Happy Snow Day Everyone!

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Village Whiskey/Facebook

I know, I know… Everyone was predicting a Snowpocalypse today and what we got was just a little bit of snow, in February, which is when snow is supposed to fall.

But still, it has been the only real snow we’ve gotten this year, and everyone kinda wanted this to be a bigger deal than it was, so I get it. People are looking for an excuse to celebrate and we here at Foobooz World HQ are squarely in favor of that sort of thing, so here’s what some of the bars and restaurants around town are doing to make your snow day a little less cold, a little more drinky and a lot more fun.

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Ice Bar, Take Two: Pegsicle Reborn

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It was a good plan: Give an amateur ice carver (Peter Woolsey) some chainsaws, a set of Japanese ice chisels and a whole lot of ice in the middle of a Philadelphia winter and let him go nuts carving an ice bar outside of La Peg. There would be cocktails, mulled wine, a shot luge. The cold days and freezing nights would keep the whole thing together for a couple weeks at least, just so long as…the temperatures…uh…

Yeah. It’s like 97 degrees outside or whatever right now. And it hasn’t exactly been frigid lately either. So guess what happened? The bar melted. Fast. It was supposed to last two weeks. Needless to say, it didn’t quite make it.

So now, Woolsey is trying again. Which makes this Pegsicle 2: The Re-Carvening.

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Taking a Stand for Immigrants and Undocumented Workers at Le Virtù

Joe Cicala at La Panarda | Photo by Alex Tewfik

Photo by Alex Tewfik

Look, there’s a long story to this and there’s a short one. A complicated one and a simple one.

The short, simple version is this: On March 15, Le Virtù is hosting a dinner to benefit PAUWR (Popular Alliance for Undocumented Workers’ Rights), a group working toward gaining legal status for this group. Chef Joe Cicala and his sous chef, Poli Sanchez, will be working together to create a four-course “Sanctuary Supper” with a menu where each course includes both a Mexican and an Italian component. The dinner, including a wine pairing, starts at 6:30pm and will cost you $120 per person (not counting tax or tip), and all profits will go to PAUWR as part of a national fund-raising campaign to help them continue to fight in what is becoming an increasingly adversarial political environment.

You wanna help? Go eat dinner. That’s the simple version. But like so many things these days, the motivations behind it are complicated. Why Le Virtù is doing this dinner, how they got connected with PAUWR and why owner Francis Cratil Cretarola thinks that this kind of event at this time in history is so important? That’s the long story.

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Here’s Everything We Know About the New Philadelphia Distilling Complex

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Philadelphia Distilling, home of Bluecoat Gin, Penn1681 Vodka, Vieux Carre Absinthe and a different vodka that tastes like Old Bay, is getting some new, fancy digs at 25 East Allen Street in Fishtown, in the former home of the Ajax Metal Company.

This is a big expansion — a serious investment by one of our largest local distillers that will be both a fully-functioning production facility and a showcase for its product. So here’s everything we know.

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High Street On Market is One of the Best Healthy(ish) Restaurants in America

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Those of us who know High Street on Market and eat there with any kind of regularity probably don’t exactly think of it as a health food restaurant. Because of, you know, all that bread (gluten), those tea cakes and apple fritters (sugar, butter, fat), and sandwiches like the Hickory Town (boloney, eggs, cheese, gherkin mayo, awesomeness).

But according to our friends over at BeWell Philly–and, more to the point, the crew at Bon Appetit’s new health-focused blog, Healthyish–High Street really is a healthy place to eat. Or, at least it’s not a not healthy place to eat. Or something.

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Sneak Preview: COOK’s March Schedule

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It’s that time again. COOK is releasing their March class schedule and we’ve got a sneak preview for Foobooz readers looking to get ahead of the game and scout out their seats before they all sell out.

Slight complication this month? Owing to the vagaries of email and last-minute changes, THIS schedule is going on sale today at 2pm. So you’ve got less lead-time than usual. But still, if you’re interested in hanging out with George Sabatino or Peter Woolsey, if you want to learn about baking pies with the Hungry Pigeon’s Pat O’Malley or Jewish/Asian cuisine with Yehuda Sichel from Abe Fisher, then you know what to do.

Check out the schedule, pick your spot, and be ready at 2pm to get what’s yours. Full list of classes after the jump.

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Jonathan Petruce Has A New Gig

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“I don’t have an official title,” Jonathan Petruce told me when I got him on the phone after yesterday’s review of Cinder went up. “I don’t really have a restaurant either…”

But what the former Cinder chef does have is a new job with Michael Schulson‘s restaurant group. He got it on Wednesday, he tells me. And he hasn’t even really started yet. But he knows one thing: “[Schulson] wants his places to be as close to perfect as possible. And I’m there to help him implement that.”

He chuckles.

“I guess.”

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Yards Events For Lovers And For Fighters

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We’ve got two events coming up next week–one for lovers, one for fighters, both of them with Yards beer in the middle and both of them happening on February 8.

Also, there might be some ice skating. So read on for details.

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Guess Who’s Coming to Cook at Osteria?

RedRooster1On Friday, February 10, at 6:30pm, Marcus Samuelsson (of Red Rooster in Harlem) will be hitting Philly to hang out with the crew at Osteria, cook a collaborative dinner, and talk about his new book, the Red Rooster Cookbook.

And while it’s kind of a big deal every time a famous chef rolls through Philly hoping to get his hands dirty in one of our kitchens, Samuelsson is a bigger deal than most. He’s a great chef. The book is supposed to be very good (I haven’t seen it yet). And to have him in the kitchen with the Osteria team? That just sounds awesome.

Actually, I know it’s going to be awesome. Because I know what they’re going to be cooking that night. Want to see the menu?

Of course you do.

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