Archive: March, 2011
SNACK TIME: The Lemons Sphinx, Sriracha bread, Food tattoos, Slocombe vs. Ben and Jerry's and Shiitake bacon
- The Lemon Festival is held annually in Menton, France, featuring elaborate sculptures composed solely out of local citrus fruit. This year's theme had to do with the world's great civilizations; click here to peep the extremely accurate Sphinx, or Egyptian pyramid, shaped from oranges and lemons.
- Longtime toast favorite cinnamon-raisin, with its swirls of sweet cinnamon-sugary confection, is about to get a run for its money. Meet Cheddar-Sriracha bread, presented to us by Epicurious. The recipe is simple for making this simple bread at home — an easy swap of flours for the gluten-free readers — and is probably bangin' as toast, but even better with sandwich items. It's got your condiment built in there, complete with swirls.
- When I went to the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention, I left a little bummed because I had every intention of leaving with an enormous photo collection of food tattoos to show off to Meal Ticket readers. Obviously I failed, but I did come across a Flickr group that features hundreds of food-dedicated images of body art — local or not, still extremely entertaining. So many angry tacos and cheeseburgers! My favorites are the true-to-life veggies. I want my next one to be a carrot.
- Ben & Jerry's thought they had the ideal stoner munchie (better than Phish Food? Chubby Hubby?) when they collaborated with Jimmy Fallon and released "Late Night Snack," a caramel-swirled vanilla ice cream laced with fudge-covered potato chips. But it looks like San Francisco's Humphrey Slocombe had that covered with their flavor "After Dark" — the exact same thing. Uh-oh. Eater spills the beans here.
- Bon Appetit was running this cookbook contest, asking contestants to vote on which recipe they'd most like to see be revealed on the website. I don't blame them for selecting the winning recipe — shiitake bacon, crispy and salty and spiced with a hint of Togarashi.
Back in December, there was a bit of a fat-dude hullabaloo when chef Joey Chmiko of Resurrection Ale House (2425 Grays Ferry Ave.) pulled his national-accolade-earning twice-fried chicken off the menu. Now comes word from the RAH team that Chmiko will bring back the "rather famous, yet rarely seen" signature dish on Tuesday, March 29. Starting at lunchtime, the kitchen will cook chicken, and only chicken, until supplies are depleted. When it's gone, it's gone, so plan accordingly if you want to get a plate.
In more immediate Resurrection news, the Grays Ferry bar will tap Russian River's cult beer Pliny the Younger this coming Tuesday, March 15, at noon. (UPDATE: Clarification on the Pliny event — RAH is actually tapping its sixtel of the stuff early, at 11 a.m., for folks who RSVPed to a Thursday morning email blast. Though there might be a few pints left when Resurrection opens at noon, don't get your heart set on it. *falls to knees* PLINYYYYYYYYY!!!!!)
The beer, named after the treasured magistrate of Ancient Rome, has long been lusted after; it's so transcendently good, an early prototype was used to regenerate the hacked-off limbs of Centurions during the Iberian War in the 6th Century.* Man, it must be really delicious!
* This is completely untrue
Photo: Zach Radel
Catering by Miles, which has been based at the Lombard Swim Club for more than a decade, will soon call 1620 South Street home. CbM's Mike Lynch tells Meal Ticket he plans on moving the whole of his operation into what was Apamate by early May. Though the plan is primarily to use the kitchen as home base for catering jobs, Lynch says he plans on turning the front of the property into a walk-in grab-and-go café with a selection of sandwiches and prepared foods. He's already used the space once to host a BYOP cocktail/networking night, and hopes to hold these events regularly.
We just snagged the full menu for the five-chef, five-course collaboration dinner going down next Tuesday, March 15, at The Corner (102 S. 13th St.). There are two seatings, at 6 and 8:30 p.m., and it's $50 a head. Peep what to eat in full after the jump. The participating chefs are pictured above, conveniently organized from left to right in order of their courses.
1st Course (Andrew Wood, Fork): San Daniele-style prosciutto, Tarbais bean puree, Lancaster duck egg, pea tendrils
2nd Course (John Taus, The Corner): Sweetbreads and crawfish, tasso ham ragu, pickled jalapeno grits
3rd Course (Matt Levin, Adsum): Cod fritters, thyme vinegar, smoked Worcestershire, celery root
4th Course (David Katz, Mémé): Cochon du Lait, black-eyed pea and ham hock stew, fried Brussels, Creole mustard, green tomato marmalade
5th Course (Peter Woolsey, Bistrot La Minette): Lemon meringue, thyme ice cream
Photo: Charlie Salguero
Omakase, translating loosely as "trust," is a Japanese expression oft used in sushi spots to leave the decision-making up to the chef in the form of a series of plates. Morimoto (723 Chestnut St.) will present an omakase to honor spring and the 182nd Annual Philadelphia Flower Show, with dishes showcasing flowers, herbs, and spring ingredients — taking on the show's theme of 2011, "Springtime in Paris."
For $80, Morimoto is lavishing with eight tribute courses. The vibrant menu will highlight Japanese components and precision, but is infused with a little French je ne sais quoi by incorporating panisse (a traditional French chickpea cake) and bouillabaisse. Diners can also look forward to decorative Shikai Maki with "tuna flowers," and a roasted quail with chive blossoms. These dishes live only with the Flower Show, ending this Sunday, March 13. Peruse the menu in full below.
As soon as the Society Hill Hotel at Third and Chestnut closed, a rush of memories flooded in — pianist Ted Gerike and the Ted Head groupies that came by, Blue Maxx Goat from Black Landlord bartending with a fabulously heavy pour. Next came the question of the spot’s future — what would become of a space that has been operating, in some form, since the 1830s? The answer came on Monday night, when I happened by the corner and noticed hiring signs. Next thing you know, Bill Curry from Copabanana dropped me a note saying that the downstairs restaurant and the hotel upstairs got nabbed by The HavanaBanana Group.
"[It won't be a] Copa, but an upscale bar with a fun atmosphere," says Curry — Nick Ventura of Headhouse's Café Nola bought the hotel and is opening The Monkey Bar & Restaurant. (The Rittenhouse area saloon of the same name closed awhile back). "Nick is being assisted in the bar and restaurant's design by Joe Cucolo of the Copa, and I am helping him with his menu, graphics and marketing as a consultant," says Curry. "It will evolve over a period of months as both the hotel and the bar will be improved, as will the outside seating area."
While the hotel is scheduled to keep the Society Hill name tag (appreciated!), the overall concept of the Monkey Bar will have shades of '40s/'50s Havana, serving some of the Copa’s usual delights in addition to new menu items. Does that mean MB&R will compete with Cuba Libre around the corner when it opens in the spring? Stay tuned. Meanwhile, Larry Cohen and Barry Gutin of Cuba Libre are looking to open their next spot in either Boston or in Georgia. The pair has been having meetings with realtors up north and down south in accordance with building the CL brand.
Village Belle (757 S. Front St.) will offer up its signature meatball sliders for a buck a pop tonight from 5:30 to 10 p.m. (It's National Meatball Day, apparently!) Usually available at the bar only, the dollar sliders, which originate at co-owner Joey Campanaro's NYC spot Little Owl, will be available throughout the dining room, too. Eat up.
More details are emerging on the Center City expansion from the owners of Fork & Barrel (4213 Ridge Ave.), which Meal Ticket first told you about in February. First off, a name change: The project (1113 Walnut St.), originally called The Grainery, is now going by The Farmers' Cabinet. Brewer Terry Hawbaker and cocktail expert Damon Dyer are still on board to bolster the beer and spirits programs — Hawbaker, formerly of Williamsport's Bullfrog Brewery, is building a two-barrel fermenting system to produce small batches of in-house ales to complement co-owner Matt Scheller's curated Euro beer list; Dyer, an NYC-based bartender/consultant, will be mixing up tipples like the "Pirate's Coffee" (Irish whiskey, spiced rum served hot with brown sugar, coffee and whipped cream) and a rendition of the Martinez, the martini precursor, aged for 30 days in bourbon barrels.
Chef Peter Felton of Fork & Barrel is designing the menu at The Farmers' Cabinet, which should be debuting before the end of March. Opening menu items should include:
- Bone marrow and roasted cippolini soup wiht butter-fried croutons
- Bourbon-braised escargot with tasso ham and caramelized shallots
- Peekytoe Crab Roll sandwich with heirloom tomatoes and lettuce
- Spring pea barotto with sweet corn and wild mushroom preserva
- Shared dishes for two or more: salt-baked fish, elk chops, roasted goat leg, etc.
Thanks to the Meal Ticket tipster who sends along this photo of noticeable progress at the Santucci's location going in at the corner of 10th and Christian. Construction seemed to slow considerably during the winter, but it's picking up now. Gimme square pies! We'll have more info on the pizzeria's impending opening soon.
March 10 is the official launch date for The Farm and Fisherman (1120 Pine St., 267-687-1555), a new neighborhood BYO from chef Joshua Lawler and his wife/fellow chef Colleen Lawler. He's from Conshy and she's from South Jersey; after meeting his wife at Drexel, Lawler cooked his way through the Philly restaurant circuit (The Fountain, Striped Bass, Buddakan) before the duo relocated to NYC. Here, the Lawlers put in work all over the place — Colleen cooked at BLT Market and Picholine, among other spots, while her husband's most recent gig saw him running the day-to-day as chef de cuisine of Dan Barber's Blue Hill at Stone Barns up until October 2010.
The Lawlers, who have young twin sons, wanted to relocate to the Philly area to be closer to family, but a restaurant of their own has always been a goal. They took on this small 30-seat white-tablecloth space (formerly Paul) without investors, and Lawler looks forward to handling most every plate himself, a far cry from the many managerial responsibilities he held at Stone Barns, overseeing a 20-person-plus kitchen staff. At that celebrated restaurant, Lawler says, designing courses and maintaining inventory for their elaborate tasting menus was a big part of the battle; at The Farm and Fisherman, he's cooking on a much more intimate level, allowing him to change his menu frequently and assert a head-to-tail, whole-animal approach in the kitchen.
Lawler, who's been visiting local growers and green markets to build up relationships for the restaurant moving forward, views his cooking as "the next step with farm-to-table" — not merely sourcing locally for the sake of it, but sourcing the best of what's close. "You're getting local pork," says Lawler, "but who's [raising] the best local pork?" Particulars of the pictured dishes:
- Bluefish confit over a warm potato salad, with a smear of unadorned local grass-fed yogurt and multi-grain bread
- Poached farm egg wrapped in Berkshire pancetta, served with Tuscan kale in a pickled mustard seed sauce
- Salad of various raw, roasted and pickled fruit/veg (carrot, pear, beet, cauliflower, etc.) in a light lemon vinaigrette, over housemade cottage cheese
- Pork duo: roasted loin and 12-hour sous vide belly, over spaetzle with Swiss chard and pancetta
Though Colleen will run the front of the house, she'll also hold it down in The Farm and Fisherman's kitchen from time to time. The restaurant will be open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday for now, with lunch and possibly brunch coming in the near future.
- barstool scientist
- Brew Revue
- Chef Salad
- Dirty Dishes
- Don't Front
- Eat This Immediately
- Field Trip
- Food and Art
- Food and Holidays
- Food and Movies
- Food and Music
- Food and Politics
- Food and Sports
- Food and Web
- Food Blogs
- Food Books
- Food Events
- Food News
- Food TV
- Happy Hour Hopper
- In Print
- Meal Ticket
- Menu Time
- Not So Quickfire
- Notes from the Weekend
- On Wheels
- Patio Drinking
- Philly Beer Week 2010
- Private Chef POV
- Product Placement
- Snack Time
- Stiff Drank
- Ticket Stubs
- Top Chef
- Weekly Candy
- Weird Regional Foods
- We're Here to Help
- Where'd We Eat?
- Drew Lazor's Ill-Advised Rant Factory
- Ill-Advised Ranting
- The Week Without Meat
- Philly Beer Week 2009
- Real Big
- Where'd I Eat Last Night?
- Top Chef Masters
- The Good Word
- Next Iron Chef
- Arterial Terrorism
- Food and Radio