Where We’re Eating: Pumpkin

Photo by Mike Arrison

Photo by Mike Arrison

ANNIVERSARIES
There are two ways a restaurant can be and remain successful: It can stay relevant, or it can become a classic. Sometimes, when the planets align and the gods approve, the two happen simultaneously. Pumpkin has lived at 17th and South for what’ll soon be 10 years, the anniversary of the day when owners Ian Moroney and Hillary Bor grabbed hold of a space nobody believed in and created (and kept) the BYO atmosphere we all know and love.

Alas, with the surrounding restaurant neighborhood explosion — the fancy toasts, the small plates — tiny places like this can get lost in the scrum. But Pumpkin stayed true and stayed exciting. Fregola sarda (toasted beads of Sardinian pasta) risotto with an English pea salad on top was not only comforting, but a texturally fun play on popping peas and smooth risotto. And it was the succotash that brought the sweet, tang and heat (from Styer Orchard chili peppers) that tiny gobbets of snails reveled in.

It’s easy eating  at Pumpkin — not dated, not too precious, not clinging to trends,  but not losing sight of what Philadelphia wants, either. It’s a restaurant that’s both current and classic,  and that still harks back to a day when Philadelphia began to do what we do best: bring our own.

Pumpkin [Foobooz]

Originally published in the September 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

 

About Last Night: Booze, Lentils, Booze and Booze

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The title may be misleading—last night’s event wasn’t all about booze. It was, as always, an impressive showdown between two extremely talented chefs. They came prepared, for sure; they came excited, no doubt; they cooked us a phenomenal meal. But while they were doing their thing behind the line, the alcohol was working its magic on the guests–mostly in the form of wine, tequila and an icy bottle of Grey Goose which (mysteriously…) didn’t last the night.

In the end and to say the least, we had a great time at Open Stove XXVII. But behind the line, one team had a better time than the other, so let’s recap and see how it all went down.

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DIY Down the Shore: Joncarl Lachman’s Summer Frittata

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Noord’s brunch menu is usually supplemented by weekly specials you probably won’t find on another brunch menu in Philly—like Zurkool & Eggs (beer-braised cabbage, smoked sausage and eggs) or Whole Trout Amandine. But usually, those specials include a frittata, and Joncarl loves frittatas.

This recipe can be done with any sort of seasonal vegetable (you can get your ingredients at any of these places), and you’ll be able to impress your brunch friends before you go out on the water for the day.

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DIY Down the Shore: Beach Rental Daiquiris by Kevin James Holland

Photo by Trevor Dixon

Photo by Trevor Dixon

To help your summer along, Foobooz plans to give you some recipes by notable chefs and bartenders in Philadelphia. We’re calling it the DIY Down the Shore series, and we’ll be posting them all week. We’re bringing Philly’s dining scene into your summer homes.

Kevin James Holland, the little man with the little bar in West Philly, Fiume, weighed in on our DIY series. And here’s his story:

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DIY Down the Shore: Derek Moorer’s Vampire Finch

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To help your summer along, Foobooz plans to give you some recipes by notable chefs and bartenders in Philadelphia. We’re calling it the DIY Down the Shore series, and we’ll be posting them all week. We’re bringing Philly’s dining scene into your summer homes.

Derek Moorer has two things going for him:

1. Danger is his middle name. I’m not kidding, his name is Derek Danger Moorer.
2. He has the keen ability to make a drink that you never heard of, and that’ll knock your socks off.

He’s one of the Ranstead Room bartenders and also one of the three heads behind the Smoke & Spice pop-up bar we mentioned last week. He gave us a drink called the Vampire Finch.

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DIY Down The Shore: Phoebe Esmon’s Rickey

emmanuelle-interiorTo help your summer along, Foobooz plans to give you some recipes by notable chefs and bartenders in Philadelphia. We’re calling it the DIY Down the Shore series, and we’ll be posting them all week. We’re bringing Philly’s dining scene into your summer homes.

Phoebe Esmon, of Emmanuelle is one of this city’s great bartenders. She not only makes beautiful cocktails done right, but she’s well educated in what she does. So here’s a little schoolin’ from Ms. Esmon:

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DIY Down the Shore: Better Than A G+T

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 2.00.40 PMFor the past couple weeks, we’ve been talking to a variety of Philly chefs and bartenders, asking them what they bring with them to eat and drink when they go down the shore. And now, for the next couple weeks, we’re going to be sharing with you their favorite recipes for snacks, cocktails and other delicious things so that you, too, can eat and drink like a pro.

In the words of Franklin Mortgage’s head bartender, Mike Treffehn, “In the dog days of summer, the G+T is king. And while I’ll never say no to a standard well gin and gun tonic, at home and at my bar I like to step it up a notch.” 

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