posted by Caroline Russock on Monday, December 09, 2013 at 10:45 AM
posted by Caroline Russock on Friday, December 06, 2013 at 3:30 PM
The multiple-course ancient Abruzzese feast known as La Panarda is returning to Le Virtu (1927 East Passyunk Ave.) this Sunday. Chef/madman Joe Cicala is planning on a 10-plus hour tasting complete with wine pairings and "digestion breaks" for a select group of insane intrepid diners. There must be a minimum of 20 courses for a feast to be considered a Panarda but Cicala has doubled the number with his menu clocking in at 40 plates.
Maccheroni with lamb ragu, chestnut gnocchi and braised mutton stew are just a handful of the plates that are going to be served at this day-long affair, certainly not for the faint-of-dining-heart is going to be. The Le Virtu crew will be lighting fire pits in their patio area so that guests can get a bit of fresh air in-between courses.
Think you have what it takes to tackle La Panarda? (Might want to give GQ's recap a read before committing to the meal.) Tickets are going for $250, kind of crazy cheap considering the massive amounts of food and wine that are going to be on the menu. Give 'em a call at 215-271-5626 to reserve your spot at the table.
posted by Caroline Russock on Friday, December 06, 2013 at 2:30 PM
While we certainly have a special place in our hearts for Federal Donuts, they aren't the only boutique fried chicken option in town anymore. We headed west to Wishbone (4034 Walnut St.) to sample their craft fried chicken menu.
The University City space, a former Lee's Hoagies has been transformed into a really lovely space with exposed brick, rustic exposed beams and some very classy Christmas decor. The menu is brief, a choice of pretzel-crusted white meat tenders and dark thighs and drumsticks or wings paired with a selection of schmancy dipping sauces like chipotle lime mayo and Pommery honey mustard. To round out the meal there are petite seasonal handpies (think pecan, pumpkin and apple) plus a New Hope fountain featuring health(ish) soda options like watermelon cream, Italian lemon and skinny cane cola.
The verdict? The pretzel-crusted tenders were damned good, sort of like a gown up take on chicken fingers and even better with a side of green goddess. We could do without the cloying Thai red curry dipping sauce. And we've got to say we're suckers for the fountain Pennsylvania birch beer.
posted by Caroline Russock on Friday, December 06, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Yesterday we swung by the newly opened Rittenhouse outpost of Plenty (1602 Spruce St.) and we've got to say that owners Anthony and Damon Mascieri have done wonders with the former jewelry store space. The bi-level space has been outfitted with repurposed warm wood walls, pressed tin ceiling and cozy cafe seating. On the menu are internationally-inspired sandwiches the the Seoul with bulgogi-marinated short rib and pickled daikon and the Oslo with smoked salmon and horseradish-caper-dill cream.
There are also a handful of breakfast sandwiches (think pancetta hash and fried eggs and brisket), pastries, granola and steel cut oatmeal to pair with pour-over coffees from a roaster of local roasters.
posted by Caroline Russock on Thursday, December 05, 2013 at 12:00 PM
December is the most wonderful time of the year for a whole bunch of reasons - holiday parties, twinkling lights, Christmas sweaters and of course, seasonal edibles. After all, it's the only time of year when it's entirely appropriate to indulge in things like eggnog lattes and candy cane everything.
This year Federal Donuts had jumped on the seasonal foodstuffs bandwagon with a threesome of festive new fancies. First up is the Crumberry, a cranberry glazed donut topped with with dried cranberries and a buttery pie shell crumble. Then there's a gingerbread fancy spiked with coffee, cloves, molasses and cinnamon topped off with a cream cheese drizzle. And finally a pumpkin spice latte donut with pumpkin glaze and coffee streusel.
posted by Caroline Russock on Thursday, December 05, 2013 at 11:00 AM
This week we've got Adam Erace checking out the Locust Street outpost of Nomad Roman. Spoiler: He's totally into it!
Plus a roundup of straight from the kitchen gifts for the food-minded folks on your shopping list that will keep you safely away from the mall masses.
posted by Caroline Russock on Wednesday, December 04, 2013 at 4:30 PM
We swung by The Fat Ham (3131 Walnut St.), Kevin Sbraga's just-about-to-open University City Southern spot and it looks like everything is just about ready to go. General manager (and Sbraga's right hand man) Ben Fileccia told us that they're just waiting on the liquor license (he's had his eyes glued to the fax machine all day) and that the Ham is soft opening on Friday and going public on Monday.
The room, formerly home to Tria has been outfitted with rustic tables, rawhide covered banquettes, whitewashed barn wood, a tiled hog mosaic and mismatched China from Philly AIDS Thrift. Bottles of housemaid hot sauce are set on each table along with red and white pinstriped napkins.
The opening menu is filled with all sorts of Southern staples refined with touches of Sbraga flair - think Carolina Gold rice with pigeon peas and braised oxtails, smoked lamb belly with cola sauce and the dish that started it all, country fried lobster tail with seasonal succotash. Oh, and rest assured there will be plenty of bourbon.
posted by Caroline Russock on Wednesday, December 04, 2013 at 2:30 PM
Walking by 108 S. 18th Street today, it looks like construction at Good Stuff Eatery, fedora'd Top Chef-testant Spike Mendelsohn's upcoming burger joint is well underway. The Insider reported that DC native Mendelsohn signed the lease on the center City space back in January. This will be the fourth Good Stuff outpost, and the only one outside of the DC metro area. The menu is a straightforward lineup of burgers, sandwiches, salads and fries plus hand-spun shakes. The tell-tale orange liquor license signage is already in place so we're thinking an assortment of craft drafts will also be on offer.
posted by Caroline Russock on Wednesday, December 04, 2013 at 1:00 PM
File this under major bummers: Around 3:30 a.m. last night Fishtown taqueria Loco Pez (2401 E. Norris St.) was robbed. According to ABC Local a masked man with a sawed off shotgun held up two Pez employees and two customers on their way out of the building. He robber ran off with $1000 from the restaurant and $70 from the customers. On the upside no one was injured during the robbery and the whole thing was caught on tape.
posted by Caroline Russock on Wednesday, December 04, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Excited for the premier of Anchorman 2? Of course you are! Well, so are the good folks at The P.O.P.E. and The Industry. These two South Philly favorites have teamed up for a totally awesome midnight showing of the long awaited sequel, offering up an amazing $20 deal that gets you a pint at both bars plus a ticket to the premier on December 19th at Riverview. Allagash, Brooklyn Brewery and Shawnee are the beer sponsors and there's going to be a Ron Burgundy-inspired raffle - bottles of Sex Panther, anyone? Tickets are available at The P.O.P.E. (1501 E. Passyunk Ave.), The Industry (1401 E. Moyamensing Ave.) and The Foodery (various locations). Oh, and if you haven't watched the trailer yet, please do so immediately.
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