corporate chef. (It was during this Left Coast stint that Ophaso fought Masaharu Morimoto on an ep of Iron Chef America, where he was edged in Battle Curry.) Grims brought Ophaso on board about five months back, primarily for his in-the-works 300-seat concept in Commerce Square (code name "Ginger"), but the chef ended up tacking on this project, too.
The gregarious Ophaso was kind enough to walk us through a portion of his tour-of-Asia menu, which is big (50-plus items) but not expensive ($19's the top asking price, and most items are designed for sharing). What we sampled, in photo order (see full menu below):
- Roti with yellow curry
- Chili sauce, chili vinegar and soy sauce (all housemade)
- Vegan dumplings
- Shrimp dumplings
- Soup dumplings (oxtail, blue crab, pork shoulder; in a broth of Chinese white wine, tarragon jus and black vinegar)
- Crispy Chinese salad (sans chicken spring rolls)
- Five spice pork belly bun
- Housemade pancakes
- Mooshu (chicken or tofu/veg)
- Salt and pepper shrimp with spicy garlic aioli
- Pork and shrimp potstickers
- Shrimp curry
- Korean-style barbecue kalbi (short rib)
- Fried doughnuts with honey and powdered sugar
Ophaso, who's Thai, Chinese and Indonesian by descent, is adamant about the fact that he's not reinventing anything with Chew's menu ï¿½ rather, he's focused on sharing clean, simple flavors from Southeast Asia and beyond and fixating on quality by producing everything in-house, including his own recipe for soy sauce. The chef's high-end pedigree probably shines through most prominently, though, in his plating, which is absolutely gorgeous for this price point (see those salt and pepper shrimp).
Here's the opening menu, plus the beer, wine and cocktail lists:
|Click to enlarge|
Amidst apocalyptic typhoons Saturday night, 18 guests squeezed into Philly Kitchen Share (1514 South St.) to taste Tim McGinnis and Brian McManus'ï¿½ interpretation of their Philadelphia Weekly cover story collaboration with Adam Erace, Must Eats. Together with guest chef Brad Jennings, the Spinal Tapas founders dished out nine courses based on the city's can't-miss plates. Team Meal Ticket was kindly treated to the experience by the event's organizers.
Highlights included green pickles and beets from A.J.'s Pickle Patch to start things off on a crisp note; a black sea bass ceviche with an addictive tamari romesco sauce based on a Chifa dish; the sticky-zippy contrast of a fennel and fig mostarda with stinky Taleggio (the condiment to Fiorella's hot fennel-seed sausage on Parc baguette) and a transcendent braised lamb shoulder with lamb and veal demi and tarragon on more lovely Parc baguette, based on Michael Solomonov's dish at Zahav.
McGinnis assured Meal Ticket that this evening was just the first of many Spinal Tapas dinners. "You know StudioKitchen?" he asked, referring to chef Shola Olunloyo's signature multi-course tasting dinners served in his home. "We're going to do StudioKitchen for the common man."
|Courtesy of 10 Arts|
Monica Glass at 10 Arts (The Ritz Carlton, 10 S. Broad St.) has caught the Phever, and it seems to be contagious, as it's spreading into her work. These red velvet Phillies cupcakes are the latest edition to the pastry chef's mini cupcake trio, which is available both at lunch and dinner for $10. Wonder if Glass, chef Jennifer Carroll and the rest of the 10 Arts crew have challenged the Le Bernardin mothership over the impending World Series. What would two of Eric Ripert's kitchens draw up as terms, anyway? Buckets of caviar? Scrubbing each other's walk-ins? Ripert doing a lap around the dining room dressed as the Phanatic? (So Phrench!)
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