Sneak Preview: August At COOK

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It’s that time again–August classes are about to open up for sale at COOK and we’re here with your sneak preview.

Here’s the thing, though. Because of some last-minute tinkering with the schedule, it wasn’t finalized until about an hour ago. And everything is going up for sale at 2pm TODAY. So if you’re of a mind to get in on some of this month’s Spike Mendelsohn and Michael Solomonov action, you’re going to have to make your mind up quick.

So without further ado, here’s what you’re looking at for August at COOK.

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Open Now: Six Points Bakery In Bala Cynwyd

SixPointsBakeryA little while back, we gave you an update on what was happening with David Magerman’s kosher empire on the Main Line. There was a casual sister-restaurant to Citron & Rose (to be called The Dairy), a commissary kitchen and, as a kind of bridging project between the commissary (already open) and The Dairy (which has been delayed), a bakery and cafe called Six Points Bakery.

The good news is, the bakery opened today–right on schedule. They’re offering peach-bourbon turnovers, rosemary-olive scones, fresh-baked bagels, challah and other breads, pastries and turnovers. All of this will be overseen by executive pastry chef George Fritzsche, and the cafe will also be serving tea and  coffee from Philly’s One Village Coffee for those who want to stick around a while.

Six Points Bakery will be running a long schedule–open from 6am to 6pm, Sunday through Thursday.

Oh, and for those of you who are interested, The Dairy is now looking at an opening date in “late 2014.”

Six Points Bakery [f8b8z]

Pub Letters: The Best Way To Spend A Tuesday We’ve Heard Of All Summer

PUBLETTERI love this idea.

Doobies, in conjunction with Trophy Bikes and Casa Papel, is holding an event on Tuesdays in July called Pub Letters, and it is the simplest thing you can imagine. You sit at the bar. You drink a fine craft beer. And you write a letter–an actual letter, with a pen, on paper. The kind meant for going in the mailbox.

I love it because organizer Michael McGettigan (of Trophy) believes that “A decent letter should take about as long [to write] as two good drinks.” I believe that, too. I love it because he’s sick of seeing people sitting at the bar with their faces down over their cell phones. I am, too. I love it because writing letters is one of those things that has fallen out of style of late and writing in bars in general is one of those things that people (who aren’t me) just don’t do anymore.

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Gastronaut: Arts and Crafts

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

I saw this coming years ago. Not because I’m clever or prescient or some kind of unappreciated soothsayer of cuisine, but simply because I was on the front lines. I was a restaurant critic in Denver, Colorado, back during the second boom of New American cuisine.

I saw this coming years ago, but it had no name — not until GQ’s Alan Richman gave it one a few months back. He wrote about young chefs, exclusively male, working “with like-minded discipline, hardly ever haunted by doubts, seemingly in possession of absolute confidence.” He called it “Egotarian Cuisine” — food that is “intellectual, yet at the same time often thoughtless … straddling the line between the creative and the self-indulgent.” More to the point, food that is created solely, and with arrogant singularity of vision, to please the chef. Not the owners. Certainly not the customers. It’s food as memoir and manifesto. And often, it’s terrible.

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Greatest Hits And What You Missed: Giant Chickens, Zahav vs. Vetri, Corn Dogs, Shore Eats, Relish Butter and Hot Dog Jus

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Happy long weekend, everybody. Now that most of the 4th of July festivities are over, maybe you’ve found yourself with a little time on your hands? If so, here’s a taste of what you missed on Foobooz this past week.

About Last Night… Relish Butter & Hot Dog Jus

Closed: Sutton’s Parlor and Logan Goat Another chapter in the ongoing Matt Swartz story

A Wine And Cheese Pairing Night At Townsend Make your plans now

First Look: Society Hill Society We have the pictures

Zahav vs. Vetri at Alla Spina Welcome to the Thunderdome

Angry Bull Burger At Village Whiskey Check out the details

Ed Rendell Cretes His Own Federal Donut And yes, there’s a video–with a giant chicken

Core de Roma Closes On South Street After a nine-year run

Distant Early Warning: Tickets are now on sale for Feastival

4th of July Corn Dogs at Shake Shack In case you missed the news…

The Best Food & Drink At The Jersey Shore Everything you need to know, all in one place

The Best Food and Drink at the Jersey Shore for 2014

Mike's Seafood in Sea isle. Photography by Trevor Dixon

Mike’s Seafood in Sea isle. Photography by Trevor Dixon

Cape May

It’s not actually a law, but it seems no one gets out of Cape May without first visiting the Mad Batter. Located in the Carroll Villa Hotel, this is the spot for a relaxing (if ever so slightly fancy-pants) dinner. Go for the crabcakes, a textbook example of the proper assembly and preparation of this oft-ruined dish.

For a more Summer Rental sort of experience, there’s always the Lobster House. The long, low-slung restaurant side of the operation, with its big windows and red-checked tablecloths, is lovely — and hugely crowded on any nice summer day. But it’s the Schooner Bar aboard the old Schooner American sailing vessel that combines kitsch and alcohol in one successful formula.

One of the big reasons foodies head to the Shore is for crabs. If this is your motivation, hit up H&H Seafood. It’s hard to miss (it’s the place with the big sign that says LIVE CRABS) and serves big paper bags full of steamed crabs to eat on the beach (or wherever else you feel like eating them).

Avalon

You already know you’ll be eating at the Diving Horse, so you might as well just make your reservations now. This has been the go-to dinner spot for a few years, and it deserves all the love it gets.

If you’re looking for something else, there’s Café Loren for the BYO enthusiasts (and people who really like that family-owned, Shore-town vibe), or the Princeton and Bobby Dee’s Rock ’N Chair for bar-crawlers (the latter being a degree more classy than the former).

Sea Isle

Fish Alley is as seafood-and-beer-laden as it sounds — and will not disappoint.

First stop: Mike’s Seafood for crab legs, fries, crab legs and crab legs. Go early, because the line gets long, and grab a spot at one of the picnic tables overlooking the water. (See the “Family” section for more info on when kids eat free.) Marie’s Lobster House is a few doors down from Mike’s. While you lose a little of that classic crab-shack atmosphere, the food here is just as good, and all that neon in the front windows makes it easy to navigate.

Can’t seem to get off the beach? You don’t have to. Bubba Dogs is a mobile wienery parked right on the sand at 59th Street.

Strathmere

Why Strathmere? Because there are two notable places for eating and drinking. First, there’s Mildred’s, which is one of those little old restaurants that wear their weathering of Sandy on their sleeve like a badge. It’s absolutely beloved for the exceedingly friendly service, the family vibe and the solid (if predictable) Italian menu — you can’t go wrong with a bottle of white and a plate of linguine with clam sauce.

For something a bit … grittier, you have to go to Twisties Tavern. It’s the kind of joint where you drop in for one drink and then wake up 20 years later having become an every-night regular, with a table all your own and a couple shifts a week behind the bar. There are powerful cocktails, fish on the walls, patio seating that looks out over the bay, and a menu that’s more comprehensive than you might think.

Ocean City and Somers Point

If you’re in Ocean City, you’re most likely shuffling the fam between the sand and Boardwalk — so save your mornings for something all your own. The Varsity Inn is a classic small-town diner that operates under a perpetual siege by locals and tourists who come here for big, filling, cheap plates of eggs, pancakes and toast. The Fractured Prune is famous for its crazy, delicious handmade doughnuts, in flavors like chocolate-covered cherry and French toast.

As for those two other meals of the day? If you can get off the beach, hit either Smitty’s Clam Bar or Charlie’s Bar, both in Somers Point and both cash-only. You go to Charlie’s for the wings and cold beer — and for the 70-odd years of corner-bar history. Smitty’s is a super-casual BYOB and a favorite among locals for the simple clam-shack menu and the fact that you’re encouraged to drink while waiting for a table.

Ventnor and Margate

In Ventnor, classic tastes and newer ones compete for attention. For the latter, hit Megu Sushi for well-assembled modern Japanese cuisine in an unassuming (read: sandwiched between a liquor store and an Italian restaurant) setting. If you’re tempted by the former, there’s chicken-and-chops at Johnny’s and crabcakes from Bobby Chez (which, despite the commercialization, is still first-rate). Or class it up at Steve & Cookie’s — just make sure to save room for dessert.

For daytime eats, go to Junior’s for corn dogs, or sit and wait for Dino’s Subs & Pizza, which delivers right to the beach and has a tuna hoagie that deserves its own national holiday.

Atlantic City

A.C. is home to most of what passes for big-name dining at the Shore — we’re talking Buddakan, Luke Palladino’s steakhouse, Iron Chef Garces and others — but these show-stopping temples aren’t the only go-tos for gastronauts.

New and independent places like chef Kevin Cronin’s Iron Room at the Atlantic City Bottle Company and the Vagabond Kitchen & Tap House are for those looking to keep away from the slot monkeys. Vagabond isn’t fine dining (no place with a sandwich of brisket, pulled pork and peppered bacon called the Three Way is aspiring to that kind of cred), but it’s got easy bar food and the largest beer selection in the area.

Still, if you find yourself falling into the gravity of the casinos, there are some restaurants worth checking out. Palladino has places at both Revel (Luke’s Kitchen & Marketplace) and Harrah’s (the eponymous Luke Palladino), though his most beloved is probably the original Luke Palladino — a 60-seat trattoria in nearby Linwood. There’s Il Mulino at the Taj Mahal for super-upscale Italian, and the new Eastwind offering mainland Chinese at Resorts.

You’ll find a smorgasbord of named chefs at Revel (Marc Forgione, for one), but Jose Garces has made it into a mini-Philly with outposts of Village Whiskey, Amada and Distrito, plus the new-ish dim-sum-and-dumplings joint Yubōka.

Read more from our Summer 2014 Jersey Shore Guide.

Core De Roma Closes On South Street

corederomaSo as we were poking around doing other things today, one of our interns turned up this sad news: Core de Roma’s South Street location went dark last week after almost ten years in the neighborhood.

I immediately got on the phone and called owner Luigi Pinti and asked him what happened. And the first thing out of his mouth?

“South Street has changed. South Street has changed dramatically.”

And that’s true, but Pinti certainly wasn’t talking about things changing in a good way. “It’s hard to do business on South Street,” he said. “It’s hard to do business in Philadelphia.” He mentioned rising rents, parking problems, the everyday expenses of doing business. “I’ve been losing money the past couple years,” he explained, “and I wanted to stop losing money.”

Oh, and also? There was that shooting.

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Maria Polise of Ela Is The Cochon 555 “Punch Kings” Champ

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On June 29, in Denver, bartender Maria Polise of Ela won the Cochon 555 “Punch Kings” competition. She went up against 10 other drink-slingers who’d qualified at the various local Cochon events and, in the end, brought home the golden gloves (which is what they give you when you win–plus a 3-day trip to some heritage BBQ festival) for Philly.

So how did she do it? Apparently by mixing together a whole lot of delicious alcohol, pouring some more alcohol on top and then adding a little alcohol. You can check out her ingredient list for her award winning “Porcine Pick-Me-Up Punch” after the jump.

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Distant Early Warning: Tickets Now On Sale For Feastival

Feastival2013Pre2

Yes, it’s that time again. Feastival (which turns 5 this year) has just announced a date and a location for one of the best food festivals of the season. We’re talking artists, dancers, people flying through the air and–most important–75 of the coolest restaurants in the city, all coming together in one place (with plenty of booze) for one killer night.

This year, all the fun will be happening on Thursday, September 18 at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River waterfront. Tickets are $250 for general admission, $350 for VIP and are available now for you early birds who want to make sure that you’ll be able to get in there and rub shoulders with all of Philly’s chefs and beautiful people.

Feastival 2014 [Get tickets here]

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