The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

Porcini

Do you guys know what the forecast is going to be for tomorrow? I’ll tell you. The high is 19° and the low is a whopping 7°F. What does that feel like? It feels awful. It feels like your boogers freezing inside your nose. It feels like brain-freeze, except it’s your whole body and there’s no ice cream. It’s about as bad as it gets around here. Area farmers will, nevertheless, be staffing the farmer’s markets at Rittenhouse Square (10:00-2:00), Clark Park (10:00-2:00), Fitler Square (9:00-2:00), and Chestnut Hill (10:00-Noonish), so you practically owe it to them to go buy some vegetables. Posted hours aside, if business is slow and the weather is awful some farms might pack up early, so this is definitely an instance to go earlier rather than later. Also? It happens to be Valentine’s Day on Sunday and sweetheart or no, you should probably cook something nice.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

Potatoes2

After a well-deserved week off, all area farmer’s markets are back on schedule for tomorrow. That means that Rittenhouse, Fitler Square, Clark Park, Bryn Mawr, and Chestnut Hill will all be present and accounted for, so you can stretch your legs and restock on local food following a shut-in weekend.

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First Look: Urban Farmer

UrbanFarmer11

Last year we said goodbye to a Philadelphia institution and a standard bearer of fine dining, The Fountain at the Four Seasons. Now, there’s a new kid in town. Urban Farmer Steakhouse opened a month ago in the historic restaurant space in what is now The Logan hotel. Just as Avance was always compared to Le Bec Fin, so too will Urban Farmer be compared to The Fountain, and the two are very, very different dining experiences.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Under normal circumstances the folks staffing Philly’s farmer’s markets are a hardy bunch. August’s temperature spikes, November’s frosts, and April’s rain showers don’t phase or slow down people who routinely deal with livestock and pull food from the very ground.

This weekend, however, they’re coming as close to taking a break as they ever do. Both Farm to City and The Food Trust have made the decision to close all of this weekend’s year-round farmer’s markets to prevent area growers from having to navigate what, at the moment anyway, are projected to be tough driving conditions. You heard right: no farmer’s markets this weekend in Rittenhouse, Chestnut Hill, Fitler Square, Clark Park, or Bryn Mawr. Considering the fact that many of these growers drive an hour or more to get downtown, market organizers are doing their best to make safe decisions for one and all. This week, instead of highlighting what to look for at your local farmer’s markets, I’m highlighting a few places to shop for local foods besides your local farmer’s market. Get your bread, get your milk, and stock up on snack food, because it’s time to hunker down, farmer’s included.

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New Liberty Distillery Has A “Restaurant Week” Menu

NewLibertyCask

Ahhh, Restaurant Week. Love it or hate it, the late summer and midwinter promotion of inexpensive dining brings out something special in Philadelphia’s dining community. Patrons get the chance to try a three-course menu at a fixed rate, which means that budget-conscious diners can experience new places at a discount. For restaurateurs, Restaurant Week is a chance to turn tables and burn through high numbers of guests, albeit at discounted rates–a welcome relief during the slowest times of the year.

One of the hoops that restaurateurs participating in Restaurant Week must jump through, however, is that of featuring the spirits of the event’s official cocktail sponsor. And whomever it is selecting the sponsors? They must have a wicked sense of humor.

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First Look: Clarkville

Clarkville1

There is no shortage of pizza in Philly, but pizza is kind of like a park. It inspires loyalty, kids love it, and no matter how many there are in the city overall, each neighborhood is a better, happier place because it is nearby.

Just a few weeks ago Brendan Hartranft, Brendan Kelly and Leigh Maida opened a pizza shop at the corner of West Philly’s most beloved park. Clarkville is the light-flooded result of taking the former Best House Pizza (and the apartments above it) at 43rd and Baltimore—just across from Clark Park—down to the studs and starting afresh. Brighter than their nearby gastropub, Local 44, the new space is expansive, family-friendly, and definitely plays to their strengths.

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First Look: A Mano

a mano emily teel 940

A Mano in Fairmount | All photos by Emily Teel

There’s something familiar about the freshly opened A Mano in Fairmount.

It’s not the space. The corner of 23rd Street and Fairmount was, for ages, occupied by a little grocery shop, not a restaurant. It’s not the food either. Michael Millon’s menu is definitely an Italian departure from chef-owner Townsend Wentz’s French-focused offerings at Townsend on East Passyunk. The thing about A Mano that’s familiar is the format: a BYOB with handsome wooden tables, a long banquette, an open kitchen, and a big mirror to bounce light from the bank of windows. Honestly? A Mano could be Will or especially Noord, minus Bob Moysan’s artwork and plus about 20 additional seats.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

Sunchoke Flowers

This time a year ago we were experiencing a polar vortex. Things today are positively balmy by comparison. Still, even though it isn’t nearly as cold as a year ago, it’s still very much cold and flu season. Shore up your immune system (or at least feed it if you’re getting over something) with this week’s farmer’s market offerings.

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The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

blacktrumpet

After a few quiet weeks, tomorrow brings local farmers back to Clark Park, Chestnut Hill, Fitler Square, and Rittenhouse. Markets are smaller and sometimes shorter in the new year, at least until springtime officially hits. For now, markets are running on an abbreviated winter schedule, some skipping weeks and some with shorter hours. Before bundling up, make sure your favorite market (whether through Farm to City or The Food Trust) is actually happening. If you do venture out in the chill, here are a few things you’ll find.

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