Pronto Bistro in Thorndale has just upgraded its tap system, and to celebrate the new focus on craft beer, owners are hosting their first beer dinner this Wednesday. They’ve chosen to go with Victory, as it’s a local brewery, and they’ll be offering … wait for it … unlimited beer. Chef Franco Alvisi has prepared a menu where each of the four courses is paired (and prepared with) a different Victory brew, and a brewery rep will be on hand to talk about it all.
In the crowded field of beer dinners, this one stands out for one big reason (apart from the unlimited samples): Italian food. Pronto is a family-owned Italian restaurant that serves specialties from the homeland made with ingredients mostly free of chemicals and GMO’s.
Tickets sell for $55. Contact the restaurant for details. And check out chef Alvisi’s menu after the jump.
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Have you ever eaten at – or even seen — a restaurant specializing in Native American foods in the Philly area? No, I haven’t either, and I have to admit that until this moment, it never occurred to me to miss it. But from now until April 6, the Penn Museum is running Native American lunch specials in its Pepper Mill Café to coincide with its temporary exhibition, Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now.
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Shameless self-promotion alert: I’m about to preview my own event. But I assure you, blurred lines of journalism aside, it’s worth writing about.
Tomorrow, beer-loving women across the planet will get together at breweries and homebrew shops to participate in the world’s first collaborative brew day for ladies. In honor of International Women’s Day, brewsters (as brewers of the fairer sex are called) and their friends will spend the day brewing their take on the same recipe – a 4% ABV session beer named Unite Pale Ale.
Here in Philly, Beer for Babes, my New Jersey-based craft beer appreciation group for women, is hosting a brew that’s open to all women from 1-3 pm at Nodding Head. Meredith Rebar, who runs Home Brewed Events, is donating her time to lead the brew and instruct the newbies, while Nancy Rigberg, owner of Home Sweet Homebrew, is donating supplies. Proceeds will go to fund scholarships for female brewers, and participants get to pick up a 22—ounce bottle when it’s finished.
Some brewsters in England dreamed up the idea, which is being organized by the Pink Boots Society, the only global organization for women in the beer industry. So far, 60 breweries in the continental U.S., Alaska, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Israel are signed up to take part.
For those who’d like to join in at Nodding Head, tickets can be bought here for $10.
In what appears to be a first-of-its-kind commercial endeavor, a South Jersey winery is selling wine aged on hops normally used for brewing beer. As of last week, Valenzano Winery in Burlington County has released the first of what may end up being a series of hopped Chardonnays, which are available for around $15 a bottle at South Jersey liquor stores like the Joe Canal’s chain and WineWorks in Medford.
Winemaker/homebrewer Michael Jones says as a hophead who works at a winery owned by a beer geek, the idea emerged–as ideas so often do–over pints.
“We were drinking some really good IPAs and we thought, ‘Why don’t we try putting hops in the wine?’” he recounts.
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I have to admit, I cringed when Jacqui Town told me at our first meeting, at the Craft Brewers Conference in D.C. last winter, that everything was running right on schedule at the brewery she was establishing with her dad, Chip. With no prior brewery experience for either of them, I wondered if the Tom’s River, NJ, father-daughter team realized that breweries and restaurants never open on time. Never. So it was with little surprise but absolutely no pleasure that I heard shortly thereafter that the Towns had hit a huge snag. Huge. They had to rename their brewery.
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Anyone who’s ever listened to Marnie Old speak on beer, food pairings, marketing, Canada, or anything really, knows she full-on knows her shit. But it’s when the Philly-based sommelier talks wine that people (and the related multi-national corporations and associations that she addresses and advises) truly stop mid-sip to hear her.
And now people who like wine but can’t quite seem to grasp all the appellations … and the labels … and the vintages … and the…sigh, well, you know … everything else, can take advantage of her copious knowledge without shelling out thousands of bucks to hire her as a personal consultant. For the price of a $25 book, the educator who came up the wine ranks as the som at Striped Bass and the director of wine studies at Manhattan’s French Culinary Institute will tell everything she knows.
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Collingswood restaurant stalwart, chef Mark Smith of the Tortilla Press and Tortilla Press Cantina (in Pennsauken), is renowned in South Jersey for his long-time commitment to local farmers. Tomorrow, he’s thanking his farmer-suppliers and saying goodbye to the year’s harvest with what he’s calling “WHAT JUST MIGHT BE YOUR BEST DINNER OF THE YEAR!” (caps his).
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BBQ has become such a THING, hasn’t it? Not that there’s anything wrong with it. I mean, who doesn’t love meat slathered in spicy sweet sauce? Other than vegetarians, that is, who are in the news today with this juicy little scrap on Philly.com.
So enthralled have Americans become with ‘Q that the people who bring you the DO AC campaign are throwing their first BBQ hoe-down this weekend as part of the third annual Boardwalk Rodeo because, to my slight chagrin, the
redneck country lifestyle is also accumulating quite a following.
So tomorrow and Sunday, from noon to 7pm, 80 pitmasters from around the country will compete for prizes worth $50,000 – the largest cash prize for an East Coast BBQ competition. It’ll be held in a parking lot at Pacific and Delaware Avenues near Showboat, and it costs $5 to get in, unless you’re under 12 or have a ticket from the rodeo.
As for said rodeo, that happens at Boardwalk Hall Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 1pm. That oughta be a hoot. It’s the biggest rodeo competition on the East Coast and it includes events like bareback riding, tie-down roping, saddle bronc riding, team roping, barrel racing, steer wrestling, and bull riding. Cowgirls are competing in this, too, so if you’re looking to rustle yourself up a little cutie, you know where to find ‘em this weekend.
File this one in the “Stuff I really wish I could do but I need a day off from drinking” category.
The couple behind the awesome website PhillyTapFinder.com are hosting a bottle exchange with Philly Beer Scene magazine on Sunday, and they’re making it a period event. And by period, we mean the 18th century period.
For their fifth bottle share, they’re holding it in the lovely garden of the Powel House, a Society Hill rowhome once inhabited by Samuel Powel, the first mayor of Philly after the Revolution. $15 gets you in; $20 includes admission and a branded snifter (if you don’t buy one you’re asked to bring your own). The event is on Sunday, October 6, and runs from 1-4pm. It will be moved inside if it rains. Although organizers are making this a non-intimidating event by saying that non-geeks are welcome and beers don’t have to be “an obscure bottle found in some hidden ruin from the other side of the world,” the list so far is fairly impressive. Drink one for me.
Okay, so really? You have to check out this bottle list.
Boy, Midtown Village sure has changed in the eight years since it started throwing its annual Fall Fest. First of all, are we all really calling it Midtown Village now? Second, it had East Passyunk’s dining scene before East Passyunk did. Third, are we really calling it Midtown Village?
Anyway, the neighborhood’s fall fest has always been a fully legit event, regardless of the name, and this year may be even better. For one, Chestnut Street will be closed for the first time from 12th Street to Broad, and it’s being held on a Sunday – Oct. 6 – from noon to 7 p.m. Trivia tidbit: last year, 40,000 people showed up.
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