Archive: October, 2012
By now, you've probably seen here and on Twitter plenty of updates on what's open and what's not around the city. But you might just want to hole up where it's safe and dry: pour yourself a drink, and get in some cooking and internet-browsing while you still can!
One fun thing about the storm is browsing Twitter and Instagram for a peak at what some of our favorite chefs get up to on a compulsory rainy day off. For example, Stateside's George Sabatino is working on a chicken and kale soup, and it looks like Rich Landau of Vedge has some veggie pho in the offing. (Meanwhile, our own Adam Erace is posting mac and cheese porn.)
As far as drinks go, the obvious choice is a Hurricane, but that sounds a little elaborate to us. Plus, if your power goes out, you won't want to keep opening up the fridge to grab all of those fruit juices.
Red wine, of course, is the go-to bad weather drink for those in the know: no refrigeration, ice, or complicated fumbling around in the dark required. But if you get bored—or if you stocked up on the cheap stuff in a panic and it could use some help—there's room for experimentation. You could try mixing up some kalimotxo (a 50-50 mix of wine and Coke), though that does benefit from ice if you can spare it. And while there's always sangria, a simpler treat would be to simply macerate some fruit in wine (here's a recipe, though you could do something with apples or pears or whatever fruit you've got sitting around). Of course, if you're feeling chilly, nothing can beat mulled wine.
Finally, this has no earthly thing to do with food, but this archival footage of old storms is pretty incredible. Something to watch while you curl upon the couch with a mug of mulled wine and wait Sandy out.
Alright guys, things are getting pretty serious. The Insider is reporting that all PLCB liquor stores are closed for the day. This is a pretty major bummer if you didn't have the foresight to stock up yesterday. Instead of breaking out that dusty bottle of creme de menthe you can head over to Bella Vista Beer Distributors who are open for all of your beer needs.
Eater has caught word that all Northeast Starbucks locations are closing their doors in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. Looks like you're going to have to channel your inner barista skills until the storm passes. Or you can head over to Ultimo/Brew to stock up on fair trade coffee for home brewing and a cache of craft beers.
And should you decide to head out into the storm Foobooz is tracking the who's who of open Philadelphia area restaurants and bars via Twitter. Just use the #OpeninPHL hashtag for the latest in spots to weather the hurricane.
While most folks will be battening down the hatches and spending the duration of today and tomorrow in the safety and comfort of our respective homes, it's worth a mention that should one get the itch to brave the weather for a bit of company and entertainment Brauhaus Schmitz (718 South St.) is open and ready to party.
Beginning at 4 p.m. today they're hosting a Bags to Riches party with BYO board games and $5 mystery brown bag beer specials. Along with discounted liters and half liters, Brauhaus will be giving away prizes to the brave folks with a passion for beer drinking that isn't deterred by a little rain.
On Saturday Memphis Taproom (2331 E. Cumberland St.)is hosting it's annual beer-nerd-a-thon Thirstoberfest from noon to 6 p.m. Be on the lookout for rare pours from near and far including Timmerman's Pumpkin Lambic, Allagash Confluence and Great Lakes Nosferatu. And as an added bonus the beer garden hot dog truck will be serving up Thirstoberfest dogs all day long.
Kraftwork (541 E. Girard Ave.) and The Sidear Bar & Grille (2201 Christian St.) are celebrating Halloween as well at Sidecar's 7th birthday with a Harvest Hoe Down menu (think foie gras on pumpkin bread and pumpkin pappardelle with wild boar ragu) and a Pumpkin Wars carving contest. The pumpkin carving competition begins on Sunday and goes until Halloween eve when Foobooz hancho Art Etchells will be on hand to decide which masterly carved pumpkin will take home the All Hallow's gold. And of course both bars will be well stocked with a selection of fall-propriate brews.
Have Thanksgiving dinner out and sample some great seasonal shakes, on today's Afternoon Snacks!
While we’ve talked a lot about places to pre-order elements of your Thanksgiving meal and even one that will cook an entire take-out feast for you, maybe you’d just as soon go out and hand the whole thing over to someone else. If so, the menu at Supper (926 South St.) looks awfully good. It’s $59 per person ($30 for kids), and you’ll need to make reservations; they're open from 1 to 7:30 p.m. on the holiday.
You’ll want to lock down reservations sooner rather than later for this: Vedge (1221 Locust St.) is pairing up with Belgian specialists 12% Imports for a dinner pairing barrel-aged beers with Vedge’s inventive vegan dishes.
The $85 dinner is scheduled for Wed., Nov. 7: passed hors d’oeuvres will be paired with tastes of Tilquin Gueuze at 6:30 p.m., and the seated dinner begins at 7 p.m. The fall-eclectic menu, with pairings, can be found below; be sure not to fill up on roasted maitakes and curried lentil soup before they bring out the figgy toffee pudding with smoked malt ice cream.
In his first year of Il Pittore (2025 Sansom St.) chef Chris Painter’s modern interpretation of Italian cuisine has become the feather in the cap of the Stephen Starr dynasty. His subtle take on Northern Italian fare with a menu that changes regularly is never less than inspiring. Yet, unlike most restaurateurs of late - newly minted or veteran – Painter has not engaged Il Pittore in a wine dinner. Until now. This Monday, October 29, Il Pittore is hosting a five-course wine dinner with the legendary Italian winery La Spinetta and its winemaker Giorgio Rivetti. Part of why Painter waited to bring the wine comes down to the season and one particular ingredient he was hot to spring on his diners.
“We all felt that fall offered the setting we were looking for and fit with the wines and dishes we envisioned,” says Painter, adding how Rivetti and his team had been speaking about offering a dinner for some time with this particular date working best his travel schedule. And then there's the fact that it’s fresh white truffle season. Truffles from Alba in Piedmont, Italy will be used in several dishes throughout the meal and shaved table-side on Painter’s Tajarin with Duck Ragu dish.
Jeff Michaud and Brad Spence’s second installment of Dude Food has the pair making soft pretzel nuggets and a dip made with asiago, cream cheese, and beer. Between things getting dunked in hot beer cheese, seeing the chefs decked out in end-of-the-world level safety gear, an only-way-it-should-be recipe by weight, and the simple fact that the very sight of soft pretzels has an instant iron grip on some of us Philadelphians, well… there’s not much here not to like.
Speaking of lye—the stuff isn’t really that scary as long as you’re cautious, but it’s also not something you can just pick up at any corner store. So if you’d like to try your hand at pretzels but are unsure about procuring and using lye just yet, here are a couple of tips we’ve learned along the way as baking hobbyists.
Plenty of people use the simple baking soda sub mentioned in the video, but in truth, it’s lacking if you're after true pretzels. However, there is middle ground between plain old baking soda and a special-order 5-pound tub of food-grade lye. Look in Asian markets for lye water, which is used in noodle-making amongst other things, but may be more dilute than a lye solution you mix up yourself. Or take some advice from Harold McGee and just bake your baking soda to intensify it. Baking soda is about as cheap and prevalent as it gets, and the baking process is simple. When you see the difference the alkaline dunk makes, you can decide if you’ll make enough pretzels to want to commit to a lye order.
Caveats: lye water and baked soda, even if not as strong as straight-up lye, are strong bases and should be handled with care. Don’t let kids or pets near, wear gloves, etc. If you do want to pick up some lye, it's pretty inexpensive and readily available on Amazon if you can't find it close to home (a 2 lb. container goes a long way). Delicious, hot, homemade pretzels will more than make up for the trouble.
Just a friendly reminder that there are only a few days left to purchase tickets for Monday's sure to awesome Autunno alle Brace, a South Philly style fall barbecue at Le Virtu (1927 E. Passyunk Ave.) Chefs Joe Cicala and Angela Ranalli are welcoming Stateside's George Sabatino and Scott Schroeder of SPTR and ASB. Guests can cozy up around fire pits in Le Virtu's courtyard and enjoy a bounty of fall menu including butternut squash and sage risotto, bone marrow and truffle sausage and grilled olive oil cake with roasted apples and pears.
Tickets are $90 for this fall feast and include beer and wine and attire is fall barbecue casual, think hoodies and flannels. Head over to Le Virtu's site for more info.
In the less than two years I've lived on 11th Street just east of Passyunk, the building at 1703 South has housed three different eateries. First was shade factory Family & Friends Cafe, then Adriana's, a relocated Pennsport pizzeria, both of which seemed to serve less coffee and calzones than gossip for neighborhood guys gathered out front. Little Snuff's Luncheonette, the space's new tenant, appeared to be more of the same when it opened two weeks ago, but I gotta tell ya, I stopped in for a Little Snuff's Special, a Sarcone's roll stuffed with crispy, well seasoned chicken cutlets, thin shaved provolone, crunchy bacon and honey mustard, and it was really, really, really good. (Little Snuff, I hear, is a veteran of Stogie Joe's around the corner.) Menu features fried meatballs, home-made escarole soup and such, and hours run eight-ish a.m. to five at night. Here's hoping Snuff lasts longer than his predecessors
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