Craig LaBan weighs in on Jose Garces’ culinary return to Philadelphia. The Inquirer critic calls the cooking at Volvér “egocentric” though he does call many of the dishes three-bell worthy, if he could order them a la carte.
The plates, without doubt, were still camera-ready gorgeous: ember-seared cubes of Wagyu beef posed beside crimson swipes of beet puree; nasturtium leaves floated atop lubina sea bass in a composition of rice and shrimp evocative its own ecosystem; epic salads tweezered into perfect still lifes by talented chef de cuisine, Natalie Maronski. Those dishes were examples of Volvér at its best, in which the inspirations were prime ingredients, not biography. The intricate salad was a naturalistic playground of delicate greens, creamy cauliflower panna cotta, and sublimely sweet carrots drawn from the garden at Garces’ Luna Farms, lifted by tangy Meyer lemon puree and the faux “dirt” of goat-cheese crumbles tinted black with squid ink.
Two Bells – Very Good
Garces’ Volvér overdoes the culinary performance art [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Trey Popp’s four-star review of Volvér [Philadelphia Magazine]
Jason Evenchik & Co., of Time Restaurant, recently took the trip to Central Pennsylvania for nothing other than some good ole’ whiskey tasting. But this time it wasn’t all fun and games; in fact, there was a little business in the mix because Evenchik, GM Terry Leach, Chef Sean Magee, and AGM Tim Heuisler were trying to blend their own rye whiskey. And finally, they did.
A combination of two ryes – 75% of a 6.5 year and 25% of a 1.5 year – Time’s Rye Whiskey is available at the restaurant, but limited (just 100 bottles) so get there when you can and try it for yourself. The whiskey is $13 a pour.
Time Restaurant [Official]
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]
Ever since the release of the menu that made us salivate, we have been waiting ever so patiently for Michael Schulson’s Independence Beer Garden. And it’s finally here (for real this time). The highly anticipated garden is set to open today at 4 p.m, regardless of the weather.
From delicious bites to scenic views, Independence Beer Garden is looking to spruce up the summer. The menu will feature Philly favorites, like Pretzel bites, along with many BBQ-friendly items, including Corn on the Cob with Chili Butter & Cojita Cheese and a Carolina BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich. In addition to all of the eats, IBG will have ping-pong tables, a table-top Jenga, and a 10-foot projection TV for you to enjoy, as well.
But we can’t forget about the piece that brings the entire garden together: beer. And with a beer menu almost as big as the location itself, you might have a tough time narrowing things down. We know we will. Check out the entire drink menu here. Now, go ahead and start counting down the hours with us.
IBG is located at 100 S. Independence Mall West and, after today, will open daily at 11 a.m.
Independence Beer Garden [Foobooz]
Fitler Dining Room has added happy hour. The Center City restaurant is offering sangria and snacks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. The menu includes half-price oysters, a daily cheese special, a veggie plate and popcorn dusted with Rogue Creamery’s “Blue Heaven” cheese.
The highlight however is the Japanese Fried Chicken Sandwich which includes bread and butter pickles, slaw and is served on a semolina roll. On the drink side Fitler Dining Room is offering Tiger Lager for $3 and summer sangria (white wine, lillet, berries) for $5 a glass, $23 a pitcher.
Full Fitler Dining Room Happy Hour Menu »
What better way to celebrate Hump Day than with free beer and food specials? Well maybe with free beer and food specials on a beach, but let’s not be picky.
Starting today, Wednesday, July 9th, and continuing every Wednesday, WokWorks will be pouring free draft beer (until the keg runs out) from 5 – 10 p.m. And tonight you can get your hands on Kirin, an authentic Japanese beer that can be enjoyed with the delicious (and cheap) food specials, including $2 slider buns, $3 dumplings, $5 tropicalia wings and more.
Beers are limited to 3 per person because after all, you still have to go in to work the next day.
For the month of July, Iron Chef Jose Garces’ restaurant, Village Whiskey is heating things up with a mouthwatering burger, and you can thank San Fermín’s Running of the Bulls for it.
To celebrate the event, Village Whiskey will debut the Angry Bull Burger featuring aged manchego cheese, chorizo billbao, fried padron pepper, tempranillo grilled onions and smoked paprika aioli. The burger will cost $22 and that’s no bull.
Village Whiskey [Foobooz]
Looking for a new lunch spot? Well look no further. Matt & Marie’s, a sandwich shop, is bringing its modern twist on Italian classics to Philly. The restaurant at 18th and Arch Streets will offer fresh baked Italian bread, artisanal meats and cheeses, and fresh modern toppings as well.
The soft opening is Thursday, June 26th, but if you can’t make it then, don’t fret because the shop will be open to the public Monday, June 30th.
Matt & Marie’s [Official]
Top Chef runner-up Spike Mendelsohn is in town today for the grand opening of his Good Stuff Eatery. The 18th Street restaurant had a good crowd this afternoon but was doing an admirable job keeping up with curious first day eaters who lined up to the door.
The burger spot reflects Mendelsohn’s cocky persona with a painted wall stating “Food So Pure You’ll Think It’s Amish” to staff t-shirts thanking Shake Shack, Bobby’s Burger Palace and others while stating “we’ll take it from here.”
Mendelsohn himself, spent time working behind the counter, tossing trash away and also mingling with guests like you’d expect a celebrity to do.
And there was lunch »
Tria Taproom is launching a special “Quick & Delicious” prix fixe lunch. Get a gazpacho or salad and main course for $14. The fixed price lunch is available daily from noon to 4 p.m.
Full menu »