First Look: Inside The New Friday Saturday Sunday

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In 2004, I lived in an apartment across the street from Friday Saturday Sunday. It was one of those too-good-to-be-true Rittenhouse rentals and my roommates and I, fresh out of college and high on some Sex and the City imaginings of what our life in downtown Philadelphia would be like, were too naive to know better than to sign the lease. There was exposed wiring, a bathroom floor that sank noticeably when you stepped onto the tile, and for more than a month that winter, the absence of heat. What it had was location, and that’s something difficult to argue against.

Across the street, Friday Saturday Sunday. The upstairs glowed blue in the light from the fish tank illuminated bar. Downstairs, a steady trickle of neighborhood regulars for whom the place was an institution, tucking into bowls of mushroom soup. Frankly, I never quite understood the appeal, but I learned a lot that year—especially about tenant’s rights—and I understood the restaurant as a beloved institution in Philadelphia’s dining scene.

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First Look: Res Ipsa

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In Latin, the phrase res ipsa loquitur means “the thing that speaks for itself.” And the recently-opened all-day cafe by Reanimator Coffee and Tyler Akin of Stock is easy to understand.

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Checking In On Rarest: From CNBC To Chestnut Street

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So here’s the pitch: a restaurant where everything on the menu is raw, but not in a Los Angeles way. Instead, the restaurant would offer a menu of mostly raw and lightly cooked items: selected salumi, tartare, definitely some crudo, cevice, and vegetables, too. And then, on top of that, some stuff that’s definitely cooked. Like, you know, pork chops. Or french fries.

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First Look: Aqimero

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How do you know when you’re on a vacation? Somebody opens the door for you, smiling, and shortly thereafter, somebody else brings you a cocktail. Something refreshing. There are craggy oysters and pink shrimp resting in ice, awaiting some future destination, and there are palm trees in abundance.

At Aqimero, the new Richard Sandoval restaurant in the Ritz Carlton, its clear that that vacation-style hospitality is on the menu.

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First Look: Bait & Switch

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Let’s get one thing straight: there’s no truly regional seafood tradition in the Mid-Atlantic. Sure, Barnegat Bay has it’s scallops, the Chesapeake has its crabs, and Atlantic City has a completely different kind of crabs, but when it comes to seafood that you eat, Philadelphia sits squarely at a crossroads of traditions. South of here there are soft shells and Old Bay, fish fries with hush puppies. Up north? Clambakes, lobster rolls, and chowder. Even if Fishtown’s namesake comes from shad fishing, it’s a tradition as present in our city lives as Long John Silver, himself.

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First Look: Ai Ramen

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When’s the last time you were in a food court? Riding the escalator up through the Shops at Liberty Place felt, for me at least, like a trip back in time. Breezing through the air-conditioned chill past Express and J. Crew, I half expected to arrive on the second floor squarely in front of Border’s Books, The Limited, and Bath and Body Works. Once I had shopped ’til I dropped, suddenly that 90s movie mean girl with shopping bags slung over her arms, I’d take a break in one of the Sharper Image massage chairs or snack on an Auntie Anne’s pretzel or the candy-sweet orange chicken from Panda Express.

Fortunately (and despite what current fashion trends might indicate), this isn’t the 90s. And there are better things to eat now at the mall.

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First Look: South Helm

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Cooking is hard.

It’s hard because it takes incredible skill, talent, and tenacity to climb the ladder of the kitchen. It’s hard because it requires long hours in an uncomfortable working environment for not a lot of money. And it’s hard because kitchens are a powder keg of both ambition and stress. But one reason that it’s hard, not as visible as those above, is the fact that cooking the same dishes over and over again is just boring.

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First Look: Morgan’s Pier, Summer 2016

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Who says you can’t go home again? Jim Burke is proof that you can go home and you can do so with a brewski in hand. The Burkes are back in town following a stint in New York, and Jim is happily installed under the blue skies and multicolored umbrellas of Morgan’s Pier for the summer. Fans will remember he and Kristina Burke at the mention of their Bella Vista restaurant, James, that they closed back in 2011. The pair is cooking up their next move, and in the meantime he’s putting an Italian spin on his Morgan’s Pier offerings.

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First Look: Jansen

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There’s nothing new about scallops, lemons, capers, and parsley. It’s a plate full of beige, ecru, and green as tame as Pottery Barn. Fortunately, David Jansen’s scallops are just as pleasant as the catalog-worthy interior at your Aunt Susan’s house. Seared golden and seasoned beautifully, they sink slowly into a puree of cauliflower punctuated with jewels of preserved lemon and parsley leaves.

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There’s A Pretty Cool Farm Dinner Happening At Kensington Quarters This Weekend

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If you’re living off the land, what do you do when overwintered vegetables—potatoes, carrots, turnips—begin to dwindle before the new crops in the field are ready to eat? You get creative. This period, called Spring Famine, or Sechswoche Noth (Six Week Privation), its Pennsylvania Dutch name, is the theme of a seven course menu this Sunday, May 22nd, at Kensington Quarters. It’s a collaboration between chef Steve Eckerd and farmer Alex Wenger from Field’s Edge, a research farm in Lancaster, PA. In a moment when “local” peas, rhubarb, and strawberries appear on “seasonal” menus long before they arrive at area farmer’s markets, this meal will instead showcase sustainable eating with ingredients that actually reflect the Midatlantic right now.

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