This Week: Upstairs At Barbuzzo

BarbuzzoLateNightIt looks like Barbuzzo is getting a (brief and relatively simple) makeover this week. But in order that the crew doesn’t have to shut the joint down while the walls get a fresh coat of paint and some new kitchen equipment gets moved in, they’re opening up the new(ish) upstairs space and using it as the main dining room.

They’ll be open from noon-3pm for lunch, then from 5pm to midnight for dinner service. And as usual, they’ll be offering late night specials from 10:30 to close, Sunday through Thursday. You can come in for $5 house wine, $4 sangria, $3 draft beer and $10 burgers, pizza and pasta–which ain’t a bad deal at all.

Reservations are being taken as normal. And if all goes according to schedule, the new-and-improved Barbuzzo will re-open the downstairs dining room next week.

Barbuzzo [f8b8z]

The Other Holiday That Matters This Weekend

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I know, I know. Everyone is so focused on the upcoming shamrock tsunami that it’s hard to make space for anything else. But for those of you out there of a slightly more mathematical bent (or those of you who just really like pie), let’s all remember that Saturday is National Pi Day. And Magpie is celebrating by…serving a lot of pies.

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Another Way To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day That Doesn’t Involve Green Beer

IrishFries1Yes, a deep-fried ode to potatoes and chives. Because no matter what it is you’re drinking this weekend, you’re gonna need something to absorb all that alcohol sloshing around inside you.

As they did last year, local Philly Shake Shacks are rolling out their When Irish Fries Are Smiling–crinkle-cut fries topped with horseradish cream, scallions, and bacon. $4.50 and they can be yours.

To go with those fries, the Shacks are also offering Mast Brothers chocolate-mint frozen custard (because, you know, mint is green or whatever). The fries are available starting tomorrow, and will be served through March 17. The custard is one the board from March 16 to the 22nd and will run you $3.50 for a single scoop.

Shake Shack [f8b8z]

The New World of Chicken Wings

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Photos by Jason Varney

If we can all just admit that a) the Buffalo wing is the ultimate chicken wing (so meaty, so balanced, so simple with its fake butter, Frank’s RedHot and nothing else), and b) there are very few decent Buffalo wings in Philly, we can move on and start talking about alternate versions we do well. Here are six to start with.

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Sbraga: A St. Patrick’s Day Deal With No Green Beer

sbragapattysNot every St. Patty’s Day celebration has to be about the maximum consumption of crappy, green-tinted lager in minimum time. There are those out there who want to spend the day in quiet contemplation, thinking about the many contributions of the Irish to world culture (like whiskey, songs about drinking whiskey, and stories written while in whiskey’s company), and others who might be looking for a taste of Ireland’s many culinary accomplishments (including, but not limited to, potatoes, bacon, and potatoes with bacon).

For those of you out there interested in the latter–or just looking for an excuse to spend St. Patrick’s Day on Broad Street but not squeezed up against a sticky bar with 10,000 of your closest friends, Kevin Sbraga has put together a delightfully green chef’s counter menu that he’ll be serving for dinner at his eponymous restaurant.

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Sneak Preview: April At COOK

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It’s that time again–time for us to give you a sneak peek at what’s coming up at COOK, and time for you to use this information in order to get a jump on everyone else out there when it comes to buying your tickets.

And this month, you’re going to need all the help you can get because COOK has some big events coming up–from a Bacon Fest to Joe Beddia teaching a pizza class to a very rare Bartender Battle for our 36th Open Stove night. Check out the description of that one:

Once a month, COOK hosts a fast-paced and unpredictable competition between two chefs, known as Open Stove. COOK provides mystery ingredients and guests get to watch in wonder as the combatants come up with inventive and cutting-edge dishes on the fly. In April, we’re switching out the chefs for bartenders and making it all about cocktails. But the premise is the same: bartenders will have to come up with cocktails for guests to enjoy made from spirits and secret ingredients they didn’t see coming. The best part? YOU get to be the judge! April’s competition features four of Philly’s best booze professionals including Sara Justice (The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.), Brian Kane (Zahav/Abe Fisher), Keith Raimondi (Townsend) and Vincent Stipo (a. bar/a. kitchen). This is gonna give new meaning to the term barroom brawl. Local craft distillery Manatawny Still Works is generously sponsoring the event. Please note: light bites will be served but not a full dinner.

Anyway, you can check out the full schedule below. And since tickets are going on sale today at 2pm, make your plans quickly and be ready to start clicking when the clock strikes two.

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The Mystery of Lê From Hop Sing Laundromat

Photograph by Justin James Muir

Photograph by Justin James Muir

Hey, Buddy …

I can see Lê on Market Street, pulling stuff out of the passenger seat of his BMW convertible. Mail, packages, receipts, a thick FedEx envelope that he holds up to the side of his head and shakes. He has on a long-sleeved sweater and jeans, oversized Gaultier glasses and a little hat — hipster affectation that he wears like he was born with it. I cross the street to join him, and he looks up, grins, Blu e-cigarette clamped in his teeth and the vapor from it trailing out of the corner of his mouth like a cartoon devil.

“Hey, buddy! Let’s go to lunch.” Read more »

Yes, Those Really Are Budino Donuts

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Actually, its a test-batch of salted caramel crusted, budino-filled donuts from Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney, who are apparently working on bringing Philly’s donut wars to an entirely new level with the pastry equivalent of an atom bomb.

A delicious, caramel-y, budino-y atom bomb.

ps. These things are totally going to be called “Budinuts,” right?

Valerie Safran [Instagram]

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