Five Family-Style Meals to Try in Philly Restaurants Now

Photograph by Jillian Guyette

The Trough at Butcher Bar | Photograph by Jillian Guyette

The way we eat today — mixing and matching and plate-sharing — can make ordering when you’re out with a large group a challenge. Which is why restaurants are now creating over-the-top family-style meals where the only thing you have to say is, “We’ll take that.”  Read more »

Where to Celebrate Bastille Day This Week

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Photo by HughE Dillon

Still looking for an excuse to set off  your leftover fireworks? No worries, Bastille Day is this week on Thursday, July 14th.  There’s plenty happening around the city to celebrate this week.  But if you’re still looking for something besides catching as many Tastykakes as possible at the Eastern State Penitentiary, we’ve rounded up some other French-inspired Bastille Day events happening at restaurants around the city.

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Philly Has Chestnuts Roasting

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It’s a little warm out for an open fire, but for many Christmas time means the sweet flavor of chestnuts, be they roasted, pureed, or folded into something sweet. Unfortunately, for those who love them, they can be difficult to find stateside. Here are a few spots around town where you can find their incomparable flavor, Jack Frost nipping or no.

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This Thursday: Celebrate France and Beaujolais Nouveau

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On the third Thursday of November, Beaujolais Nouveau hits the world. It is the first taste of the 2015 vintage and in France, it’s a celebration of wine, the year and the region. And in Philadelphia we hate to miss a party, so many Philadelphia bars and restaurants offer pours, specials and in one case, a dinner cooked by a former Le Bec Fin executive chef.

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Philadelphia’s 51st Best Restaurant

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There’s something you have to understand about this year’s 50 Best Restaurants list. If a restaurant is on it at all–whether in the coveted first slot or the 50th–that restaurant is a great restaurant. It’s not like the place in the #2 spot did something wrong to wind up there that its neighbor did right. With one notable exception, you don’t really get to do anything wrong and still be on the list.

In this city, and at this time in the development of our culinary identity, the competition is so ferocious that I’d have to drop down to around the 70th or 80th position before I could name a place where something went significantly sideways during our meals. But we don’t do that. Every two years we name our fifty. We rank them, top to bottom, with a combination of science, subjectivity and debate, and put that list out there into the world to be argued over.

And then I name the city’s fifty-first-best restaurant which, this time around, is Bistrot La Minette.

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50 Best Restaurants Poll: Bistrot La Minette

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This week, we’re running daily surveys, polling readers about where they believe certain restaurants will land on Philadelphia magazine list of the 50 Best Restaurants.

Answer the poll question now, and if you aren’t already subscribed to Philadelphia Sunday, add your email address after submitting your answer and you’ll get the whole list in your email box, early Sunday morning.

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Open Stove XXIV: Not Very Mexican At All

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If life was fair, we’d all be living differently.

That’s what I would’ve told our contestants last night before they started cooking, had I had the chance. Partly because saying that and walking away would’ve been creepy, but mostly because it would’ve been rock-solid advice. If things remained consistent in our Open Stove events, then it would make sense that the theme of the 24th Open Stove, on May 5th, would be Mexican food. I mean, every time we’ve done a theme, it has been in congruence with the surrounding date, month, or season. For God’s sake, one team had been there only two months before, for an event near St. Patrick’s Day, and we threw Guinness and Irish whiskey at their faces.

So, of course, they’d anticipate a Mexican theme. But Jason Sheehan (the Open Stove ring leader) gets bored quickly, and last night, he didn’t even bat an eye when he shouted “Chinese-American fusion!” at the Mexican-ready and “I’ve only ever cooked French” teams.
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Thai New Year Knife Fight At Circles

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Chefs Alex Boonphaya (of Circles) and Peter Woolsey (of Bistrot La Minette) were just going to get together for a plain old collaboration dinner in celebration of the upcoming Thai New Year. But then they thought, “Hey, you know what would be more fun? Let’s turn it into a battle!”

Which is exactly what they’re doing–a 3-course by 3-course, head-to-head cook-off wherein 40 guests will get to determine who is the best Thai cook in the house. And if you’re up for it, you can be one of those 40 judges.

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Open Stove XXI: Now We’re Legal

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It is hard to believe sometimes that we have been doing Foobooz Open Stove Nights at COOK for as long as we have. But by the somewhat suspect accounting of the COOK staff, Wednesday night was our 21st outing and we celebrated it with two great teams, a potato-based challenge, shots of potato vodka, and cases of beer from those potato-loving Czechs behind Pilsner Urquell.

It was a wild night, full of drinking and rivalry and potato chip garnishes and coxcombs. But when the dust settled and the scores were tallied, there could be only one victor. And while only 20 or so people actually got to see the competition first-hand, we’ve come home with photo evidence of how things shook out (which is good, because everyone’s memories are probably a little bit fuzzy right now). So if you couldn’t be there yourself, click through the jump and check out what happened once the shots were poured and the tater tots hit the tables…

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