Archive: April, 2009
... on Monday, May 4, as least as of today. The venture, backed by Bruno Pouget (original owner of Caribou Cafï¿½ and partner in APO Bar + Lounge), Todd Rodgers and James Beard-nom'd chef Steven Cameron, is located at 2025 Sansom Street; with a huge emphasis on local/sustainable produce, meats and especially seafood, think of it as an urban translation of Blue, the highly successful seasonal restaurant the partners run in Long Beach Island. More details soon.
|Image courtesy of XIX (Nineteen)|
|The view from the top: one of four balconies at XIX|
Every human ï¿½ and foodie ï¿½ is of woman born. Whether mom packed your lunchbox, or an aunt, grandmother or sister played the role, every one of us has a woman to thank on Mother's Day.
Show the lady you love her with a right proper dine out ï¿½ a classically lavish brunch or Sunday dinner sans dishes and football. Since no mama wants to think she raised a stingy bastard, May 10 means white tablecloths and crystal juice glasses at a pretty venue.
If you haven't made plans yet, scope our roundup of Mother's Day destinations for every maman, mï¿½mï¿½ and mom-mom; 'cause flowers wilt in a few weeks, but the memory of a great meal lasts a lifetime.
ï¿½lï¿½gance Finale: With or without Michelin stars, Le Bec-Fin is one of the most impressive restaurants in the city. Treat mom to Georges Perrier's three-course, $50 brunch, complete with patisserie chef Jesse Prawlucki's gateaux straight from the famous dessert cart.ï¿½ Mothers can relate to the Georges' iron will and legendary work ethic ï¿½ Philly's culinary patriarch is the first person to arrive at Le Bec in the morning, and still washes dishes at the end of the night. 1523 Walnut St., 215-567-1000, lebecfin.com
Beach Chic: Chip Roman's Blackfish Stone Harbor opens Saturday, May 9 in the former Henny's Cafï¿½ space on the waterfront. Mother's Day brunch runs $40 per adult and $20 per child under 10, with stationary hors d'oeuvres like watermelon lollipops with black sea salt and corn, crab and leek fondue. A omelette station will be featured on the main buffet, accompanying poached salmon with English cucumber, French toast gratin and poached shrimp, among other selections. We've said it before and we'll say it again ï¿½ this place is guaranteed MILF city! 9628 Third Ave., Stone Harbor, N.J., 08247; 609-967-9100, blackfishrestaurant.com/blackfish_stoneharbor.html
High Class: For the first time since the 1950s, all four of the balconies at XIX (Nineteen) are open for the highest dining in the city. Reserve pronto for the sweeping view and bountiful brunch ($65 for grownups, $32 for pipsqueaks). Look for crab with hearts of palm and lemon curry dressing, ricotta-filled crepes with raisins and granny smith apples and smoked prime rib with creamed spinach and mushroom sauce. If that's not rich enough, a dessert buffet loaded with blackberry panna cotta and strawberry shortcake parfaits should finish everyone off. Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut Streets, 215-790-1919, nineteenrestaurant.com
Mellow Yellow: Go west, young person, to Marigold Kitchen and their unbelievable $30 three-course Sunday dinner. Choosing any app, entreï¿½ and dessert from the menu means mom can create a custom prix-fixe. Try chef Erin O'Shea's oh-so-delicate halibut with roasted fennel and tomato fumet, finished up with a dessert lemon trio marrying fluffy citrus custard with homemade lemon curd and strips of candied zest. Toting your own wine makes this one of the most spectacular culinary deals in the city. 501 S. 45th St., 215-222-3699, marigoldkitchenbyob.com
Reservation Vacation: Silly Peter Woolsey! Sunday is a great dining day, so why is your Bistrot La Minette closed on the brunchiest day of the week? Lucky for the Francophile his foie gras specials, salmon tartare with lentils de puy and heavenly sweets are good enough to juggle your Mother's Day schedule around. Escape Philly by booking seats on the shaded patio for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, or gather a group for a private French family dinner around the long table. 623 S. Sixth St., 215-925-8000, bistrotlaminette.com
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
It's been awhile since our last Where'd We Eat challenge. So where was I Saturday night?
UPDATE [12:27 p.m.]: Hard one? Here are a few clues. Gayborhood. BYO. And it wasn't always at this location ...
|Photo | Jason Mallen
Scientists in the United Kingdom recently proved that increased UV ray exposure automatically ups one's biological craving for locally grown produce.* Listen to your body this coming Sunday, May 3, as it marks this season's debut of the Headhouse Farmers Market, the granddaddy of 'em all. Hit up the Shambles (Second and Lombard) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to take in all your favored products, as well as cookbook signings and live entertainment. For a full schedule of all the Food Trust's 30+ farmers markets in the area, check out their Web site.
* I made this up.
Many people, including myself, feel that Bacon Mania has reached critical Internet mass. But once in awhile the powers that be will toss out a solid pig-related tidbit out there that will reinstate my faith in the genre. Case in point ï¿½ over at ScienCentral, Natural Gourmet Institute chef Elliot Prag recently shared his process for making shiitake mushrooms taste like bacon. God bless you, chef!
Make your reservations now for what the Philadelphia Inquirer has called "the busiest restaurant night of the year." More than 200 restaurants across the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys are participating in Dining Out For Life, an annual fundraiser that benefits men, women and children living with AIDS.
Participating restaurants donate up to 33 percent of Thursday's food sales to seven organizations that assist people living with HIV and AIDS.ï¿½ See a list of beneficiaries here. At a few select restaurants, making an additional $25 donation earns you a card that entitles you to 20 percent off your food bill every Tuesday for one year.
You can check out the list of participating restaurants here, and search which are participating in the 20 percent Tuesday special. The choices run the gamut from super-high end to humble. The local superstars are setting a good example by throwing all of their restaurants into the mix ï¿½ all four of Jose Garces' places, all 12 of Stephen Starr's, both of Jon Myerow's Trias, Mark Bee's Silk City and N. 3rd and Steve Cook's Marigold Kitchen, Xochitl and Zahav.
Check out some of the bold names participating:
- Alma de Cuba
- Barclay Prime
- Beau Monde
- Butcher & Singer
- Marigold Kitchen
- Mrs. Tootsie's Soul Food Cafe
- XIX (Nineteen)
- N. 3rd
- Positano Coast
- Silk City
- Tattooed Mom's
- both Trias
- Zinc Bisto a Vins
|Photo l Elizabeth D'Ambrosio|
|Ricotta cheese gets sweet.|
Simple, creamy and classic, ricotta pie is an Italian dessert that can tempt even non-sweets eaters. My father's mother makes this in the spring for family parties, along with her benchmark pound cake, and we fight for the leftovers. Citrus zest and juice adds brightness to the subtly sweet ricotta, and a sprinkle of cinnamon adds just enough spice.
Buying prepared pie crust tones down the prep work and speeds the process, and even Mom-Mom approves store-bought crust ï¿½ try Keebler Ready Crust.
Mom-Mom's key tips:
- Eggs must be room temperature. Skip this step and she makes no guarantees to good results.
- After blending egg mixture and ricotta cheese, ladle from the bottom of the bowl between the two pie crusts.ï¿½ This ensures an even distribution of cheese and egg mixture.
Mom-Mom's Ricotta Pie
Recipe yields two 9-inch pies
Go Get This:
9 eggs, room temperature
1 c sugar
1/4 c orange juice
zest of 2 oranges
zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla
3 lbs ricotta
2 prepared 9-inch pie crusts (Keebler recommended)
Now Do This:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beat eggs with sugar, juice, zest and vanilla until well blended.ï¿½ Add ricotta and blend well.
Place prepared 9-inch pie crusts on a cookie sheet or broiler pan.ï¿½ Ladle the ricotta mixture from the bottom of the bowl, alternating between crusts until mixture is all doled out.
Protect crust by gently covering edges with foil.ï¿½ Place cookie sheet with filled pie crusts in oven and bake for 35 minutes.ï¿½ Remove foil and bake for 25 more minutes. Turn oven off and allow pies to rest in oven for five minutes.ï¿½ Remove and cool.
Dust with cinnamon generously just before serving.
The third installment of the Block family's Naked Chocolate Cafï¿½ opened back in February off the corner of 18th and Chestnut (31 S. 18th St., 215-564-3860). One of the new additions to this location? The "Rittenhouse Menu," featuring classic desserts (Baked Alaska, Crepes Suzette), etc.) prepared tableside. Check out the full selection below. Going to go out on a limb here and say that Naked's rendition of the revered French dessert Floating Island is slightly more traditional than chef Josï¿½ Andrï¿½s' version.
Click to enlarge
PREVIOUSLY: Naked Chocolate numero tres opens at 18th and Chestnut
|Fishtown Shad Fest|
|Local no longer|
Shad was once so plentiful in the Delaware River that our forefathers caught them by the hundreds simply dipping nets into the cold April waters.ï¿½ With our shad from local rivers completely overfished, most of the creatures cooked at tomorrow's Shad Fest in Penn Treaty Park have been caught on the West Coast.
Saturday's festival features a Grasshopper boutique pop-up shop, bike rides, arts and crafts vendors, a moon bounce for the kids, the shad-run 5K,ï¿½ free kayaking open to the public, tours with local historian Kenneth Milano and, most exciting of all,ï¿½ shad sandwiches by Paul Kimport and Carolynn Angle of Johnny Brenda's and the Standard Tap.
In 1686 William Penn described Shad ï¿½Shads are excellent fish and of the Bigness of our Carp: They are so plentiful, that Captain Smythï¿½s Overseer at the Skulkil, drew 600 and odd at one Draught; 300 is no wonder; 100 familiarly. They are excellent Pickled or Smoktï¿½d, as well as boyld fresh; they are caught by nets only.ï¿½
As William Penn says, there are more than one way to treat this notoriously bony fish.ï¿½ Its roe pods, rolled in crumbs and pan-fried, make for an unforgettable nugget of salt and savory richness. Chef Brian McBride of D.C.'s Blue Duck Tavern shares his recipe with The Washingtonian here.
Long, slow cooking melts the soft bones of the shad; try a traditional Virginia slow-baked recipe from About.com.
If cooking over an open fire sets your colonial imagination afire, try a planked shad recipe -- if you don't care to flout zoning laws with a campfire, a grill does the job as well.
Fishtown Shad Fest, Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Penn Treaty Park at Delaware Ave. & Columbia St.; fishtownshadfest.org
Meal Ticket hears that Varga Bar, the neighborhood pub restaurateur George Anni and chef R. Evan Turney (Valanni, Mercato) are working on in the former Azul at 10th and Spruce, will make its debut sometime during the week of May 11. As of right now, they're waiting on the installation of some bar equipment so they can start setting up the 22-tap draft system.
Back in March, we teased a few details about the project, including some ideas about the beer selection (it would include both American and Belgian choices) and a few proposed menu items. Well, now it's time to nix anything that don't bleed red, white and blue ï¿½ Turney has apparently tweaked Varga's approach to include only American beers and American comfort foods. Sorry, bernaise sauce!
PREVIOUSLY: More details on Varga Bar at 10th and Spruce
- 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