Gordana Kostovski is a big deal in the Philly wine community. The Macedonian Master-certified sommelier was awarded two of Wine Spectator’s Awards of Excellence, including a Best of Award of Excellence. And for close to three years, she’s remained the driving force behind Volvér’s wine program — easily one of the most consistent (and consistently great) aspects of the restaurant and bar. Last year, she was credited in the Wall Street Journal for inspiring a major New York wine purveyor to bring his business to Pennsylvania, despite the state’s restrictive conditions. To say the least, she’s been a major player in helping shape this city’s burgeoning wine scene.
Yesterday, at Philly Cooks, when I found her in front of Townsend’s table and not Volvér’s, I thought nothing of it — she’s married to Townsend’s chef-owner Tod Wentz. But lo and behold, she actually works there, too.
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Bar Volver adds dinner | Photo by Martin Buday for Garces
With September’s swift approach, Jose Garces’ Volver is getting back into the swing of things. Most notably is the addition of a full dinner menu for Bar Volver. Previously, Bar Volver only offered bar snacks but will now offer more substantive plates. Reservations are also now accepted for dining in the bar area of the Kimmel Center restaurant. The changes answer the demand for quick but elegant dining for the before and after theater crowds. Bar Volver’s hours will be Wednesday and Thursday: 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Check out the full menu »
Jose Garces prepping for class at Volver’s Summer School | Photo by Chelsea Portner
We stopped by Volver yesterday as Jose Garces prepped for the first class of his Summer School at Volver. Garces is offering classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays this June and July to offer guests a different way to experience Volver as well as a way to spend some quality time with Garces Group chefs like James Beard Award winner Michael Laiskonis and Philadelphia native and Amada New York chef de cuisine, Justin Bogle.
Tickets are sold out for 9 of the classes already, so if any of the remaining classes appeal to you, like “Chimichurri to Romesco: Exploring the Latin Mother Sauces,” act quickly.
More plans from Jose Garces »
Over the past couple years, Bar Volver has been refining the experience of eating and drinking at this kind of antechamber to Volver proper. It has always been the easier and more approachable of the two rooms–a place to just drop by for drinks, a snack, whatever. In the beginning, the menu was seriously limited (caviar, a handful of tartines), and the focus was on champagne. Then it became cocktails and snacks, with a guest bartender program on Wednesdays and a menu that slowly grew over the seasons.
But now, things have changed again.
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Several months ago, I took a good friend of mine to Volver for drinks. He’s a little bit of a New York snob (which he’ll openly admit), but I knew I won him over when he said that this was the first place in Philly that he’d been to that felt like New York.
I, too, loved the place, even though it had received the reputation of being way out of my price range. Yes, dinner at Volver is, by far, quite an expense, but Bar Volver is a whole other experience. In short, it’s a little place of hip heaven just a few blocks away from the Gayborhood (attached to the Kimmel Center), and you really ought to check it out. Read more »
Yesterday, we told you all about the new season and promised re-opening of Volver’s main dining room on September 2nd. Today, there’s word from the other half of the operation–Bar Volver. It will be re-opening tomorrow, and comes back to the scene with a new menu, new cocktails and more.
Want to know the details? Of course you do…
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Volver is done for the summer. Not for a week (as is becoming almost standard among many of the more notable Philly restaurants), or for two weeks (which is the point at which we grow nervous about them ever opening back up again), but for a full two months.
The final night of service was June 30, at which point the whole place (Bar Volver included) went quietly dark. This is the message left on their Open Table page:
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Volver’s monthly bartender collaboration series continues tonight. Stephen Warner of Lo Spiedo will be mixing up three seasonally-inspired (and local) cocktails from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- THE GEISHA
la colombe different drum rum, rose orange syrup, angostura, orange twist
- THE BARRIQUE
bluecoat barrel aged gin, lo spiedo americano, lo spiedo smoked orange bitters, lemon twist
- SUMMER SHOWERS
art in the age sage, cucumber, melon, sage, cava
You cannot live on boozy cocktails alone »
Volver, which recently overhauled its dinner menus has also redone its bar menu. And for fans of Avance’s lamb burger, the appearance of lamb burgers under the Snacks section has to set their hearts aflutter. For those not quite as obsessive as we are about Philadelphia’s restaurant scene, this looks like the result of Jose Garces bringing Justin Bogle on as corporate executive chef for the Garces Group. Bogle was integral to the “Season Two” menu at Volver and it would appear, at least one of the new bar menu items.
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With Cinco de Mayo just a week away, we over at Foobooz Headquarters decided we could no longer put off going through the folder we had marked, “Cinco de Mayo: Deal With Later,” in our emails. So here it is you tequila and guacamole guzzling heathens: your guide to Philly’s Cinco de Mayo.
Cinco de Mayo Street Festival at El Rey: The Stephen Starr restaurant is hosting its first ever, all-day (5/5, 2pm-10pm) street festival, featuring Mexican street food (think tacos, quesadillas, nachos, corn, margaritas and agua fresca), live mariachi music, piñatas and giveaways. The festival will be on the 2000 block of Ranstead Street.
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