Archive: December, 2009
|Photo | Justin Bauer|
- Justin Bauer and Char Vandermeer round up the best cookbooks of 2009, and let you know which tomes will make for the sexiest gifts. They peruse books from John Besh, David Chang, Michael Ruhlman and more. Above: a Portuguese dish from David Leite.
-Trey Popp visits G-Ho's Resurrection Ale House ï¿½ digs the beer selection and grub (especially the vegetarian options), feels the bread could use a little work.
- It may be haunted, it may be kinda gay, but it's definitely Fishtown ï¿½ Andrew Thompson drops by Luke's Bar to see what's shaking.
- What's Cooking is chockfulla holiday cheer this time around ï¿½ Carolers' Dinners, toy drives, Santa-ish pub crawls and the like abound.
- In Feeding Frenzy, we note some of the last openings of 2009, including Avenida, Lafayette Bistro and Sampan.
Christina Hendricks, who plays the diabolically beautiful Joan Harris on Meal Ticket obsession Mad Men, is amazing in real life too because she hosts holiday parties catered by NPH's boyfriend and mixes pretty cocktails. Head to People's site for the recipe for Red's "Corzo Pumpkin Spice Cocktail," which combines Corzo Reposado tequila, pumpkin spice liquor, OJ and agave nectar/simple syrup. Also, Don Draper is ENDLESSLY COMPLEX.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Popped into Maccabeam (128 S. 12th St.) to grab something to go for lunch today without realizing that the spot is now called Glatt Delight. (The awning and menus still read Maccabeam.) Apparently it's been this way for a minute. Not sure how different the food approach is, but it certainly seems similar to Maccabeam, if not identical ï¿½ got a tasty kefta kabob sandwich on laffa.
SNACK TIME: cupcakes and chandeliers, "brilliantly tight" at Zavino, shopping for burgers at Johnny B's, anti-seasonal Campari cocktail, weaning Rittenhouse off the public teat
|HughE Dillon at Philly Chit Chat|
|Pretty things at Philly Cupcake|
Every Wednesday, Meal Ticket pokes around the food blog world to see what's simmering.
--Snaps man HughE Dillon visited Philly Cupcake just before they opened for business to share rainbow-hued shots of tiny cakes, the $10,000 chandelier and Isabella the be-frocked mannequin in the front window, all on Philly Chit Chat.
--Kleinsider has the menu for Zavino, upcoming at 13th & Sansom; he approves, deeming it "a brilliantly tight selection of easy-on-the-budget antipasti, a few hot dishes, and pizzas -- all befitting the snug space."
-- UWISHUNU solves your last-minute holiday shopping/drinking conundrum with details on Johnny Brenda's Holiday Bazaar this Saturday.
-- Neal of Burning Pasta will wear white shoes in winter if he pleases, thank you, and drink Campari all year long.ï¿½ Reject seasonal restraints with his apertif-ready Eurorail Cocktail with Earl Gray and Grand Marnier.
-- The Illadelph reports that the Friends of Rittenhouse Square are looking for ways to monetize the city's swankest green space; first thing that they're thinking?ï¿½ Permanent concessions.
Meal Ticket just touched base with former Flyers captain Keith Primeau, who tells us he's opening a Bain's Deli location on the northeast corner of Broad and Lombard, in what was formerly a Chinese restaurant. The 35-seat space, which Primeau hopes to open in mid-January, will feature an expanded selection of hot foods and salads in addition to the base Bain's menu; they'll pour La Colombe coffee, too. The deli will be open breakfast through dinner, and will have flat screens and wireless access. "It'll be a good place to grab a bite or a cup of coffee and catch up on the day's news or sports ï¿½ a place to hang your hat," says Primeau.
Primeau, who played center for the Flyers from 1999 to 2006, is no stranger to the industry ï¿½ he owns a bar/restaurant in his native Ontario and runs concessions at Flyers Skate Zone in Pennsauken. He first hooked up with Bain's through a friend of his, the franchisee of the Bain's location in the Deptford Mall.
Tongiht from 7 to 9, pop by Beneluxx (33 S. Third St.) for half-price appetizers and draft holiday brews (yes, they'll have Mad Elf) that'll also be specially priced. It's a chance to check the tasting room's new menu ï¿½ they've still got all the cheeses, fondues and chocolates to poke through, but they now feature some small entrï¿½es.
UPDATE: So here's some more on Beneluxx's new approach. New chef Dan Kauffman has introduced some new starters and salads, as well as entrï¿½e-size plates like butternut squash ravioli with rosemary brown butter sauce and a New York strip au poivre. There's now a prix-fixe meal option, too. In the first half of January, they'll be overhauling their beer and wine lists, so keep an eye out for that.
In his roundup of the 10 best new restaurants in the USA for the January issue of GQ , Alan Richman has had the good taste to hail Philadelphia BYOB Bibou (1009 S. Eighth St.) as number seven.ï¿½ The full article won't be available on GQ's Web site until tomorrow when it goes live at 9 a.m. EST, but we can tease the fact that Richman is a definite Francophile and enjoys the braised, foie-stuffed pigs' feet almost as much as we do.
Bibou joins such exalted company as Jose Andres' Bazaar in L.A. and big-ticket Italian Marea in Manhattan on the list, and is proof positive great cooking and atmosphere doesn't have to come with a liquor license.ï¿½ï¿½ So from GQ to you, Pierre and Charlotte, fï¿½licitations.
The January issue of GQ hits newsstands Dec. 22; read the article online here when it goes live Wed., Dec. 16 at 9 a.m. EST.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
A Meal Ticket tipster told us to check out something fishy going on at Mezza Luna/Bella Luna at Eighth and Christian, so we popped by yesterday evening for a look. This past summer, the former Paxia was taken over by Pietro Dï¿½Abbraccio, who moved his Mezza Luna restaurant from 763 S. Eighth to this corner space. As of right now, though, the space is dark, locked up with a heavy chain, and a note on the door reads as follows:
Left the restaurant unlocked!
I put on the chain!
I am contacting my attorney!
Dec 7th, 2009
A search of Philadelphia's Common Pleas Court docket turns up a Nov. 13 filing against D'Abbraccio, bearing the address of the restaurant, that seeks more than $16,000 in damages. (According to The Insider, a very similar thing happened with Mezza Luna's original space down the block.)
The restaurant's phone line is disconnected, but we've written an e-mail to D'Abbraccio in an attempt to get more information on the matter.
Chef couple Edgar and Kim Alvarez will open the doors of Avenida (7402 Germantown Ave., 267-385-6857) this Thursday, Dec. 17.ï¿½ The kitchen takes inspiration from Edgar's Guatemalan heritage, with a menu of quesadillas, tamales and enchiladas that tops out at $20.ï¿½ï¿½ The former Cresheim Cottage Cafï¿½, a historic house that dates back to the early 1700s, was given a remodel by the Alvarezes, who exposed the original warm hardwood trim and open hearth by sanding down layers of paint.ï¿½ A petite, three-seat bar opens on to a dining room painted in bright saffron and decorated with Latin art objects and woven textiles; the French doors of the second dining room give a view of a flagstone patio where tables will be set up in the warmer months.
The cooks were busy preparing for tonight's friends and family service, but kindly stopped to make an appetizer and entree that represent Avenida's menu for use to photograph. ï¿½ The el biche (pictured, $9) is an "Ecuadorian bouillabaisse" that merges achiote-marinated shrimp, scallops, red snapper, plantains, potatoes and roasted peppers in a red snapper seafood stock for a warmingï¿½ starter.ï¿½ A bone-in breast and thigh are steamed in a banana leaf for chicken mishote (pictured), sauced with pasilla, guaillo and ancho chilies and served with leeks, peas, green beans and carrots and a side of steamed Spanish rice. Since Avenida is keen on welcoming families, kid's entrees will be permanent fixtures, alongside grown-up fare like pepita and pistachio crusted tuna and grilled octopus with tequila roasted tomatoes.
If you watched last night's Monday Night Football for more than a few offensive series, you probably saw all three of these locally produced South Philly pizzeria commercials. All three are amazing and all three raise hilarious potential copyright infringement concerns.
This Uncle Tomy's ad, featuring an amazing Hulk impersonator, is new to television, but has already won serious respect from us. ABSOLUTELY THE BEST PIZZA AROUND, BROTHER!
This ad for Not Just Pizza, or NJP, flips "OPP" in a way you can probably imagine. Our favorite part is the dude in the gorilla suit dancing next to the dude in the banana suit. Also, watch this slightly older NJP ad if you want to see a terrifying demonic CGI penguin who talks like the AFLAC duck. (Just ... watch it.)
This one's been around the longest of the three ï¿½ Steak 'Em Up's ad reworks a notable tune by a notable band whose name rhymes with "The Smars."
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