Archive: September, 2009
Flying Monkey Deuce (1112 Locust St.), the cafï¿½ offshoot of her Flying Monkey Patisserie in the Reading Terminal Market, will officially open to the public this coming Monday, Sept. 28, owner Rebecca Michaels tells Meal Ticket. The small space will offer goodies from RTM HQ as well as coffee, espresso drinks and tea from Remedy. Croissants and scones, too. There is a possibility Deuce will soft-open over the weekend, but no guarantees on that; we first had word of Michaels' expansion back in June.
Jason Evenchik, who owns Vintage and Time with wife Delphine, just checked in to let Meal Ticket know that he and several other area restaurant owners, including George Anni (Valanni, Varga Bar), Fergus Carey (Fergie's, Monk's, etc.), Jon Myerow (Tria) and Olivier Desaintmartin (Caribou Cafï¿½, Zinc), will be attending this evening's Washington Square West Civic Association zoning meeting. The restaurateurs, who belong to PA Restaurants for Fair Competition, plan on speaking their minds directly to Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board CEO Joe Conti, who will be attending the meeting to discuss the PLCB's partnership with chef Jose Garces for a rare/boutique wine "cellar" in his forthcoming Garces Trading Company (more on that project here).
PA-RFC feels that it is unequitable for the PLCB to join forces with specific restaurant owners, as it grants unfair advantages to the partners the Board hand-selects to sell products that are not generally accessible to other consumers and restaurant owners. The collective's stance is more fully fleshed out on its Web site.
The meeting, which is open to the public, is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Room 208 of the Dorrance Hamilton Building (Locust between 11th and 12th).
|Courtesy of Green Aisle
The Erace boys dropped Meal Ticket a few pics of their in-progress Green Aisle Grocery, which they're hoping to open in "early October" at 1618 E. Passyunk Avenue. Here's Felicia D with more on the boutique grocery project; two more pics after the jump.
|Courtesy of Green Aisle|
|Chocolates at Donna Toscana|
Passyunk Avenue dessert restaurant Golosa (806 S. 6th St.) is giving chocoholics a perfectly elegant excuse for eating the whole box.ï¿½ This Thursday from 6-10 p.m., they will offer five- or ten-piece tastings ofï¿½ new, culinary-inspired truffles called Gastronomie Chocolat.ï¿½ The collection is a collaboration between local chocolatier Diane Pinder and James Beard Award-winning chef Craig Shelton.
Pinder, who owns Donna Toscana Artisan Chocolate Lounge in Cranford, NJ, as well as Donna & Co. chocolates,ï¿½ paired unexpected ingredients like lemon and basil or blue cheese and Tellicherry peppercorn with her rich, high cacao-percentage chocolates to create the Gastronomie Chocolat line.
Choose a five- ($15) or ten ($28) piece tasting, complete with two shots of drinking chocolate and a glass of Layer Cake Shiraz, at Thursday's tasting event.ï¿½ Guests are also welcome to bring their own wine, beer or spirit pairing.
RSVP to 215-925-1003 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the tasting menus after the jump.
5 pieces and set of 2 drinking chocolates, $15 per person*
Lemon & basil
Olive Oil and Sea Salt
5 pieces and set of 2 drinking chocolates, $15 per person*
Strawberry & Mint
12 year aged Balsamic Vinegar
Blue Cheese & Tellicherry Pepper
10 pieces and set of 2 drinking chocolates, $28 per person*
Sampler #1 + Sampler #2
*Due to the nature of the special menu, Golosa does not allow splitting of tastings
Here's a quick look at the interior of Resurrection Ale House (2425 Grays Ferry Ave.), which Brendan Hartranft and Leigh Maida open to the public tomorrow night at 5 p.m. The couple (Memphis Taproom, Local 44) didn't make any dramatic structural changes to the interior of the former Yello'bar, but it looks like a whole new place, due in no small part to a vital addition ï¿½ light. A tinted film used to coat the windows on the Catharine Street side of the bar, but that's gone now, letting plenty of natural light bounce off the new creamy textured wallpaper and pale green molding. There's about 45 seats total between booths, marble round tops and bar stools.
"I want people to be able to have a transcendental beer experience for $20," says Hartranft, who adds that the most expensive entrï¿½e on chef Joey Chmiko's menu is $17. (Tomorrow night they'll pass around some samples of Chmiko's best-with-beer vittles, before launching service full-on Thursday at noon. They're keeping the full menu under wraps till that time.) Here's the opening draft list and the opening bottle list. And in case you recognize Resurrection's bubbly GM during a drop-in this week ï¿½ she's Kristin Mulvenna, formerly of Cafï¿½ Estelle.
|One pretty little thing|
Brown Betty Dessert Boutique (1030 N. Second St., Liberties Walk) welcomed a cupcake-only baby sister, Brown Betty Petite (269 S. 20th St.) into the world one year ago.ï¿½ To ensure a sweet birthday, mother-and-daughter ownership duo Linda and Norrinda Brown are giving away free cupcakes on Friday, October 9.
Sales will be suspended for the day, to better accommodate free-cupcake-seekers with their choice of red velvet, chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.ï¿½ The ladies start handing out the goodies at noon, and will continue until supplies are exhausted.
|Courtesy of Brauhaus Schmitz
Sure, the main party is this Saturday, but Oktoberfest is hardly a one-off. To that end, the people of Brauhaus Schmitz (718 South St., 267-909-8814) are getting you prepped all week with a series of events, such as a blindfolded German beer taste test (Wednesday); a race to be the first to finish a half meter of bratwurst, two sides and a half liter of beer (Thursday); and a lottery wherein the winners are anyone who kicks a keg Friday night ï¿½ a necessity, as the Brauhaus will turn their taps over to their top five sellers for Saturdayï¿½s festivities. Running noon to 7 and spilling outside in front of the restaurant and some neighboring store fronts, revelers will imbibe in tents or in the open air to the music of a traditional Bavarian oompah band.
All week, theyï¿½re offering an enhanced version of their already Bavarian-heavy menu, with items like rouladen and some of their schnitzels replaced by traditional Munich fare. The Bavarian plate features weisswurst, Bavarian pretzel and sliced, salted radishes. The leverknï¿½delsuppe is a dumpling soup wherein rich liver is blended with allspice, nutmeg, ground bacon and egg before being wrapped and dropped in beef broth. Leberkï¿½se, a more purï¿½ed version of meatloaf (a pork and veal blend), has a texture akin to knockwurst or bologna, and can be eaten cold with a hearty mustard. Also new is a roast pork shoulder served with a dark beer and mustard sauce.
If thatï¿½s not enough Mï¿½nchen for you, a four-course beer dinner will be offered tonight, Tuesday (only 22 seats remain). To start, chilled poached salmon is laid atop a dais of celery root salad, both splashed with a Pilsner Sabayon sauce. The second course features a smoked beer thatï¿½ll complement the pork lardons throughout a rich duck liver pate. The sweet, malty flavors of a Weihenstephan Vitus will be used as reduction to highlight flavor notes of a heritage pork chop in the third course. Rounding things off, head chef Jeremy Nolen says, is a Camembert ï¿½inoculated with a Gorgonzola rife with a blue veiny richness of flavor.ï¿½ï¿½ A beet compote will go nicely with the light and tart notes of Leipziger Gose, while the saline kick of this beer ï¿½ï¿½made with naturally salty water from the Leipzig area or with salt added, in addition to coriander ï¿½ï¿½will help to reinforce the earthier notes.
|Courtesy of Brauhaus Schmitz
Of course, beer is always a great enabler to a convivial atmosphere, so itï¿½s best to try some staples as well as some new arrivals. ï¿½Weï¿½ve been adding in new beers as we transition from the summer to fall, including to Oktoberfest,ï¿½ co-owner Kelly Hager says, with beer manager Alyssa Wegner stressing the balance at play between the two opposing classes of Oktoberfest beers. Thereï¿½s the Spaten Oktoberfest (an example of mï¿½rzen or dark amber style Oktoberfest beers), with a subtle sweet taste and maltiness, and the Weihemftepham, with sharp notes that speak to the time of year Germans turn to golden hop-oriented ales. The addition of Hofstï¿½tter Hochzeit stands out, as it is supposedly the beer served at the original Oktoberfest, aka Ludwig Iï¿½s wedding. Unfiltered and darker in color, Wegner says itï¿½s marked by a more mellow, sweet maltiness.
|ï¿½ Scott Weiner 2009|
Itï¿½s lucky for Philadelphia diners that what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there ï¿½ at least as far as Guy Savoy is concerned. The world-renowned French chef's eponymous restaurant in Paris has three Michelin stars, while its sister space in Sin City has two Michelins, a AAA Five Diamond Award and the Mobil Five Star Award.
All those stars might lead you to believe that Savoy's cuisine is quite theatrical. "If I had to compare my cuisine to an actual play or opera, it would be an Italian opera, because they're usually happy and I like to cook to make people happy,ï¿½ said the chef late Sunday afternoon from the kitchen of Le Bec-Fin (1523 Walnut St.). "My dishes are very simple in their composition, with mainly one lead product or ingredient and with one or two co-stars. My dishes are very simple, but sometimes those are the hardest to execute.ï¿½
Savoy is in town (through this evening) at the invitation of his old pal Georges Perrier, who brought him to Philly for his very first cooking stint on the East Coast. Eighty guests at $200 a pop got to experience collaborative variations on Savoyï¿½s usual menu ï¿½ big on truffles, foie gras and lobster ï¿½ with the main dishes of the night (full menu to come) being signatures at Savoy's restaurants.
As lovely as it was, itï¿½s surprising that the longtime friends had never done this tag-team thing previously. ï¿½He asks me every year to come, but I couldnï¿½t ever get here because I am so busy in Paris,ï¿½ said Savoy, who sees Perrier most often when the LBF chef/owner visits home. ï¿½We come from the same food cultures. We grew up in Lyon, France, where our mothers were such good cooks. That is how we both started our careers."
Of the friendship between the two, Savoy commented, "I am always touched by his generosity in all things. He is extraordinarily generous."
Consider this my first "Ill-Advised Ranting" post.
Dear food-related business owners, publicists and writers,
Please stop emailing me event promotions that repeatedly mangle and misuse the marketing "snob appeal" of a refined palate:
Homophones, those sneaky little buggers!ï¿½ "Pallet" misused in food writing is the most frequent offender, with an artist's painting tool right behind and only slightly less galling.
You have received your warning.ï¿½ SpellCheck is not all things to all copy.ï¿½ Everyone has a friend with an otherwise-underutilized English degree. Or check out this nifty list.
Meal Ticket's Erin Szrankowski dropped by the I-House last week to check out a presentation and cooking demo fromï¿½ chef Marcus Samuelsson. The Aquavit chef prepared dishes from his forthcoming The New American Table, including salmon ceviche with soy jelly and chorizo meatballs.
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