David Gilberg has had the job. So have George Sabatino and David Katz. And now, in what’s becoming a rite of spring, Morgan’s Pier has announced its 2015 chef in residence, and it’s none other than our own Top Chef champion, Nick Elmi.
The Friday festivities will run from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and will feature Sly Fox and Weyerbacher as the featured breweries. All you need is a free wristband and proper ID to attend. There will also be Beer Quizzo and a Brewer talk from Sly Fox’s Brian O’Reilley.
Saturday’s festivities run from 12 to 8 p.m., serving beers from Yuengling, Twin Lakes, Evil Genius, and Cape May Brewery. Live music will also be on hand. Sunday’s events will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., with brews from Dock Street and wine from Hauser Estate Winery. A home brewing demonstration will also be part of the day.
The events are completely free, and attendees can have up to six two-ounce samples per person.
Find more information on the Delaware Waterfront’s web site.
The Lodge at Winterfest [Foobooz]
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan reviews La Peg and finds that the restaurant it heading in the right direction after a rocky start. But along the way, at least there were some naked performers and a great view of the Ben Franklin Bridge and Delaware River.
By my final visit in December, though, a shift to a more traditional app-entree menu format, and a subtle reversion to a more classic French repertoire, seemed to have smoothed out most kinks in chef de cuisine Nicholas Bazik’s kitchen.
Two Bells – Very Good
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.”