Credit rating agency Moody's Investor Services has downgraded its financial outlook for the private energy firm UIL Holdings, hot on the heels of Mayor Michael Nutter's announcement that UIL was interested in buying the city's debt-ridden public utility, the Philadelphia Gas Works.
Ironically, the change was dictated by the assumption that UIL would successfully complete the $1.86 billion purchase PGW.
Moody's announced in a press release on Tuesday it was downgrading UIL's financial outlook from "stable" to "negative," following "expectation that UIL will close on its announced acquisition of [PGW]," which would massively increase the company's debt load. If the energy company closed on PGW, Moody's predicts the company "will materially increase the level of holding company debt to roughly 30% of total consolidated debt." According to Moody's, the future for the company post-takeover was not a bright one.
Le Virtu (1927 East Passyunk Ave.) chef Joe Cicala is taking his pasta passion to the next level with a new series of videos highlighting his spring menu of handcrafted pastas. Of course, handmade pastas are nothing new at this East Passyunk Abruzzese spot but in the next few weeks Cicala is going to be introducing bi-weekly rare, traditional pastas served on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Pretty exciting, right? Well, it gets better. The Le Virtu crew is going to be making videos to accompany each pasta special with Cicala demoing just how each rare pasta is made. They kicked off the series with Maccheroni alla Mugnaia, a longtime menu staple and this week they're back with Frascarill', an Abruzzese couscous hitting the menu soon.
Mayor Michael Nutter held his annual budget address this morning amidst tightened security, stemming from fears of a repeat of the union protests that interrupted last year's speech. But Council chambers were silent as Nutter spoke. Police had allowed only a small stream of union workers into the hall, with the condition they stay silent and carry no placards.
The mayor's speech largely focused on concrete issues: the growth of the city, the decline of crime, strong private investment in construction and his planned spending for the coming year. But the two most pressing issues of the day — education funding and the future of the Philadelphia Gas Works — were largely left to speculation.
A few weeks back we shared the wonderful news that Ellen Yin and Eli Kulp of Fork and High Street on Market were taking over the menu at a.kitchen and a.bar and today we got a peek at the new concept and menu.
Kulp is introducing a charcoal grill into the tiny open kitchen in a.kitchen revamping the menu into the following categories: Tastes to Start (i.e. shareable snacks), Mostly Raw (not just seafood, meats and greens here too), Small Plates, Charcoal Grilled and seasonal sides. Oh and of course there is going to be a killer bread program to accompany a.kitchen's incredible wine and cocktail lists. Here's a look at some of the menu items to look forward to: