Archive: March, 2010
Wishing Well Public House (Ninth and Catharine), which A.D. Amorosi told you about back in the fall, is ready to open but their liquor license is lagging a bit behind. For the past few weeks, owners Chris Martino and Carmen Cappello (also the chef) have been hosting dry-run tastings to get their bearings, and some feedback, so they're ready to hit it hard once Harrisburg gets all that paper pushed. (They hope to hold a grand opening within the next three weeks.) The duo was kind enough to invite us last night in to check out a truncated version of their opening menu.
Those who remember the tight quarters of former tenant Pat Bombino's will be surprised by the altogether open feel of the Well's interior, which features a long bar along the north wall abutted by high-top tables; the space opens up to a casual dining room, with lots of group seating, toward the back.
Here's what we sampled, in order (that burger is gonna be a serious contender, mark our words):
- SHAME burger: scrapple, fried egg, American cheese, house fries (housemade ketchup for the fries, too)
- Grilled octopus: shaved fennel, red onions, frissee, red wine vinaigrette
- Grilled ribeye: sautÃ©ed mushrooms, foie gras, roasted shallots and potatoes, horseradish sauce
- Shellfish "pirlau": clams, mussels, calamari, shrimp, Italian sausage, smoked tomato sauce
- Poached pear: streusel, oatmeal crumble, butterscotch ice cream
- Deconstructed black forest cake: chocolate pot de creme, brandied cherries, chocolate gastrique
It's Philly Beer Weekend (or Ghost Beer Week, which we think has a certain je ne sais quoi) and there's the freshly legal Russian River Supplication to line up for, the new Flying Fish Exit 16 to taste when it debuts at McGillin's on Mon. and the Saturday Craft Beer Express, shuttling drinkers between eight local beer-centric bars for $15.
But wait! Now there's a second boozy bus to guarantee your Sunday apocalyptic hangover. Varga Bar (941 Spruce St.) and Yards Brewing are sponsoring the Highbrow Bar Crawl from 3-10 p.m. tomorrow; their bus will visit five pubs, including Varga, the Khyber, Triumph, New Wave CafÃ© and the P.O.P.E. Just like the Craft Beer Express, $15 buys unlimited rides on the loop (riders buy their own drinks). Yards will be handing out swag at participating locations throughout the evening; you can snag at ticket at any of the participating bars.
Craving Buddakan's wasabi-crusted filet and lobster mash but just can't face the crowds swarming around the golden Buddha? You're in luck; Starr Restaurant Organization (SRO) has just announced a partnership with DiningIn.com, a Web-based food ordering and delivery service.
In addition to perusing menus from restaurants already linked up with the service, like Sang Kee Peking Duck House, Chifa, Auntie Anne's soft pretzels, Amada and TGI Friday's, you can now receive delivery from SRO mainstays Jones, Buddakan, Butcher & Singer, Pod, El Vez, Continental Mid-town and Alma de Cuba. Each restaurant sets a minimum dollar amount to qualify for delivery; the delivery fee is $6.99. Order at DiningIn.com or by calling 215-829-1500.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Marie D told you about Philly Beer Scene's beer brunch recipe contest back in February readers were encouraged to submit beer-infused breakfast/brunch recipes, the best of which would be cooked at an event at Hawthornes (11th and Fitzwater). Chris Fetfatzes checked in with Meal Ticket to share some details on the brunch, which is going down this Sunday, March 14.
Scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. to accommodate what will surely be a wicked-ass hangover from Saturday's Philly Beer Week(end) festivities (Alexandra Harcharek has all your event picks here), the all-you-can-eat brunch is $20 for food the menu includes wheat beer pancakes with "Beer-nanas Foster" sauce, beer and bacon mac and cheese, a Welsh rarebit with IPA-poached eggs, two-layer chocolate stout cake, another stout cake with peanut butter icing, and beer beignets (!).
To drink: Hawthornres will busy 13 different stouts they've been cellaring for the past few months specifically for this event. (They'll actually be pouring fresh pints for the brunch as opposed to just cracking bottles.)
Fetfatzes had room for about 12 more heads yesterday, and that number is surely dwindling, so get on it. UPDATE: Tix are now sold out! Sorry, kids.
|April Saul/Inquirer staff photographer|
|The Krimpet gets a new home|
Today, Inquirer staff writer Harold Brubaker takes a look at the new Navy Yard home of the Tasty Baking Co., makers of iconic local favorites Krimpets and Kandy Kakes since 1914.
Facts of note:
- The new facility cost $78 million, including $31 million in publicly subsidized financing
- Plans for the 350,000-square-foot bakery and warehouse were announced in May 2007
- Tasty Baking Co.'s market value is $60 million.
- "Tasty has estimated that it will log annual pretax savings of $13 million to $15 million, which would amount to a cost reduction of about 11 percent, based on last year's results. A one-third reduction in the bakery workforce, from 500 to 315, made possible by automation, is the biggest factor in the cost savings."
Keeping this Philadelphia company in Philadelphia is a good thing, right? Bu should public money go to fund expansion by publicly-held companies, especially when no new jobs are created?
|Barbara Johnston for the Washington Post|
We are gonna need more shelving soon, Philly, because the accolades just keep piling up. First we snag a handful of James Beard nominations, and now the Washington Post is giving us due props. Check out the flattery served up by WaPo food critic Tom Sietsema about our "casual but conscientious neighborhood spots.â In the article, he gushes about the finger-lickin' fried chicken at MÃ©mÃ© (above), Koo Zee Doo's rustic Portuguese dishes, like caldo verde and shrimp piri piri, and Fond, whose minimalistic interior doesn't convey the intricacies and innovations found in his dishes, including a foie gras/duck stock/Madeira soup with a caramelized onion and date dumpling. Represent.
|Courtesy of Metropolitan Bakery|
Metropolitan Bakery now offers individually sized pizzas at its Rittenhouse (262 S. 19th St.) and Reading Terminal Market (12th and Arch) locations. Metro co-founder James Barrett has been doing the pies on and off for a bit, but now they're officially available every week from Wednesday to Saturday. At just $4.75 (that's a lot of food for under five bucks, no?), these things are a deal, especially when considering the pizza dough, which features a touch of whole-grain rye flour for flavor, is naturally leavened, slow-rising for two days before hitting the oven.
- Mixed wild mushroom with caramelized onion and white truffle oil
- Marguerite: housemade tomato sauce, tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella
- Fig, prosciutto and candied pecans
- Veggies with goat cheese and homemade pesto
We got a chance to preview Pub & Kitchen's (1946 Lombard St.) newly-renovated second floor dining room and a few of the new menu items whipped up by chef Jonathan Adams. The new space is bright and open, with a rustic wood bar, shelving that stocks Adams' collection of vintage cookbooks (they'll be employed for the chef's upcoming retro cookbook dinners, debuting in April) and views of Lombard Street from the big picture windows.
Adams said the restaurant was "thinking spring" with the new menu, which makes its debut today. We liked the truffled pork terrine with radishes on toasted brioche, and a crudo of scallops with rhubarb, hibiscus, pea tendrils and lemon vinaigrette. A list of $3 pub snacks includes fancy bites like duck liver mousse, gougÃ¨re and lemon creme fraiche, or fried polenta with smoky tomato relish. Luckily, our old favorites, like the phenomenal cumin-spiced pulled pork sandwich, are still around.
Chef Gene Giuffi at Cochon (801 E. Passyunk Ave.) just rolled out an updated brunch menu. It features plenty of dishes he's been serving for a minute French toast, frittata but this time around he's added a "From the Smoker" section, as well as individual pizzas (Giuffi, a Brooklyn guy, started his cooking career as a "pie man" at his uncle's shops). Smoked platters, which range from $9 to $14, including your choice of meat (ribs, pork shoulder, housemade kielbasa, etc.) with fries, fennel slaw, pickled green toamteos and housemade brioche. The individually sized pies ($9-$11) include toppings like home fries, housemade sausage, pear and baked eggs.
Full menu after the jump. Cochon serves brunch Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
|Click to enlarge
|Photo | Jessica Kourkounis|
- Tim Hyland fills you in on Green Chartreuse, a peculiar spirit, created by Carthusian monks, that's starting to gain traction at Philly's best cocktail bars (including London Grill, above). What's it taste like? "I would say that Chartreuse tastes like Chartreuse," says Oyster House's Andy DeGiulio. Read on for clarification.
- In the inaugural installment of her new drinking column Spirit Sister, Meal Ticket's very own Felicia D'Ambrosio breaks down how Ladder 15 revamped its food and drink with the arrival of chef David Ansill. Read the piece for word on when you can get FREE grub next week.
- Philly Beer Week doesn't kick off till June 4, but those thirsty for springtime action are in luck: Tomorrow marks the beginning of Philly Beer Week(end), with tons of participating bars. Alexandra Harcharek shares her event pics in What's Cooking.
- Feeding Frenzy has word two new sushi spots Jay's Favorite and Ro-Zu plus tidbits on Chick-fil-A, 500Â° and more.
- In the news section, A Million Stories tackles the PLCB raids that went down at several popular Philly beer bars last week.
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