Photos by Jason Varney
By the time Gary Cattley maneuvered his tuba into Paris Bistro’s basement, Drew Nugent & the Midnight Society had been ragging Tin Pan Alley curios for an hour already. The bar was full, and every table was taken. At the tip of the arrowhead-shaped room, wearing a brown double-breasted suit, Nugent faced a vintage 1935 Shure microphone lashed to a Walmart towel ring with springs and a bootlace, warbling into a miniature teakettle through a trumpet mouthpiece jammed in its spout.
Cattley, who’d concocted the microphone getup, smiled. Snaking past servers bearing crocks of French onion soup and parfait glasses of chocolate mousse, he squeezed onto the postage-stamp bandstand to join the unlikeliest recent development in Philadelphia nightlife: the Prohibition-era vocal jazz scene in far Chestnut Hill.
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Chef Al Paris has been running a series of collaboration dinners at Heirloom, his Chestnut Hill BYOB. He’s already had Georges Perrier in the kitchen, cookbook author Aliza Green, and Josh Lawler from The Farm And The Fisherman, and now it’s time for Will’s Chris Kearse to step behind the stoves.
The dinner is happening October 8. It’ll run you $65 (plus tax and tip), and there will be two seatings, at 5:30 and 8pm.
And of course we have the menu.
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Next Tuesday is National Oyster Day, and we already told you about the Oyster House’s big four-course $50 oyster dinner. Well, over in Chestnut Hill, they’ve got a deal of their own. Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
It really seems like the Divine Lorraine will get redeveloped. Developer Eric Blumenfeld has purchased the building for a second time and he has the funding in place to start renovations. KYW’s Hadas Kuznits accompanied Blumenfeld on a tour of the Grand Old Lady of North Broad this week. During the tour, Blumenfeld mentioned that he is aiming to bring in a high-end restaurant as well as a subterranean speakeasy to the Divine Lorraine.
Guess who we spotted in front »
Chef Al Paris (of Heirloom and elsewhere) quietly opened his second Green Soul location in Chestnut Hill late last week. He opened it with partners Robert and Kim Bynum, and the three of them conceived it as “A Bridge To Better Eating.”
To that end, the menu is full of salads. And chicken. And chicken salads. The restaurant also offers sandwiches which tilt in a decidedly Southern direction–like a barbecue pulled chicken sandwich, Cajun salmon BLT and shrimp salad sandwich–alongside smoothies, black bean chowder with jerk salmon and sweet potato pie. Also, every single order comes with a green apple because… Well, because its part of the restaurant’s logo, and also because they’re pushing this whole “apple a day” thing to get people to eat healthier.
In any event, the new operation opened last Thursday at 8229 Germantown Avenue.
Green Soul [Official]
Chestnut Hill BYOB, Heirloom has just unleashed its new Summer menu and it reads like a salute to summer.
From summer beat and grilled nectarine salad to blue crab with summer corncake, heritage shortrib with roast peaches or grape poached Artctic char, there are a variety of new flavors to help satisfy your appetite this season.
Full menu »
Gone are the Winter weathered days of braised meats and heavy sauces. It’s April now, and in these next few months, the crowds crave the fresh, bright, and zippy. The world’s a-bloomin’, and the farm-to-table restaurants are locked and loaded.
For example, chef Al Paris of the timely named Heirloom will be hosting farm-to-table stalwart Josh Lawler (chef/owner of The Farm & Fisherman) for an evening of what it really means to be eating well in Spring. As the third installment of their Chef Collaboration series, Buds, Blooms & Wild Asparagus will be an exciting five course prixe fixe menu, for $75 a pop (plus tax and gratuity) on Wednesday, April 24th. The first seating’s at 5:30 pm, and the next is at 8 pm, and the menu will be featuring all those funny-named vegetables you always have questions about. Fiddleheads? Stinging Nettle? Sounds
Here’s the menu. If you find it intriguing, make sure to call and reserve, because when the weather’s this nice (with the exception of today), people get excited, and excitement makes people hungry.
Heirloom [Official Site]
Okay, so quite some time ago (like back in November), there was a rare collaboration dinner that happened at Heirloom. It was the launch of a dinner series that chef Al Paris was doing to celebrate the regions culinary “heirlooms” (get it?), and he started things off with a bang by cooking with none other than Georges Perrier who Paris has known, apparently, since the beginning of time (or at least since the early 90’s, when Paris ran Circa across the street from Le Bec Fin).
Just recently, PR guy, whiskey enthusiast and man-about-town Peter Breslow posted a video of the event. But rather than just showing off the food and the end-product of the two chefs’ collaboration, the camera went into the kitchen and showed the three days of work that went into producing what looked to be a truly remarkable meal.
It’s a pretty long video (about ten minutes), but it’s totally worth watching. Mostly because while all of us have seen Georges Perrier talk and yell and drink and scowl plenty lately, when’s the last time you saw chef Perrier–the man who put Philly on the culinary map–actually cook?
Well he does that here. In addition to yelling, drinking, scowling and smoking a cigar while prepping. Perrier works the line like a champ and generally shows the entire kitchen what’s what. Frankly, it’s worth watching just for the scene where he shows the cooks (and Paris) how to make a proper mussel soup, pulls the chef’s equivalent of a mike-dropper (tossing down his pan and serving spoon), then storms off saying “Now you tell me how fucking good it is…”
Video is after the jump. Bon apetit.
Show me the video
For one night only, Georges Perrier will be cooking at Chestnut Hill’s Heirloom. Heirloom’s chef Al Paris has invited the former chef and owner of Le Bec Fin to kickoff Paris’ collaborative dinner series.
The $125 six-course dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14th. There will be two seatings available, starting at 5:30 or 6 p.m. and 8:30 or 9 p.m.
More details and the menu »
Rejoice Fairmount, The Belgian Tavern is set to open next Wednesday. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]
Knock has had its soft opening and is set to start serving pork chops with chocolate sauce. [Feeding Frenzy, City Paper]
Al Paris’ Italian restaurant has a name, Bombino’s. It’s about 5 weeks out. [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]
Eric Ripert of New York’s Le Bernardin is looking to open a Philadelphia bistro in early 2008. [New York Times]
G Lounge is a subterranean lounge looking to open in November at 17th and Chestnut. Food will be from the same kitchen as Davios which is upstairs. Also coming soon is Urban Saloon to 2120 Fairmount Avenue. “The name should be a tip-off of the concept, but final details are still being worked out.” [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]
Fo a complete list of restaurants, bars and lounges that are everywhere from days away from opening to still on the drawing boards check out the Foobooz Openings page. There’s a lot on deck!