Restaurant Review: Charlie Was a Sinner

Charlie Was a Sinner | Photos by Jason Varney

Charlie Was a Sinner | Photos by Jason Varney

Just how much sinning do you like to do over dinner?

That’s a good question to chew on at Nicole Marquis’s mysterious new bar on 13th Street, where you can drink bourbon and absinthe beneath a looming hardback edition of In Cold Blood, watch sultry projections of Marilyn Monroe flicker upon the ruffles of a diaphanous wall curtain, and soak up your alcohol with food completely untainted by animal products.

In an era abounding with culinary hobgoblins—gluten for him, fructose for her, GMOs for the guy down the street—veganism still reigns unrivaled as the diet of the ethically upright. But the plant-only jawn feels a little racier at Charlie Was a Sinner, and not just because it’s next door to the last surviving porn shop on this once-seedy strip. Marquis, the woman behind HipCityVeg, named her lounge the way Elmore Leonard started crime novels. Who’s Charlie? Has he—or she—repented? Exactly what sort of sin are we talking about here?

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Coming Soon: Petit Roti

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A reader provided us with a tip (and a pic) showing signs of progress at Petit Roti at 248 S 11th Street.

Set to open the doors in September, chef Olivier Desaintmartin, chef and Owner of ZINC and Caribou Cafe, hopes to bring a taste of France to Philly (again), but this time with a new spin. Desaintmartin will highlight France’s rôtisseries - a feat that seems more realistic when you hear that he has imported two authentic rotisserie machines from France. And along with the impressive machinery, Petit Roti will also have a pantry full of vinegars, oils, jams, olives, and more to emulate the French épiceries.

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Sutton’s Parlor Today

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HughE Dillon (PhillyChitChat) was walking by Sutton’s Parlor, the “temporarily closed” bar run by Matt Swartz when he snapped the above photo. The name has been covered over, the menu removed and the inside of the bar has been cleaned out. This is just the latest note in the  Swartz saga. His Farmers’ Cabinet closed for a “summer cleaning” and was to reopen after July 11th. As of now, that hasn’t happened.

The Farmers’ Cabinet closes for ‘summer cleaning’ [Philly Insider]

Cheu Noodle Bar Unifies Menu

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Yakisoba 2.0

Cheu Noodle Bar is now serving its dinner menu for lunch and dinner. That means buns, pigtails and Cheu fries all day.

The popular Washington Square West restaurant has also added several new noodle dishes to its menu.

  • Sour Broth – ground pork, fermented onion, flat noodle
  • Yakisoba 2.0 – shrimps, shiso verde, charred corn, radish
  • Cold Sesame 2.0 – tahini, yuba, marinated egg, cucumber

And the good news keeps on coming. Cheu will now be opening at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

Full lunch and dinner menu »

Kegs, Kapes, and Wizards, Oh My!

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Have you ever wondered what event involves beer pong, capes, and wizards? Well wonder no more. In celebration of Wizard World coming to the Convention Center, Field House is throwing a Kegs and Kapes party on Friday, June 20th at 7 pm.

The event will be full of taps from DuClaw Brewing Company, beer pong tournaments and costume contests. So be sure to bring your A game (whether you’re playing pong or putting on a cape) and be ready to get down and nerdy.

The event is hosted by Ming Chen, from the Comic Book Men podcast, and special guest Mike Zapcic.

Field House [Official]

Summer Souvlas at Drury Beer Garden

Drury_beer_garden_Logo Celebrate the first official day of summer with a Summer Souvla at Drury Beer Garden. On Saturday, June 21st and July 5th, Drury Beer Garden, behind Opa, will be celebrating grilled meat. Roasted goat will be served up on the 21st and roasted pig on the 5th. Drink specials, which will be announced the day of the roasts, will also be available too.

Drury Beer Garden [Foobooz]

Cheu Noodle Bar’s Second Ramen Rumble

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The ramen battleis back. On Monday, June 23rd, at 6:00 p.m., Cheu Noodle Bar hosts the second Ramen Rumble.

This month’s chefs competing for the title of best ramen are friends Scott Schroeder of South Philly Tap Room and American Sardine Bar against Nick Macri of Border Springs Farm.

For $25, you’ll get two mini bowls of ramen, a beer and a voting card for you to decide who the ultimate winner is.

Cheu Noodle Bar [Foobooz]

What’s Happening Upstairs at Vetri?

New upstairs dining room at Vetri.

New upstairs dining room at Vetri.

Marc Vetri has recently completed his upstairs expansion at his eponymous Vetri. The new upstairs dining room and test kitchen is now available for private events, cooking classes and more. Two July cooking classes have already sold out but tickets remain to three summer dinners featuring collaborations, farmer dinners and a special two nights with Italian wine.

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Three Bells for Petruce et al

petruce-940Petruce et al is the ninth three bell review for Craig LaBan this year, a number it usually takes a year to achieve. In La Ban’s review states that this effort by Justin and Jonathan Petruce is one of the best.

Petruce may well become best known for interpretations of some true basics – such as lasagna, roast chicken, and steak that are instantly among the city’s best. The hearty eight-layer lasagna, its fresh pasta ribboned with nutmeg-scented béchamel, is oven-finished to a crunch in cast iron. The simply roasted chicken brings parchment-crisp skin and juicy flesh, with creamy grits ringed by an electric-yellow sauce of slow-cooked yolk thinned by white soy and lemon.

Three Bells – Excellent

Wood-fired excellence at Petruce et al [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Petruce et al [Foobooz]

Restaurant Review: Petruce et al

Whole grilled sea bream | Photo by Jason Varney

Whole grilled sea bream | Photo by Jason Varney

Philadelphians have a lot of things to be thankful for, and one is that Justin and Jonathan Petruce aren’t trying to sell them pizza. There’s been some confusion about this. “When people hear that we have a restaurant with a wood oven and grill, the first thing they ask is if we make pizza,” says one of the brothers. “Actually, they’re more like, ‘What kind of pizza do you make?’” says the other.These are understandable assumptions. The Petruce brothers in fact wanted to open a pizza parlor. They even went to Italy, in 2010, to learn how.

“But then everybody in Philadelphia decided to open a pizza place,” Justin says.

So they just kept on cooking for other people. Between them, the Petruces have worked — occasionally together — at Mémé, M Restaurant, Fish and Little Fish. In March, they hung out a wooden shingle etched with their own name.

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