This week we’ve seen two sets of Garces alums open new restaurants. Former Garces director of operations, George Atterbury has opened El Poquito in Chestnut Hill. The Mexican restaurant takes over the Chestnut 7 property ad Atterbury has hired former JG Domestic chef de cuisine, Andrew Sabin as executive chef. El Poquito is open for dinner seven days a week. Michael Klein reports that Atterbury already has a deal in place for a second location in a new development by the Christina River in Wilmington. Check out El Poquito’s menu here.
La Peg is starting to serve weekend brunch, starting this weekend.
The French brasserie’s brunch menu will be served on Saturdays and Sunday from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. and includes an array of breakfast foods, along with more lunch plates.
Breakfast dishes offered include Eggs Florentine; Omelette with bacon and caramelized onion, gruyere, potatoes, salad; crepes with sweet mascarpone and fresh fruit; and biscuits and gravy.
Chef Peter Woolsey brags, he knows brunch, it’s the only meal he and his family get to eat out during the week.
Approaching winter isn’t all that bad, because that means that Blue Cross Riverrink is about to open. And if you miss Spruce Street’s Harbor Park, this is its winter alternative. The regulation-sized skating rink offers public skating sessions, season-long special events, parties, private functions, as well as skate rentals and sharpening. But the skating rink isn’t the only attraction.
The rink has announced the opening day of its seasonal celebration Winterfest as November 28th.
The ice skating rink will feature thousands of lights, great food and drinks, comfy rockers and couches, and most importantly, fire pits, fireplaces, and heat lamps.
Rick Nichols checks in at La Peg, Peter Woolsey’s two month old French brasserie at the once-upon-a-time pump house that is now the home of FringeArts. Nichols finds that the transition from early 20th century high-pressure water station to present day restaurant has been difficult.
That its menu takes liberties with disciplined bistro classics doesn’t help matters. My bowl of Vietnamese beef-noodle pho consomme was cloyingly sweet. And while my wife was happy with her steak-frite, as was I with a small plate of roasted striped bass, my choucroute garnie – so wonderful when the sauerkraut is cooked long and slow enough to soak up the flavors of the sausage – tasted as if a bag of crunchy, coarse-cut kraut had been warmed up at the last minute, then layered with grilled sausage, entirely missing the point of the dish.
Citypaper’s Adam Erace recently reviewed the Philadelphia brasserie, La Peg, praising the restaurant’s architectural aesthetics, comfortable energy, and window view. However, while Erace enjoyed various classical options at La Peg, he was critical towards any diversions from the traditional French cuisine offered on the menu.
“At La Peg, there’s a freewheeling spirit you don’t get at the beautiful and severe Minette, but a little of the latter’s discipline could help sharpen the experience here. Sriracha turned up a lot, which felt like a trick of a lesser restaurant,” he said.
“The picnic-friendly Parisian sandwich could use ham with more character (and smoke) than the timid French import filling its buttered baguette,” Erace criticized. However, when the last course of the evening, the apple tart, was served, he said he forgave all other imperfections: “I savored the last bite and view. Perfect, both of them.”
Today, Thursday, September 11th, Morgan’s Pier and chef David Gilberg will be offering a $30 seafood dinner for the Pier’s annual Seafood Boil. Included on the boil will be blue crabs, shrimp, littleneck clams, and mussels. There will also be corn, slaw and cobbler.
A la carte supplementary items will also be available.
Reservations are strongly encouraged.
Morgan’s Pier [Foobooz]
Well at least Morgan’s Pier waited until September for Pumpkin Week. The riverfront bar is offering $10 pumpkin beer flights from now until Sunday, September 7th. Also, there will be pumpkin-themed food specials. Across the week, fourteen different breweries will be featured.
It all kicks off this evening at 5 p.m. with chef David Gilberg grilling on the pier.
Morgan’s Pier [Foobooz]
The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation has extended Spruce Street Harbor Park through September 28th. The riverfront park was originally scheduled to close on August 31st. The hours of operation for the park and the Garces Group operated Blue Anchor will remain the same. Look for some seasonal additions for September.
Spruce Street Harbor Park was built using a substantial grant from ArtPlace America to show visitors the potential of the Penn’s Landing Marina area. The objective of connecting Philadelphians and visitors to the waterfront clearly succeeded. 35,000 people per week visited the park, nearly twice that over the Independence Day weekend.
Of course, with success like that, you might wonder if it will be back next year.
Spruce Street Harbor Park [Foobooz]
Peter Woolsey’s La Peg is now officially open at Race Street and Columbus Boulevard. The brasserie in the FringeArts building has an emphasis on small plate French food and is currently open nightly for dinner and late-night bar bites. The menu ranges from $3 bites to $27 for a steak frites dish. A $30 dinner includes French Onion soup or trio of salads; roasted half-chicken with fries or salmon with horseradish; and chocolate cake or la peg sundae.