It’s a little warm out for an open fire, but for many Christmas time means the sweet flavor of chestnuts, be they roasted, pureed, or folded into something sweet. Unfortunately, for those who love them, they can be difficult to find stateside. Here are a few spots around town where you can find their incomparable flavor, Jack Frost nipping or no.
This is a weekend of finals, I’m afraid, and not just for the college and graduate school set struggling through exams and papers. It’s the final weekend of the year for Headhouse, though a few vendors will be offering a winter buying club throughout the colder months (more to come on that later). Besides that wrap-up, the Bryn Mawr, Chestnut Hill, Clark Park, Rittenhouse and Fitler Square markets will all be closed next weekend, the day after Christmas, to give the vendors a little break. What with this schedule, folks, it’s time to stock up. Yes, buy the local food gifts, because there are many and we’re sure you’re not through with your shopping quite yet, but also consider picking up a few of the items below to see you through until it’s officially 2016.
The folks behind Zavino have officially opened the doors of their third restaurant and this time they’re moving past their pizza and wine concept. Tredici (say it with me: tray-dee-chee), which means thirteen in Italian, is located on 13th street at Sansom, just across from their original space. While Zavino is dark reds and browns, Tredici is all grown up in blonde and gray and gold. The space is luxe, people. A herringbone-patterned floor, brass fixtures, and a cool marble bar make for a restaurant that feels old-world and not like a Midtown Village newcomer at all.
The balmy weather out there is hardly befitting the Let it Snow and Frosty the Snowman lyrics being forcibly piped into every retail establishment at this time of year, but it sure does make for pleasant strolling through all the Christmas-y outdoor activities in the city this weekend. Get a firm grasp on holiday shopping by picking up some edible and otherwise locally-made gifts at the farmer’s markets this week. Here are a few suggestions.
Hanukkah begins this Sunday, and while Thanksgiving and Christmas are pretty great as far as eating holidays go, Hanukkah, a glorification of all-things fried, is tough to beat. Fried latkes, fried doughnuts, delicious carb-and-custard-packed kugel, and braised meat. This is the kind of food to fuel full-contact holiday shopping and it beats the pants off of your mama’s green bean casserole. Even better? You’ll be able to pick-up lots of the things you’ll need for a proper feast-ival of lights at this weekend’s farmer’s markets.
There are two things to keep in mind this weekend. The first is that this weekend, in some neighborhoods, is your last chance to shop a farmer’s market pre-Thanksgiving. Second, the fact that some markets, including Bryn Mawr and Headhouse, close the weekend after Thanksgiving, which means that you should really be thinking about shopping for two weeks, and not just one holiday. With those as your marching orders, go forth and pick-up your sweet potatoes, your greens, your turkey, and everything else you can carry. Here are a few additions worth considering.
We’re sure you’re not the first person to be driven to drink by your children, but Coeur might be the first bar and restaurant to capitalize on that fact. Called “Mommy Juice Weekdays,” Leigh Maida and Brendan Hartranft, who balance parenthood and restaurant-ownership themselves, are offering a daytime happy hour from noon until 3:00 with select draft wines and beers for $4 aimed at stay-at-home-parents. In their words, “To all the home-bound, bored, frazzled, sticker covered and sticky parents among you, we say WELCOME.”
Some restaurants host events every single week, but others wait until they’ve got something special going on; a distinctive bottle or two to open or some out-of-town visitors to fête. Such was the occasion last week at Townsend when the sweet spot on Passyunk hosted Sierra Foothills winemakers Caroline Hoel and Hank Beckmeyer from La Clarine Farm.
Natural to the core, these down to earth, yet broadly knowledgeable vintners waxed eloquent on their unorthodox grape blends and the exciting nature of natural winemaking. The biodynamic model of minimally invasive agriculture can be considered at best capricious, and at worst reckless, but is undoubtedly the cutting edge of wine culture internationally. Finding these dynamic, challenging (and often delicious) wines paired attentively and successfully with Townsend Wentz’s take on classic French cuisine was a pleasure.
We’ve officially entered countdown mode for the single biggest food holiday of the year. Order up that heritage breed turkey, figure out who’s responsible for the candied yams this year, and settle the debate of fresh vs. canned cranberry sauce, even if it requires a truce. Oh, and don’t forget to feed yourself something in the meantime.
Just when you thought you were done with Day of the Dead skulls for the year, La Casa de tu Madre opened at Eighth and Fitzwater.
Luchador masks, sombreros, sherbet-hued paint colors, and yes, beautiful painted skulls are some of the new touches that Jason Evenchik and his team have used to transform the dark space that was Growlers into a technicolor explosion of all things Mexican.