Wine Some, Lose Some: Good News and Bad on the Sommelier Beat

Mariel Wega of and

Mariel Wega of and Best New Sommeliers

Mariel Wega, the wine director of and has been named one of the Best New Sommeliers of 2016 by Wine & Spirits magazine. This is just the latest accolade for Wega and as they were also named one of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants by Wine Enthusiast magazine earlier this year.

But a bit of a bummer comes from across Rittenhouse Square. Justin Timsit of the Rittenhouse Hotel, who was named New York’s best sommelier in April, despite being employed here in Philadelphia, is leaving the hotel for New York City.

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Culinary Events on Rittenhouse Row


This week at Sbraga: Gnocchi. Nasturtium Pistou. Pickled Berries. Chèvre.

From today, March 7th through Friday, March 11th the Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective is presenting special menus around the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.

Sbraga,, Devon Seafood Grill and Prime Rib are participating in the Winter Edition of the Collective. Be on the lookout for future seasonal events.

Sbraga is offering two special menus this week. A Flaura and Fauna menu is being served in concert with the Philadelphia Flower Show. The seven-course, $100 menu is being served at the chef’s counter and includes a special flourish on the foie gras soup, served this week with a rose petal relish and duck with dandelion greens, wheatgrass and sweet onion. The duck dish is also available as a supplement to Sbraga’s $55 prix-fixe menu in the main dining room.

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Final Call For Asparagus


Asparagus Soup at Pub & Kitchen | Photo via Pub & Kitchen

Sure, we’re excited about summer and the food truck festivals and pop-up beer gardens that come with it, but we’ll miss our spring favorites.

Asparagus, that harbinger of spring, now marks the beginning of summer as its harvest ends. Here are a few spots where you can bid adieu to asparagus before it’s all gone.

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A.Kitchen Is Launching An Express Lunch Service

A.Kitchen now serving weekday express lunch.

A.Kitchen now serving weekday express lunch.

This one’s for the Center City crowd looking for something a little different for lunch.

A.Kitchen and A.Bar are rolling out a new weekly changing sandwich-and-a-side special, and it will probably trump your usual hoagie.

Actually, it’ll pretty much definitely trump your usual hoagie. I mean, if nothing else, we’re talking about bread from High Street On Market and that is always a good thing.

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The Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival Is Coming

Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival

If you’re looking for a fun, free way to celebrate the beginning of allergy season (or what some people call, “spring”),  on Saturday, May 2, head down to Center City for the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival. There will be a fashion show, beauty booths, live music, and most importantly food demonstrations and cocktail lounges.

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The Chef's Counter at

The Chef’s Counter at

Starting tonight, Monday, January 19th, chef Eli Kulp and chef de cuisine Jon Nodler are debuting “The Chef’s Counter” menu at Touted as an interactive new tasting dinner, the menu is served at the 12-seat marble counter surrounding the Rittenhouse Square restaurant’s open kitchen. For $60 per person, a multi-course tasting menu highlighting’s hardwood charcoal grill will be offered. An optional beverage pairing from sommelier Mariel Wega will also be offered.

Kulp, a happy Seattle Seahawks fan, says the dinner is “designed to be a one-of-a-kind experience inspired by Japanese Omakase tradition, wherein guests leave it to the chef to have a memorable meal and highlight ingredients at the peak of their season.” Guests will be able to chat with the kitchen team as they watch the cooks grill, smoke and char dishes in front of them.

Dishes from the Chef’s Counter menu »

The Best Soups In Center City


Forget Center City Sips…when the weather is as gray and nasty as it is today, it’s all about Center City soups.

But where are the best? Don’t worry. We went out and answered that question for you. Here’s a list of places that offer up the good stuff in any number of ways – creamy, spicy, tomato-y, you name it.

The best soups in Center City

Rittenhouse Row Debuts Four-Night Culinary Event

Rittenhouse Row Culinary logo2_BlackThe forces of Rittenhouse RowKevin Sbraga, and Danielle DelRe, of Starr Restaurants, have come together to create an event that will be one to remember. From August 4th to the 7th, the restaurants of Rittenhouse Row will prepare meals unlike the ones on the traditional menus and give you a dining experience that is one of a kind. As of right now, 18 members will participate in the Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective, but the list is growing.

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We Want Answers: Eli Kulp

You grew up in Mossyrock, Washington. Is that a town of more or less than 100 people? Ha. Last time I saw, it had 498. My mom is from Holland; my dad is from New York. And they were sort of hippies traveling in the ’70s, doing their thing. They met and found this little plot of land in the middle of nowhere and bought it, put a single-wide trailer on it, and that’s where I grew up.

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