Palladino’s Restaurant Opening

Kristina Jenkins, Michelle Cassidy and Madison Alpern

Last night Chef Luke Palladino celebrated the opening of his new restaurant, Palladino’s, on Philly’s latest restaurant row — East Passyunk Avenue — with a VIP Party including Mike Jerrick, Pat Ciarrocchi, Barbara Rittenhouse, Deputy Mayor Richard Negrin and his wife Karen, Councilman Mark Squilla and wife Brigid, and Cory Wade (America’s Next Top Model) in attendance.

Guests were greeted by a 50-foot-long red carpet, where they posed for photos before entering the upscale Italian restaurant with bar, open kitchen and a dining room with 80. They enjoyed tastes from his extensive menu as well as specialty drinks by Punzone Vodka. The kitchen features a wood-fired grill where they prepare steaks, fish, and chops, as well as an Italian oven that will be used exclusively to bake focaccia. The official opening of the restaurant is tonight, but is sold out. Palladino’s is located a stone’s throw from Broad Street, at 1934 E. Passyunk Avenue.

Photos after the jump »

PHOTOS: IBA’s Annual Holiday Fete

Local LGBT-owned business-championing organization Independence Business Alliance (IBA)  and its Board of Directors hosted its annual holiday celebration at the Hilton Garden Inn Philadelphia last night. Many in our community and our allies of business owners, professionals, corporate and community partners were on hand to toast Greater Philadelphia’s vibrant and successful LGBT business community and chat about what the future holds for them.

The festively dressed guests enjoyed an abundant—and delicious—selection of hors d’oeuvres and light bites at food stations and the cash bar on the 10th floor of the hotel, where guests got a killer view of Philly’s twinkling lights.



“Toys for Tots” Party at Chima

Kristin Pultro, Nick Albater and Amanda Giddings,

Last night the law firm of Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy P.C. and Philadelphia Eagle Jeremy Maclin – along with his foundation JMac Gives Back – teamed up to collect more than 600 toys for Little Smiles Pa. In an evening filled with holiday cheer, city leaders and business executives from across the region gathered at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse in Center City. During the evening the Eagles’ “Green Magic” bus arrived with a donation of 300 toys, which Zarwin Baum and Maclin will deliver to Shriners Hospital for Children on Thursday. The remaining toys will be distributed by Little Smiles Pa. to other area hospitals.

Photos after the jump »

Malcolm Jenkins’ Blitz, Bow-Ties and Bourbon

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Philadelphia Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins hosted Blitz, Bow-Ties & Bourbon on Monday night at Union Trust Finley Catering, a fundraiser for his non-profit, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation (TMJF). Many of Jenkins teammates came out to support his first area fundraiser, including Jeremy Maclin, Connor Barwin and Brandon Boykin. Many of the guests attending adhered to the dress code and wore bow ties, including some from Jenkins own line, Rock Avenue Bow Ties.

The evening began with a VIP cocktail party in the mezzanine where guests enjoyed food tastings from Treemont, and Bank and Bourbon as well as treats from Chip Roman’s candy line Tradestone Confections where the artisan chocolates were paired with various bourbons.

Brian Bevilacqua, a bourbon master at Bank & Bourbon, chatted about the various bourbons on the market with the guests. At 6:30, more guests arrived to enjoy the festivities, bid on the silent auction, enjoy a delicious spread by Finley Catering as well as small plates from Sbraga, and The Farm and the Fisherman. Comedian/magician Darrell Fisher was on hand as entertainment as well as auctioneer, successfully selling a trip to Mexico for $6,000, a Tiger Woods signed golf club and original paintings.

Malcolm Jenkins and his mom, Gwendolyn V. Jenkins, President, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, thanked the guests for coming, and told them the money raised at the event would go to expand the foundation’s programming to support youth in the Great Philadelphia area. The foundation has existing programs in New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio, and New Orleans. After the program, guests enjoyed the sounds of Valarie Adams & the Dimensions and packed the dance floor as dessert and coffee were served.

Photos from Blitz, Bow-Ties & Bourbon after the jump »

Weather Screws Up Chris Rock’s Trip to Tony Luke’s, But He Makes it to Ritz Five

Chris Rock at Ritz 5, promoting his new movie The Top Five.

Chris Rock at Ritz Five, promoting his new movie, Top Five.

Winter storm/Nor’Easter Damon might not have packed a powerful punch in the Philadelphia area but it’s wreaking havoc along the Coast and New England. Case in point? Wintery conditions delayed Chris Rock’s plane on his press junket to visit five cities in one day to promote his new film Top Five,  opening Friday, December 12th.

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PHOTOS: Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus Go Holiday Honky-Tonking

The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus (PGMC) kicked off its 2014-2015 season last week with a repertoire of traditional American holiday classics mixed with a country-music flair. I went Saturday night, sticking to a decade-long tradition of attending the concert with my friend Scott Righter and my husband Mike Toub. The concert consisted of holiday songs by American composers, both old and new, including “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain.”



For part of the show, the songbirds were dressed in tuxedos, but in the second act they changed into their sexiest flannel shirts and kerchiefs to perform down-home country favorites like Dolly Parton’s “Hard Candy Christmas,” sung by Michael Murphy, and an acted-out “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” (Note: No reindeer were hurt during this segment.)

In addition to the angelic voices of the guys, there were dancing boys and a live band accompanying the singers. At the event Joseph J. Buches, artistic director of PGMC, chatted about the upcoming season, which includes the very tempting “Proud Marys: A Diva Sing-Along.” You won’t want to miss it. Buy your tickets early, because these show sell out fast.

Children’s Crisis Treatment Center’s 14th Annual Roundup

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You might have thought the rodeo was in town had you passed the Franklin Institute on Friday night. The Children’s Crisis Treatment Center held its 14th annual Roundup to raise much needed funds for CCTC’s efforts to assist Philadelphia children and their families who are coping with the impact of behavioral health issues, traumatic events and other challenges that affect childhood development.

This year’s event chairs for the western-themed event were Lavinia and Michael Smerconish, who honored Andrea and Warren Kantor. Guests were asked to leave their tuxedos and gowns at home, and instead encouraged to wear their their best cowboy and cowgirl apparel (which many of them did) for a night of cocktails, delicious cuisine from Frog Commissary, and dancing to the tunes of EBE Entertainment. There was also an extensive silent auction with sports tickets, vacations and theater outings.

Did I mention the mechanical bull? That was a very popular spot all evening.

Photos from the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center’s Roundup after the jump »

12th Annual In Fashion! Luncheon and Fashion Show

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Norisol Ferrari and Tony Alcindor.

Last week, the Cancer Support Community (CSC) hosted the 12th Annual “In Fashion!” Luncheon & Fashion Show at Saks Fifth Avenue on City Avenue. Nearly 100 ladies lunched, mingled and checked out fashions featuring special guest designer Norisol Ferrari.

New York-raised Ferrari popped onto the NY fashion scene about three years ago, and draws on her Venezuelan roots to bring a world culture experience to all of her cutting-edge designs, many of which were inspired by icons Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth.

The day started with cocktails and conversations at 11 a.m. At noon, guests sat down for lunch and enjoyed a fashion show featuring Norisol’s designs modeled by local cancer survivors and professional models. There was a silent auction, and there was shopping, as Saks generously donated a portion of all sales during the event to the Cancer Support Community and local families living with cancer. Co-chairs for the luncheon were Lydie Szabo Brown and Wendy H. Rosen.

Photos after the jump »

Little Smiles 7th Annual Stars Ball

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Little Smiles lit up the lives of 12 children living with life-altering diseases at the Seventh Annual Stars Ball on Saturday night, November 22nd, at the Please Touch Museum, the perfect spot to host an event that celebrates children.

The evening began with a VIP dinner for the little stars in the carousel room, where they dined on dishes by Brulee Catering, and enjoyed a ride on the carousel. Then it was lights, camera, action as they made their way down the red carpet, signing autographs and posing for fans.

Fox 29’s Alex Holley and Matt Paterson, president of Little Smiles, handed out mini Oscars along with gift bags to the celebrated gifts. A buffet dinner was served, as guests checked out and bid on the extensive silent auction items available. Afterward, the guests danced till closing to Funktion 11 before heading home with memories that will last a lifetime. Since 2011, the Stars Ball has raised $350,000, and is the main source of revenue for Little Smiles. Proceeds help the organization put smiles on the faces of local children battling chronic or acute illnesses or experiencing other life-altering situations. For more information, visit www.littlesmiles.org.

Photos after the jump »

PHOTOS: Stimulus Black and White Party at Voyeur

The biggest Stimulus event of the whole year was held Friday 11/20/14 with over 800 sexy, hot ladies packing the Black and White Party at Voyeur and dancing to the tunes of DJ Jovi Baby. It was also the birthday party for Stimulus producers Morgan Levine and Amber Hikes. We captured some of the hottest moments of the party below.



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