Archive: September, 2012
Having gotten a sneak peek at the Chef's Counter dinners at Sbraga (440 S. Broad St.) a few weeks back, we're more than pleased that he's continuing the series for the rest of the year. These dinners are a $75 six-course prix fixe that feels much more like an interactive experience than a stodgy white tablecloth meal. There's also a very smart $50 beverage pairing that doesn't necessarily stick exclusively to wine. Top Chef diehards can look forward to themed dinners that run the gamut from holiday-inspired feasts to Philly-style tailgating and breakfast for dinner.
Okay, so it's only Wednesday but this weekend is shaping up to be quite the beer and barbecue bacchanal. Aside from a whole roster of Oktoberfestivities at Brauhaus (718 South St.) and Frankford Hall (1210 Frankford Ave.), The Standard Tap and Yards are hosting some pretty serious parties.
Beginning Friday The Standard Tap (901 N. 2nd St.) is rolling out its annual weeklong Sausage Fest with an internationally influenced menu celebrating all things encased-meats related. Sausage-stuffed deep-fried cherry peppers are sounding particularly intriguing. Check out the entire sausage menu from Friday, September 21st to Thursday, September 27th.
And over at Yards (901 N. Delaware Ave.) they're hosting the fourth annual Smoke 'Em if Yous Got 'Em, a celebration of smoked beer and smoked meat. They've got over 25 smoked beers from around the world lined up plus loads of local barbecue and music from The Keystone Mountain Boys, Kalob Griffin Band and Yards brewer Mitch Albach's Doors cover band, The Back Doors. The party goes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get your tickets here.
Sandwich-centric Point Breeze local American Sardine Bar (1800 Federal St.) has joined forces with Manayunk Brewing Company's Doug Marchakitus and Evan Fritz to create what they're dubbing an East Coast Belgian Blonde. American Sardine Ale or ASA is inspired by Russian River's iconic Redemption, a fruity Blegian-style single. It's an easy drinking 5% ABV making it the ideal beer sip while whiling away the afternoon at ASB.
ASA is making its draft debut this Friday with a special happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with $3 pints and complimentary sardine sandwiches. And we're suspecting that Meal Ticket contributer Scott Schroeder will be on hand sharing beer intel and sandwich making insider tips.
One of the highlights of Le Bec 2.0 (1523 Walnut St.) is certainly sommelier Philippe Sauriat's comprehensive list of French hits. The list includes all of the Bordeaux and Burgundies that you'd expect at a restaurant of this calibre but he's managed to keep the list remarkably affordable and diverse.
If you'd like to sample some of the Ducasse vet's pairing skills, he's going to be hosting a series of tastings at Chez Georges, the downstairs bar at Lec Bec beginning Thursday. For $40 guests will receive a flight of six Syrahs: 3 old world and 3 West Coast offerings to sniff and swirl. Chef Walter Abrams will be providing a selection of Syrah-friendly passed canapés. RSVP to this event by calling 215-567-1000.
Domaine Habrad, Crozes Hermitage,2003 Rhône. Vs Syrah Red Car The Fight 2005 sonoma County.
Domaine Sorrel Hermitage 2001, Rhône vs Syrah Hedges (North Block) Bel’Villa Estate 2001 Washington State.
Domaine du Chene St Joseph 2004, Rhône vs Syrah Truchard 2008 Carneros.
Food & Wine magazine has gone on the record with their picks for Philadelphia’s best restaurants, and while local scenesters might not find many surprises, we always love to see the national press taking note. As you could probably guess, they found plenty to crow about. There are the expected (and deserving) entries from Philly’s biggest names—Garces and Solomonov each fill two slots; Starr and Vetri snag three apiece—but F&W didn’t miss giving the nod to some chefs that are household names only to locals: Barbuzzo, Ela, Fond, Bibou, a.kitchen, and Southwark all snagged spots on the list. A few more casual stalwarts made the list too, like Monk’s, Di Bruno Bros., and Jim’s Steaks.
And of course, there are plenty of names absent from the list for those of us in the know to shriek about, but that’s half the fun of these lists in the first place. (Go ahead and let it all out by nominating some in the comments section if it makes you feel better!) And if you click through to their full Philadelphia city guide, you’ll find an interview with Marc Vetri that includes his own list of tourist recommendations, plus recipes from Vetri, Jose Garces, Marcie Turney, and Michael Solomonov.
If you haven't yet cemented your Saturday evening plans may we suggest heading out to Chester County for a collaboration dinner with Wyebrook Farms and chef Jonathan Adams of Pub and Kitchen, Diving Horse and Rival Brothers fame.
The pastoral, communal dinner is limited to 40 guests, all of whom will cozy up to candlelit farm tables for a five-course end of summer menu featuring all manner of locally produced goods beginning with Wildflour Bakery bread, farm-raised beef pork for tartare and porchetta, Doylestown milled polenta, Doe Run Farms cheeses, and end of summer heirloom tomatoes.
Seating is limited to 40 guests so reserve your spot at firstname.lastname@example.org and pick up a few bottles for what promises to be a perfectly pastoral dinner.
Today on Afternoon Snacks, we've got a collaborative tasting menu at Cantina Feliz, a best-of-the-best cheese class at Tria, and a primer on fermentation just in time for your backyard harvest.
This week’s special tasting menu at Cantina Feliz (424 S. Bethlehem Pk., Ft. Washington), dubbed “Back to Cool,” caught our eye. Available now through Sunday, the menu is the result of collaboration between chef Tim Spinner and his line cooks, featuring dishes from the cooks’ hometowns in Mexico. The arrachera, above, features grilled skirt steak with cacahuete (peanut) sauce, jalapeno cream cheese, roasted tomatos, and asparagus. A pair of sopes opens the meal, one topped with crab, ricotta, poblanos, and caramelized onions, and another with cochinita pibil, pickled onions, and avocado. The three-course meal goes for $25 a person, with an optional $12 tequila pairing available.
Iron Hill’s head brewer Bob Barrar is turning 40, and the brewery’s throwing him a party that might pique your interest even if you just now heard the name “Bob Barrar” for the very first time. On Thursday, Sept. 27 at their Media location (30 E. State St.), between 5 and 9 p.m., the brewpub will offer a now-or-never opportunity to taste Barrar’s Dark Humor porter in a sorta-staggering slew of different ways.
Whether you’re already a fan of the 100% Brett porter or walking in blind, it’s not often that you get a shot at a side-by-side comparison of the same beer over different vintages and after having been aged in a number of different spirit barrels. In addition to the classic, you’ll find 2011 vintages brewed in NY and PA, and batches aged in bourbon, sherry, rum, and tawny and ruby port barrels.
Iron Hill will also be serving up a special menu for the event with dishes calibrated to pair with specific variations, so you can match a blue cheese tasting plate to your port-aged brew or a chocolate cookie sandwich with malted bourbon-pecan ice cream to your bourbon-aged variety. Any of the varieties can be purchased by the pint, and you can even take some home in a 750 mL format, but the obvious place to start would be the sampler flight that nets you a taste of every last one for $16.
David Ansill is continuing his tasting menu takeover at Bar Ferdinand (1030 N. 2nd St.) with a veritable barnyard of meaty happenings every Thursday. Every Thursday Ansill will be offering a Spanish-inflected 8-course menu for $40. He's kicking off the series on October 4th with all iterations of the pig including Crispy Pig's Feet with Purple Mustard and a Pig's Ear Salad with Almonds and Green Beans. Lamb us up next on October 11th with Lamb's Tongue with Chickpeas and Mint and Sweetbreads with Mushrooms. And on October 18th Ansill is tackling a whole bunch of beef with Heart and Chorizo in Red Wine and Confit Cheeks with Pickled Red Onions.
Hey there, did you know that Tuesday, September 18th is National Cheeseburger Day? No? Alright, well, now you do. Since this glorious holiday comes but once a year, it is your patriotic duty to get out there and enjoy at least one cheeseburger before it's too late. Here's a look at some of our preferred burgers about town.
Thrillist has caught word that Vintage (125 S. 13th St.) is rolling out a trio of sliders beginning today. For $10 you can sample all three two-bite burgers along with an optional but appropriately celebratory glass of $4 bubbly.
File this one under amazing burgers in unlikely places, but the good folks at Alla Spina (1410 Mt. Vernon St.) are griddling up one of our favorite burgers in town. "The Burgamo" is pure fast food burger amazingness: two patties topped with cheddar, onions, pickles and a secret sauce spiked with hot sauce and green onions.
A trip over to Pub and Kitchen (1946 Lombard St.) last night revealed that they're currently running both of their beloved burgers: The Churchill bone marrow bomb and the English cheddar and bacon crowned Parliament burger. Get em' while you still can.
The Shack Burger at Shake Shack (2000 Sansom St.) is pretty mindblowing on its own but the only-in-Philly Smoke Shack is where its at with American, applewood smoked bacon and a chopped cherry pepper relish.
And if you happen to be spending your National Cheeseburger Day in South Philly, we're pretty sure that the smoked cheddar burger at the South Philly Tap Room (1509 Mifflin St.) and The Industry Bar's (1401 E. Moyamensing Ave.) double or triple-able burger will do you right.
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