Archive: August, 2009
|Photo | HughE Dillon, phillychitchat.com
HughE Dillon of Philly Chit Chat passes along this shot of Hawaiian superstar chef Roy Yamaguchi, who was in Philly last night at his Roy's location at 15th and Sansom. The recent Top Chef Masters contestant (he was on the ep where all the guys were super sweet to each other) was in town for an "Aloha Kitchen Challenge," where three Restaurant School students worked with local chefs Patrick Feury (Nectar), Derek Davis (Derek's) and Aaron Fleisch (Fleming's) to prep a competitive dish. Winner (judges included Marc Summers) earns an internship at any of the 30something Roy's locations around the world.
In early June, we talked to Little Fish chef/owner Mike Stollenwerk about the plans for Fish, his much bigger and much more liquor-licensed restaurant in the former Astral Plane at 1708 Lombard Street. The chef's shared a sample menu ï¿½ nothing's set in stone yet ï¿½ with Meal Ticket. Get an idea of what to expect (food'll be broken down into "raw," "cold," "hot" and "sweet" categories) after the jump. Stollenwerk adds that he's also working on a "lounge menu," consisting of about 10 items, that he'll offer at the bar till 1 a.m. after dinner hours (4-10 p.m.) wrap up. They're still on pace to open shortly after Labor Day.
Green curry, coconut, lime, shaved cashew
Black Bass Crudo
Himalayan salt, lemon, basil
Fennel Cured Salmon
Pumpernickel panade, egg yolk, shallot
Smoked Salmon Roe
Celery root mousse, cider gasttrique, walnut
Pear, cress, mustard seed
Tangerine, radish, pistachio crema
ï¿½Surf & Turfï¿½
Porcini, pea tendril, truffle, Worcestershire
Akudjura vinaigrette, pine nut, arugula
Roasted Baby Beets
Chicken skin, fresh chevre, mache
Artichoke, piquillo peppers, ceci
Sea urchin cream, fennel, tarragon, orange dust
Loch Duart Salmon
Brussel leaves, oyster mushroom, bacon, grain mustard, apple
Truffle spaetzle, Parmesan broth, melted leeks
Orzo, wild clam, chile, preserved lemon, celery leaf
Parsnip, autumn vegetables, roasted chicken jus
White bean, escarole, chorizo broth
Butternut squash, sunflower, curried lobster nage
Cauliflower, caper, brown butter
Painted Hills Prime Strip
Turnip hash, marrow, pickled shallots
Last week we shared the menu for Fond, the almost-ready Passyunk Avenue BYOB from a team of Philly fine-dining vets. Today, Meal Ticket touched base with chef Lee Styer, who'll be running the show with pastry chef Jessie Prawlucki and former Lacroix captain Tory Keomanivong.
Styer, who last worked as a sous chef at Le Bec-Fin along with Prawlucki, says that opening his own place has long been a goal ï¿½ but this opportunity (1623 E. Passyunk Ave.) came about rather quickly. They were introduced to the 35-seat space (formerly Clementine's and Lynda's Mediterranean) just recently by friends Corey Baver and Lynn Rinaldi, owners of the Ave's successful Izumi and Paradiso. They didn't think much of it at first, but then "the three us started talking more," says Styer. "We ran some numbers and actually took it seriously, and said, 'Let's do it. Let's give it a shot.' It wasn't really planned out ahead of time."
It may have come to fruition fast, but don't think that'll translate to anything other than quality ï¿½ the trio's pedigrees speak for themselves, what with the chefs' LBF chops and Keomanivong's stint spearheading the FOH show at the Rittenhouse. (Meal Ticket was lucky enough to have him guide us through the cheeses during a visit to Lacroix awhile back, and it's an understatement to say that he killed it.)
Styer's menu comes off refined, too, with dishes like yellowfin crudo with gazpacho consomme and pork with maitakes; they plan on doing three specials a night, too. But the chef stresses how casual Fond will be. "We definitely want to fit into the neighborhood," says Styer of the booming corridor. "We don't want to be stuffy. Though we all come from well-rounded French backgrounds, we don't want a stigma of [people thinking] this'll be the same thing as where we came from."
If all goes as planned, Fond will open to the public on Monday, August 31.
Philadelphia illustrator and Drawing For Food blogger Hawk Krall paints the many faces of hot doggery around the nation for Serious Eats.ï¿½ Now, tubesteak fans can adorn their walls, as well as their arteries, with the salty confections.
Hot Dog of the Week giclee prints by Hawk Krall, $27 a pop and guaranteed to last longer than late-night dog indigestion.ï¿½ Pick them up in his online store.
South Philly institution Texas Wieners (1426 Snyder Ave., 215-465-8635) is expanding into Collingswood, taking over what was Sportz Dogz (dear God ... ) in the LumberYard Condos complex at 8 Powell Lane. There'll be a grand opening gala on September 12, featuring entertainment from the South Philly String Band. And a clown.
|Urban edibles by Grace Wicks|
If you enjoy summer's diversity of fresh, locally grown produce, now is the time to consider putting in your own cole crops. These members of the mustard (Brassicaceae) family will supply your autumn and winter kitchen with cold-tolerant edibles like broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, beets, brussel sprouts, spinach, arugula and red lettuce.
Cole crops do well when seeded directly into the soil, and most are as happy in containers as in the ground.ï¿½ Greensgrow Farm is selling mixed six-packs of edible fall plants if you can't be bothered to start from seed; make sure these tender little babies get some shade during the last hot weeks of summer.
Novice gardeners can hire professional coaching from Grace Wicks of Graceful Gardens, who teaches green thumb technique in addition to providing full landscaping services for urban dwellers.ï¿½ Her specialty is organic, edible ornamentals -- rainbow chard (pictured) isï¿½ used to add height and drama to a window box, but also offers a healthy snack.
You know the lady gardener has taste; she grew up during the heyday of mom Judy Wick's landmark restaurant, The White Dog Cafï¿½.
|The Fresh Grocer on TwitPic
This Friday, The Fresh Grocer will mark the opening ofï¿½ its latest location ï¿½ the anchor of the Shoppes at La Salle complex at 5301 Chew Avenue ï¿½ with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring remarks from La Salle University president Brother Michael McGinniss, City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, State Rep. John Myers and several others. The 50,000-square-foot, $13.5 million project, which joins a Dunkin' Donuts, a Rite Aid and several other businesses in the redeveloped plaza (formerly a parking lot), will feature a full-service sushi restaurant in addition to the amenities you've come across at the FroGro location at 40th and Walnut.
|Photo | Jamie Chung, esquire.com
Modo Mio chef/owner Peter McAndrews' recipe for dear-God-that's-beautiful Sunday gravy is featured in Esquire's "How to Eat Like a Man Now" spread, focusing on meals that look and sound like the opposite of health food infinitely delicious. (Hey Pete, weren't you just in that mag in May?)
Being of Irish heritage and growing up in a household not quite culinarily diverse, I was often mystified by the food at the homes of my Italian-American friends in the neighborhood. As I learned to cook, I tried to replicate these mystical sauces, without much success. Then I married a second-generation Italian-American whose family brought this magnificent recipe over from the old country. Here's my version, best prepared as you drink a nice glass of red.
McAndrews' full recipe ï¿½ hot Italian sausage! meatballs! pork ribs! ï¿½ is right here.
Tiffin owner Munish Narula and executive chef Hari Nayak just walked Meal Ticket through the one-of-a-kind menu for Tiffin etc., opening tomorrow at 11 a.m. at 712 W. Girard Avenue, right next to Narula's flagship Tiffin location.
The focus at this 16-seater (215-925-0770), which'll do most of its business in takeaway and delivery, is a triumvirate of affordable Indian street food options ï¿½ parathas (stuffed breads); kati rolls, wrap sandwiches lined with a thin layer of egg (think of them as Desi burritos); and Indian pizzas. Check out the full menu after the jump.
The parathas feature fillings like grated cauliflower, paneer, and tandoori-grilled meats, and are served with boondi raita, a yogurt-based sauce thickened with spheres of fried gram flour. Kati rolls are stuffed with goodies like spiced potatoes and minced lamb, along with pickled onions, mint and chutney. Six choices apiece here.
OK, we know y'all want to know about the pizzas. The thin-crust pizza selection (personal and large sizes) features choices like the boti kebab (grilled lamb, tomato/onion sauce, fresh mozz), the tandoori subzi (grilled veggies, roasted garlic, fresh mozz and a cilantro/mint "pesto" that subs almonds for traditional pine nuts) and the murg makhani (butter chicken, tomato sauce, red chili flakes, fresh mozz). Narula, who says pizza has been growing in popularity wildly in India in the past few years, worked with Nayak to redevelop some of their signature Tiffin sauces to suit the pies. Dough, sauces and toppings are all made/prepared in-house.
Also available: A small selection of Indian street-vendor beverages that goes beyond just lassis ï¿½ the Masala Pepsi (cola mixed with cumin, thyme, black pepper, lemon and salt) and the Thandai (almond, cardamom, fennel, rose) are but two unconventional choices.
Eventually, Narula adds, customers at the next-door Tiffin Store will be able to order off both the traditional and etc. menus during an eat-in meal.
|Click to enlarge
|Photo | Drew Lazor (click to enlarge)
The city's Department of Licenses & Inspections had a marquee weekend in late July, slapping violations/temporary closures up on the doors of quite a few area bars/businesses. Looks like one of our favorite quickie six-pack spots just got smacked, too ï¿½ Latimer Deli, at 255 S. 15th Street, was plastered with the candy stripes past Thursday. (This pic was taken last night.) According to the sign, Latimer needs to up its fire safety game before reopening; a phone call to the deli went unanswered.
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