Year In Review: November

snackbar.BreakfastBurger

Snackbar Breakfast Burger via Philadelphia Weekly

We’re doing our year in review. Next up, November, 2009 a month where we talked a lot about barbecue.

News

Dish of the Month

Foie Gras Scrapple at Silk City

If anything called scrapple could qualify as light and ethereal, this is it. The sweetness of the foie unfolds on your tongue, with the pomegranate seeds scattered over an accompanying root vegetable hash and a tart cranberry compote providing contrast. Felicia D’Ambrosio, Meal Ticket

Smackdown of the Month

The red-cooked pork belly in soup had the distinction of being both squishy (its fatty edges almost gelatinous) and tough, the meat a chore to chew. The nest of flat Shanghai-style noodles in anise-scented dark broth were at once undercooked and gummy.” Craig LaBan, Philadelphia Inquirer on Kong

Notable Openings

Green Aisle Grocery, Hawthornes, Percy Street Barbecue, Sonic Drive-In

Notable Closings

Alison at Blue Bell, Kitchen 233, Zot

Year In Review: October

meritage_bite

Bread pudding at Meritage

We’re doing our year in review. Next up, October, 2009, a month with 25+ openings.

News

Dish of the Month

Lamb at Fond

Styer isolated a rope of lamb leg muscle and treated it almost like a tenderloin, cooking it medium-rare and dressing it faintly with allspice. The side of braised red cabbage was nearly port-like in its intensity, contrasting perfectly with tiny roasted Brussels sprouts. – Trey Popp, City Paper

Notable Openings

Chew Man Chu, fish, Gemelli, Koo Zee Doo, MidAtlantic, Square 1682

Notable Closings

Alphabet Soup, Coquette, Pond

Year In Review: September

Stella Margarita Pizza - Photo by Philadining

Photo of Pizzeria Stella by Philadining

We’re picking back up on our Year In Review. We’re picking back up with September, 2009 aa month that featured Village Whiskey, Pizzeria Stella and our Top 50 Bars.

News

Dish of the Month

Whiskey King Burger at Village Whiskey

An Exemplary – Juicy Bomb of a Burger – Hail The Whiskey King – Arthur Etchells, Foobooz

Smackdown of the Month

“P.Y.T.’s burger was average at best. Suffice it to say that the huge, ultra-tender offering at Butcher & Singer beats it like a red-headed stepchild.”Trey Popp, City Paper

Notable Openings

D.P. Dough, Marigold Kitchen, Milkcrate Cafe, Resurrection Ale House, Pizzeria Stella, terra, Village Whiskey

Notable Closings

Gayle, Kristian’s, Soul

Year In Review: August

Root Cocktail Contest - Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Photo via Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

We’ll be looking back at the year in Foobooz. August, 2009,

News

Dish of the Month

Braised Pigs’ Feet at Bibou

For the more adventurous diner, there were the braised pigs’ feet ($25), served deboned and rolled in a light breading. The dish’s rich flavor and gelatinous texture was enhanced by a bit of foie gras stuffing and a bed of tender French lentils. – Dan Saltstein, New York Times

Smackdown of the Month

“My luck was no better with the grilled pizza, whose toppings change daily. The glory of grilled pizza is a crispy crust that holds its shape, but I could have hung the one I tried over a towel rack.”Trey Popp, City Paper

Notable Openings

Cantina at Distrito, Fond, Kong, Meritage, Verdad

Notable Closings

Carambola, Loie, Marigold Kitchen, Tangerine

Year In Review: July

Village Whiskey via Grub Street

First look at Village Whiskey’s Whiskey King Burger. Photo via Grub Street

We’ll be looking back at the year in Foobooz. July, 2009, was obviously the month of the burger.

News

Dish of the Month

Hanger Steak at Bibou

It’s difficult to upstage perfect, double-seared hanger steak, but the depth that green peppercorn, red currant gelée and a touch of cream brought to the dish’s red wine bordelaise sauce (a Georges Perrier recipe Pierre tweaked) had me asking for more house-made bread to mop one of my companions’ plates. David Snyder, City Paper

Notable Openings

Azie on Main, Buttercream Cupcake Truck, P.Y.T., SquareBurger, Shank’s Original, Yogorino

Notable Closings

Ansill Food+Wine, Carmine’s, Marigold Kitchen, Ocanaire, Pearl & Akoya, Taquet

Year In Review: June

meme_chicken

Meme Fried Chicken Lunch

We’ll be looking back at the year in Foobooz. June, 2009, a month where Philadelphia finally got its German back.

News

Dish of the Month

Pulled pork sandwich at Bebe’s Barbecue

Coates so overloads the soft roll, you can’t help having visions of the rusty red stains awaiting your clothes. But the bun, it’s like a sponge for the vinegar-tipped Lexington, Carolina-style sauce, a Memory Foam mattress for the 16-hour smoked pork shoulder, contouring to the heap of unctuous tatters. Adam Erace, Philadelphia Weekly

Notable Openings

Brauhaus Schmitz, Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Rick’s Steaks, Sycamore, Wine Thief

Notable Closings

Copper Bistro, Strongbox, Susanna Foo

Year In Review: May

ansill_pork_tacos

Braised Pork Belly Tacos at Ansill

We’ll be looking back at the year in Foobooz. Ah, remember May, 2009, the month Gordon Ramsay came to town.

News

Dish of the Month

Lamb Belly Confit at Fork

Feury’s lamb belly confit is one the city’s new must-taste plates. Cured two weeks in garlic, salt and rosemary, then slow-poached in lamb fat and olive oil, the finished product is an encounter with the ultimate savory mille-feuille. Its myriad layers of roasty-edged, gamey meat and buttery molten fat dissolve on the tongue as the absolute essence of lamb. Add a pickled fan of sliced lamb’s tongue, grilled artichokes, and glossy dabs of black olive jus, and you have a Mediterranean lamb epic on a plate. Craig LaBan, Philadelphia Inquirer

Notable Openings

Bibou, Noble American Cookery, Silk City Beer Garden, Swift Half, Varga Bar

Notable Closings

Siam Lotus, Swallow

Year In Review: April

psychadelic_graceWe’ll be looking back at the year in Foobooz. Today we’ll recap April, May and June. April is up first. 

News

Dish of the Month

Chifa Chicken at Chifa

Garces and Williams treat the Chifa Chicken like a duck—a Peking duck, that is. They poach, hang and lacquer half an air-chilled Giannone bird in molasses, soy, vinegar and spices for six hours straight. Roasted crisp and juicy, the chicken is paired with bok choy, almonds and soy consommé for one of the most flawless, flavorful roast chickens in town. Adam Erace, Philadelphia Weekly

Notable Openings

Bebe’s BBQ, Q Barbecue & Tequila Bar

Notable Closings

Les Bons Temps, Maia, Shank’s & Evelyn’s, Tiedhouse

Year In Review: March

tapping_firkin

Michael Bryant / Inquirer Photographer

We’ll be looking back at the year in Foobooz. Next up is March, 2009, the month where Philadelphia emphatically said, “we are America’s best beer-drinking city.”

News

Dish of the Month

Katsiki Stew at Kanella

[F]ew things excite this chef quite like the possibilities of goat, which he receives whole from a local kosher butcher. It’s the centerpiece of his signature “katsiki” stew, served with toothsome wheat berries and fried okra. As one of the most expensive items ($25) on this otherwise reasonable menu, it seemed pricey for a peasant’s plate of scraggly cuts in gravy. But the flavors, unfurling in complex layers, made it one of the most profound dishes I’ve eaten all year. Craig LaBan, Philadelphia Inquirer

Smackdown of the Month

It was some of the female guests who were really turning heads, with so many surgically enhanced, body-glittered bosoms on display, the only thing missing was a brass pole.Craig LaBan, Philadelphia Inquirer

Notable Openings

Girasole, Holy Smoke, Ladder 15

Notable Closings

North by Northwest, Old Original Bookbinders

Year In Review: February

Photo by duskyyouth

Photo by duskyyouth

We’ll be looking back at the year in Foobooz. Next up is February, 2009.

News

Dish of the Month

Thai Sausage at Chabaa Thai

Have kaffir lime leaves ever sung so clear a note from within a tube of pork? Have lemongrass and galangal ever joined so seamlessly in harmonic complement? If so, I want to know about it. This homemade beauty at MangoMoon — charred at the edges, yet impeccably moist inside — was the best sausage I have ever eaten. Of any kind. – Trey Popp, City Paper

Smackdown of the Month

“By night’s end, it was hard to avoid thinking that dinner at El Camino Real verged on fraud.”Trey Popp at El Camino Real

Notable Openings

Chifa, Saute, Slate, Union Trust

Notable Closings

Cresheim Cottage Cafe, Mantra, Boathouse Row Bar, Chef’s Market

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