Blackfish Brings Back Downton Abbey Dinner

Downton-Abbey-Dinner-940Blackfish’s Downton Abbey themed dinner is back on Sunday, March 8th. Inspired by the popular British TV show, chef and owner Chip Roman and his team are creating a meal fit for the Crawleys.

Highlights from Mrs. Patmore’s Roman’s menu include:

  • Smoked Salmon Rillettes with stone ground mustard, crostini
  • Royal Miyagi Oysters with champagne vinegar mignonette
  • Mrs. Patmore’s London Particular with petite pois, smoked ham hock, yorkshire pudding
  • Escargot A La Mrs. Hughes with fermented garlic, parsley, oyster mushroom, grilled bread
  • Downton Estates Wild Boar with stewed barley, madeira, green peppercorn
  • English Eccles Cake with black currant, sweetened yogurt

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The Bar(n) Is Open and People Don’t Like the Sign

the-barn-940A recent Reddit thread tilted “Terribly-named bar gets horrible sign” has gained some notoriety. The thread refers to Bar(n) which has recently opened at 49th and Baltimore in West Philadelphia (the former Third World Lounge). The bar is owned by the same group that is behind Farmacy at 45th and Spruce. The Bar(n)’s Facebook page recently changed its profile pic to a screenshot of the Reddit photo. Ross Scofield, who is behind Bar(n) and Farmacy, has since taken to defending the sign that was attacked in the Facebook comments. 

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One Bell for Fishtown’s Girard

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The burger at Girard was one of the things Craig LaBan did like.

Craig LaBan savages Girard, the BYO on Girard Avenue that made headlines before it even opened, with its no-tipping policy. LaBan found poor execution and something even more surprising, a line on the check for tips.

But too many dishes failed to connect good ideas to a plate of complete success. Oliveira’s signature omelet was textbook perfect, stuffed with avocado, creamy cheddar and bacon. But the side of charred grapefruit, grilled face down (letting the sugar fall off) instead of brûléed with a torch, was bitterly burnt. The lamb ragu had an intriguing daube-like inflection of olives and orange, but was literally braised to a mush that was poorly paired with doughy gnocchi. A torchon of foie gras, usually a luxuriously creamy disk of delicately poached liver, was an off-tasting smudge of tan butter on toast overwhelmed by a thicker smudge of fig jam for $13.

One Bell – Hit or Miss

Bold but confusing Girard Brasserie and Bruncherie in Fishtown [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Girard [Foobooz]

Get the Truck Outta Here

This past Sunday we ran our Top Food Trucks post and map as a companion to Philadelphia Sunday’s cover piece, Food Truck Wars by Ryan Briggs. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please make sure you do. It’s an interesting look at the new crop of food truck vendors and where they’ve chaffed the old guard bacon, egg and cheese vendors.

Philly Food Truck Wars [Philadelphia Magazine]

Now Open: Los Camaradas in Graduate Hospital

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Mural at Los Camaradas

Los Camaradas is now open at 22nd and Carpenter. The Mexican bar and restaurant replaces the unfortunately named Strip Joint. Joseph and Theresa Scull are behind the new spot. This is the couple’s first spot but far from their first time in a restaurant. Joseph is a restaurant kitchen veteran, recently he’s been doing some consulting and has had stints at Bryn Mawr’s Verdad and Chestnut Hill’s Solaris Grill. Theresa was the beverage manager at Fairmount’s La Calaca Feliz.

The bar is stocked with more than 50 tequilas and a healthy selection of mezcals. All of the margaritas are made with fresh fruit and agave, never a mix. The bar will also have specialty cocktails like the Alma Picante, a spicy and smoky number made with mezcal. It went well with the smoked gouda that starred in the nachos.
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James Beard Award Semifinalists Announced

james-beard-semisToday at noon, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards.

Abe Fisher and Townsend were Best New Restaurant nominees. Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri got nods for Outstanding Chef and Ellen Yin’s new restaurant group received three nominations. Fork was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant and Alex Bois (High Street on Market) and Jon Nodler (a.kitchen) received rising stars nominations.

The nominees »

Pop-Up Dinner Series with Rob Marzinsky

mixtapeChef Rob Marzinksy, formerly of Fitler Dining Room is hosting a dinner series upstairs at Barbuzzo before jetting off for stages in Bangkok, Singapore and Australia. Marzinksy’s “Uncut Dinner Sessions” will happen upstairs at Barbuzzo, February 25th – 27th. There will be two seatings each night and the five-course prix-fixe menu will be $65 per person with an optional $40 cocktail pairing.

Marzinsky will be joined by his good friend Ian Chapin who in addition to being a restaurant designer and fabricator, is described by Marzinsky as “veritable music encyclopedia.” Chapin will compose an eclectic mix of songs to play for guests, ranging from Born to Run-era Bruce Springsteen to Stax’s Otis Redding recordings.

Steva Casey will handle the drink program. Casey runs Swingshift, a pop-up dinner program in Birmingham, Alabama.

Marzinsky asked several of his industry friends  from his time at Stateside and Pub & Kitchen to help him out. So don’t be surprised to see the likes of Jonathan Adams, Sean Murphy and Jae Hee Cho working the line.

Seats are limited and reservations can be made by emailing tapesdemo@gmail.com.

Check out the menu »

Two Bells for George Sabatino’s Aldine

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Photo by Emily Teel (who gets a great shoutout in the review)

There is more than one kind of two-bell review. The surprisingly good neighborhood joint, the disappointing debut of a big-name chef and in the case of George Sabatino’s Aldine, a two-bell review going in the right direction.

Craig LaBan’s review sees progress in several dishes over just a couple of months. And others are already there.

Dishes such as the lamb rillettes, its tender milk-braised meat shredded and formed into a crispy cake over silky Hubbard squash puree sparking with red chile heat, evoke both visual beauty and a deep satisfaction of soulful flavors. Sabatino’s clever crudo deconstruction of the ubiquitous sesame-crusted tuna – raw tuna sashimi brightened with blood orange, fennel crackers and sesame seeds – was like tasting Mediterranean sun.

Two Bells – Very Good

For George Sabatino, years of experiments paying off at Aldine [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Aldine
 [Foobooz]

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