The New Gold Standard: Goldie Reviewed

Photo by Michael Persico

At Goldie, Cook and Solo’s new project on Sansom Street that’s situated above their charitable deli, Rooster Soup Co., the kitchen is an assembly line, turning out falafel, french fries, tehina milkshakes and … that’s it.

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Nick Elmi Is Opening Another Chef-Driven Bar in Old City

After his first hit restaurant, Laurel, Top Chef winner Nick Elmi chose to get into the bar game. He opened a sneaky-good cocktail and wine bar right next door to his intimate 24-seater called ITV and gave East Passyunk diners an elegant spot to snack on things like beef fat biscuits and caviar. And it’s great — the New York Times even singled it out in a feature piece with the likes of only three other restaurants (powerhouses): Kanella, Vedge, and Vernick.

Elmi — stir-crazed on East Passyunk or itching for a change of pace — has a new deal in the works in Old City at 52 South Second Street. And this time, he’s partnering up with a couple of familiar bar pros,Stephen Simons and David Frank.

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The Franklin’s Upstairs Bar Goes Tiki Starting Friday

If I were to look back at all the posts Foobooz has done over the past five years or so, I’ll bet that more than a quarter of them were inspired by conversations that began, “You know what Philly needs more of right now…?”

You know what Philly needs more of? Ramen shops. You know what we need? More dumplings. Less crudo. Better pizza. More gin.

Over and over, Art and I or Alex and I or me and whoever happened to be walking by in the hall would get into these arguments about what this city really needed next. And more often than not, we weren’t the only ones thinking these things. Because Philly got ramen. We got gin. And starting this Friday, May 26, guess what else we’re getting just in time for summer.

A new tiki bar.

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Philly’s Toughest Restaurant Reservation Is Actually in Collingswood, N.J.

Barbecued lamb’s head with salsa verde – Zeppoli/Facebook

Everything that could be said about the Sicilian genius coming from behind the line at Zeppoli has already been said. In addition to winning three stars in 2011 from our then-critic Trey Popp, Joey Baldino’s Collingswood BYOB landed on each of our 50 Best Restaurants issues ever since it was old enough to make the list. Bon Appetit gave it a Best New Restaurant nod in 2012, Time Out named it one of the best Italian restaurants in the country in 2015, and some of our biggest chefs, like Nick Elmi (in an interview with First We Feast) and Joe Beddia (mentioned in his new book), are on the record saying that Zeppoli is one of their favorite restaurants in the region.

In 2014, Baldino started hosting these summertime Sicilian barbecues on the restaurant’s backyard patio. Family-style feasts for $75 a head included items like giant plates of grilled octopus, homemade pasta, seafood salads, and whole lambs (pictured above). It was a coveted affair as they only happened once a week and only in the summer months. Every year, they’d announce on Facebook that they were taking reservations for the barbecue, and every year they’d sell out just like any typical restaurant event would.

Except this year. Things went a little differently this year.

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Jose Garces Teams Up With…Mrs. T’s Pierogies?

Jose Garces is a busy guy — he’s running a restaurant empire 14 locations strong in three states and D.C. and serves on the board of directors for his nonprofit Garces Foundation.

Improbably, the acclaimed chef has partnered with Mrs. T’s Pierogies for a limited edition pierogi dish that will be served up this summer at Froman’s, his burger and brat spot at Spruce Street Harbor Park.

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Behind the Line: Bob & Barbara’s Bartender Kelly Wolff

Kelly Wolff fiddles with the TV remote behind the bar at Bob & Barbara’s.

Behind the Line is Foobooz’s new weekly interview series with the people who make up Philadelphia’s dynamic bar and restaurant scene. To read last week’s Behind the Line with Sylva Senat, go here.

You can argue all you want about which dive bar in Philly is the best, but when it comes to national recognition for being Philly’s ultimate dive and one of the country’s best, no one competes with Bob & Barbara’s at 15th and South. So we got longtime Bob & Barbara’s bartender Kelly Wolff on the phone to see what it’s like working there and what you should never, ever play on the jukebox. Read more »

Philly Chefs Are Popping Up at PHS’s South Street Beer Garden

PHS Pop-Up Garden South Street/Facebook

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s pop-up garden at 15th and South is in full bloom, serving up cold drinks and tasty eats run by East Passyunk’s Cantina Los Caballitos seven nights a week.

But every other Thursday starting next week, PHS will host some of the city’s top chefs for a guest series at their flagship pop-up — and now, they’ve announced the lineup of heavy hitters who will be bringing their chops to the garden.

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Let’s Be Honest: Soft-Shell Crabs Are Better as Sandwiches

Photo provided by ITV’s Kyle McCormick

There are only two reasons why we get so giddy when soft-shell season comes around, two reasons why we like eating them at all:

  1. Eating soft-shell crabs is a no-fuss way of eating crabs (which is an otherwise very fussy experience with the shell on).
  2. It makes us feel alive.

Digging into them with a fork and knife — really, eating any animal whole like that — is a pretty primal experience in itself.

But let’s take it a step further, shall we? Let’s chomp into them without using any utensils at all. Let’s just stuff them between bread and rip into them like the beasts that we are. We’re at the top of this food chain, so we might as well act like it.

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Drink Pink at Bistrot La Minette’s Rosé in May Dinners This Week

While rosé can no longer be considered trendy — that designation currently belongs to orange wine — pink wine has gained ground in the mainstream food and wine world (there’s even a new book about it). Beyond white zinfandel and low-quality varieties best left on the shelf, a world of crisp, dry, and delicious rosés awaits.

Bistrot La Minette chef-owner Peter Woolsey has built this month’s prix fixe special around dry rosés from France: He’s taken inspiration from his rugged, French, rosé-loving father-in-law for the restaurant’s Rosé in May nights on March 24 and 25.

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