First Look: Inside Aldine

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A first look at the elegant interior of Jennifer and George Sabatino‘s first solo project at 1901 Chestnut (in the space that formerly housed Noche). Aldine isn’t open yet. They’re still waiting on some inspections and are tinkering with the menus. But the way things are looking right now, they’re aiming to open maybe by this weekend, but certainly by next week.

That said, the opening will also be a kind of half-soft event, with the kitchen only doing a la carte service. Originally, Sabatino wanted to launch with two tasting menus–Omnivore and Herbivore–but now they’re planning on sticking with a la carte through their soft-opening period.

Oh, and the portraits of the couple’s dogs you’ll find hung on the walls? Those are by noted dog portraitist (and food shooter) Neil Santos.

Show me the photos already

Prepare Pasta at Russet and then Eat Dinner

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Making Pasta at Russet.

Chef Andrew Wood of Russet is hosting a series of pasta-making classes for up to 25 guests on one Monday each month (starting this evening). Guests are taught how to make dough (Chef Wood grinds his own flour for this and all pasta at Russet) and roll a variety of pasta shapes. Sounds like a good time, but the real positive in going to such a class is in eating the pasta.

So, afterwards, the Chef will take all of the pasta made by the class and cook a dinner for the group, which includes house-cured charcuterie, salads,  antipasti  and the pasta as the main course. Pie, cake or tart will be for dessert.

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Ranstead Room has a New Cocktail Menu… And It Includes Egg and Monkey Gland

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Ranstead Room, behind El Rey on the 2000 block of Ranstead Street,  recently released their new fall and winter cocktail menu. Of the more interesting choices on the menu is the Ichabod Flip, made with scotch, port, egg yolk and pumpkin beer and the Monkey Gland, for those of you who want a real nice kick delivered by gin and absinthe.

Check out the full menu below; but even if you can’t decide, there’s the always in season, Bartender’s Choice.

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Nodding Head Brewery Is Moving Out of Center City

 J. Fidance for Visit Philly

J. Fidance for Visit Philly

Nodding Head Brewery owner Curt Decker just passed along news that he will be moving the brewpub out of Center City. Decker says he has a deal but isn’t saying where he’s moving. Landlord issues are cited as the reason for the move.

Nodding Head Brewery has been on Sansom Street for just under fifteen years. Before it was Nodding Head, the upstairs location was a Sam Adams Brewpub. Decker says, “we have seen downtown go from ‘sleepy’ to bustling, to a new version with tremendous diversity. It has been fun watching the transformation, but now it’s time for a new adventure.”

The last day at the current location will be Friday, October 31st.

Stay tuned for where the brewpub will ultimately land.

Nodding Head Brewery [Foobooz]

Draft Mead Comes to Tria Taproom

tria-taproom-taps-940Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 14th, Tria Taproom is throwing a “Meadstravaganza.” Starting at noon, the Center City bar will have two meads on tap plus complimentary snacks from Rotisseur and Weckerly’s Ice Cream. Mead, which is a fermented honey drink is rarely spotted around town and even less often on tap. Tria will have a South African mead pouring as well as one from Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Details on the mead »

Cocktail Contenders Take the Stage at High Steaks Competition

high-steaks-logoThis Sunday at the High Steaks! Philadelphia Cheesesteak and Cocktail Competition, in addition to the cheesesteak competition outside of Square 1682 on Sansom Street, there will also be a cocktail competition.

The bar talent includes Mariko Honda of a.kitchen + bar, Bess Gulliver and Nicholas Brozek of Crow and the Pitcher, Colin O’Neill of Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., Lindsey Krueger of Oyster House, Dan Lan Hamm of 1 Tippling Place, and Kyle Darrow of Red Owl Tavern. The six cocktail competitors are battling for the title anointed by the cocktail judges, as well as the People’s Choice title.

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UPDATED: Avance to Close Saturday

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Avance, the successor to Le Bec Fin, will close after service on Saturday night, October 11th. Michael Klein reported that the Walnut Street restaurant is a victim of economics. Chef Justin Bogle, who opened Avance ten months ago with high hopes, said, ” we can’t continue operating at this pace.”

In it’s time, Avance has suffered from lackluster reviews, the sale of the building by Georges Perrier and an eviction notice from new owners, Pearl Properties. Pearl Properties is the landlord for several restaurants including Pizzeria Vetri and the Chipotle that replaced Susanna Foo, but with the recent resurgence in Center City retail, the space has probably seen its last restaurant client.

As for Bogle, a Philadelphia native who returned home from New York as the youngest chef to earn two Michelin stars, he has no immediate plans.

UPDATE after the jump

Two for One Reviews by LaBan

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Dizengoff and Stock are both reviewed by Craig LaBan.

This weekend, Craig LaBan offered two reviews for the price of one Sunday Inquirer as he reviewed both Stock and Dizengoff. Each spot focuses on a single specialty with admirable results. 

Stock – Two Bells, Very Good

Where Stock truly excels, and the best reason to hang with Fishtown hipsters at the counter, are the small menu’s beef-free options. The mushroom pho packs an umami punch the beef pho lacks. The shredded green papaya starter is one of the most irresistible salads in town, the crunchy threads and roasted peanuts basking in a tart and funky fish sauce-lime dressing that flickers with chile heat. Of the daily banh mi hoagies, which included tasty chicken meatball and unexpectedly bland pork sausage, the surprising winner was filled with custardy tofu, bright with soy-garlic marinade, pickled cabbage, and creamy Japanese mayo.

Stock: The meticulous beef pho has depth, but is outshone by other offerings [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Dizengoff – Three Bells, Excellent

[T]his hummus takes on its magnetic powers thanks to chef Emily Seaman. The Zahav alum compulsively creates new garnishes daily based on what farmers deliver, with spot-on instincts for textures and flavor contrasts.

Summer corn took on the musky sweetness of fenugreek. Red peppers, simmered with pomegranate, went for a muhammara mood with crushed walnuts. Soft cannelinis were tinted yellow with Yemenite hawaj curry, dusted with smoky black flecks of Urfa chilies. Charred eggplants were cooked to a gloss, then tanged with vinegar and garlic. Fragrant ground lamb, one day topped with pickles, another stewed with orange and pistachios, hit a high with aromatic Persian spice.

Dizengoff: At this ‘hummusiya,’  the chickpea puree takes on magnetic power [Philadelphia Inquirer]

V Street Shares Menu

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Rich Landau is in the final stretch for his about to open V Street, just off of Rittenhouse Square. Landau is promising V Street will be a vegan street food bar because “you just can’t get a good Langos or Jallab in Philly.”

The menu is broken down into “Street Snacks (papdums with whipped dal), “Market” plates (langos with sauerkraut puree and smoked chioggia beets) and “Hot Pots,” (funky kimchee stew) sections. Inspiration comes from street food from around the world. Landau promises bold flavors and lots of spice.

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