Opening Menus at Kensington Quarters

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Tonight, Kensington Quarters opens on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. The combination butcher shop, restaurant and classroom is unique to Philadelphia and it will be interesting to see how the concept grows and evolves.

For now, we have the opening dinner, dessert and drink lists. The restaurant is starting off with a tight menu of small plates, starches and entrees. The menu runs from $11 for rare beef to $26 for a pork shoulder entree, served with potato torta and mustard greens. Though Kensington Quarters does include a butcher shop, the menu is far from strictly carnivore as the menu includes dishes that are or can be prepared for vegetarians.

For drinks, Kensington Quarters offers wine ($8 to $10.50) and beer ($5 to $6.50) on tap plus a list of cocktails.

Tomorrow, we’ll have a report on opening night.

Check out some photos and the opening menus » 

Philadelphia Bars Bailing on Bar Rescue

2nd State drink list, guess this is a Taffer-maniacs collector's item.

2nd State drink list, guess this is a Taffer-maniacs collector’s item.

Michael Klein has the story that both recently filmed Bar Rescue bars are backing away from their Jon Taffer makeovers. The former Lickety Split has removed the “Alleged Pizza” graphics from its first floor and dumped its drink list from 2nd State Lounge upstairs. That might be just as well as the “South Street Sazerac” I was served was given an Absinthe rinse of about 4-ounces.

As for Plush in Glenside, that bar was rechristened Osteria Calabria, though the staff evidently referred to it as “OC” from day one. A Facebook post shows they uncovered the bar top that Taffer overhauled.

The Philadelphia episodes of Bar Rescue will appear on Spike TV in November with Lickety Split airing on November 9th and Plush a week later on the 16th. Hopefully both bars make it to their air dates.

Bar Rescue clients give up on Taffer’s changes [The Insider]
2nd State Lounge [Foobooz]
Osteria Calabria [Foobooz]

Adaptive Reuse Proves Difficult at La Peg

La Peg at FringeArts | Photo by Kevin Monko

La Peg at FringeArts | Photo by Kevin Monko

Rick Nichols checks in at La Peg, Peter Woolsey’s two month old French brasserie at the once-upon-a-time pump house that is now the home of FringeArts. Nichols finds that the transition from early 20th century high-pressure water station to present day restaurant has been difficult.

That its menu takes liberties with disciplined bistro classics doesn’t help matters. My bowl of Vietnamese beef-noodle pho consomme was cloyingly sweet. And while my wife was happy with her steak-frite, as was I with a small plate of roasted striped bass, my choucroute garnie – so wonderful when the sauerkraut is cooked long and slow enough to soak up the flavors of the sausage – tasted as if a bag of crunchy, coarse-cut kraut had been warmed up at the last minute, then layered with grilled sausage, entirely missing the point of the dish.

Reinventing pump house as eatery proves daunting [Philadelphia Inquirer]
La Peg [Foobooz]

Brewing Equipment Arrives at Iron Hill Ardmore

iron-hill-ardmore-equipment-400The Iron Hill Brewing Co.’s Ardmore location has been in the plans since at least December of 2012. And though it looked like it might not happen at all for a time, the brewing equipment has arrived on site today.

The brewpub will be located at 44 Greenfield Avenue and will be the eleventh location for the chain, which stretches from Newark, Delaware to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

The brewpub is aiming to open before the end of the year and has named Paul Rutherford, formerly of Iron Hill Chestnut Hill as its head brewer. That move set off a chain reaction in the Iron Hill family. Chris LaPierre, who opened the Maple Shade location has moved to Chestnut Hill and Andrew Rubenstein will be brewing at Maple Shade, with Iron Hill Voorhees head brewer Kevin Walter overseeing both locations. Got it? Good.

More from Ardmore »

Royal Tavern Recreating Bob’s Burgers Specials

jack-o-lentil-burger-royal-tavernRoyal Tavern in Bella Vista has long been known for its burgers and it looks like it about to get a lot more notoriety for them. Starting yesterday and running for the next eleven weeks, the Royal is recreating special burgers that were mentioned on the TV show Bob’s Burgers.

First up is the “Jack-O-Lentil burger,” it’s a Lentil burger with pumpkin habanero aioli, wilted spinach, tomato and poblano salad, served on a brioche bun. New burgers debut every Sunday. Next up, “Mushroom with a View.”

Royal Tavern [Foobooz]

Hot Diggity Shows Off Chow Mein Sandwich

hot-diggity-chow-mein-sandwich-940Hot Diggity is kicking off a series of regional sandwich specials. First up is the Chow Mein Sandwich from Fall River, Massachusetts. According to owner Keith Garabedian, the sandwich has been a local classic since the 1930s when it “helped feed thousands of hungry laborers and immigrants.

The sandwich is made with Hot Diggity’s own chow mein, celery, peppers, carrots, scallions, ginger, garlic and soy. The sandwich is available with chicken or vegetables.

Hot Diggity [Foobooz]

WATCH: Is This the Fitler Dining Room Dog Vandal?

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Early on Saturday morning, video cameras outside of Fitler Dining Room at 22nd and Spruce recorded someone vandalizing the restaurant’s iconic dog statues. A segment of the video (below) shows a male kicking and twisting the statue.

According to Fitler Dining Room’s Ed Hacket — who has seen the entire surveillance video of the incident — the suspect was walking west on Spruce Street when he tried to catch a cab at the corner. Hacket says the man was quickly tossed from the cab, and after that he headed for the dogs. Hacket says that the video shows the man kicking at one of the statues, finally knocking it over and breaking it.

Watch the video » 

Tale of the Tape: Lo Spiedo

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Marc Vetri’s seventh restaurant, Lo Spiedo officially opens today. Located just inside the gates at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, Lo Spiedo aims to be a lunch option for the Navy Yard’s 11,000 plus employees as well as a dinner destination for Philadelphia diners.

Read more »

Valanni Is Offering a “Banged Up Brunch” on Saturdays

valanni-banged-up-brunchEvery Saturday, Valanni Restaurant is throwing a “Banged Up Brunch” featuring happy hour drink specials and a selection of brunch favorites, tapas style for $5. No need to decide sweet or savory, just select tapas plates like cinnamon French toast and applewood smoked bacon grilled cheese for the best of both worlds.

The brunch runs from noon to 3 p.m. every  Saturday and includes drink specials like half-off sangria, wine and specialty cocktails. Bloody Marys and mimosas are also available for $5.

Read more »

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