Every cook loves getting a bigger kitchen, and Lee Styer is no exception. Two-and-a-half years after moving Fond half a block from its original niche on Passyunk Avenue, he still remembers the liberation he felt.
The new liquor license was just the beginning. All of a sudden he had a walk-in fridge. Enough dry-storage capacity so that he could buy a whole case of onions at a time (rather than just five pounds). The days of sharing a single oven with his pastry chef (and wife) Jessie Prawlucki were definitively behind him. Read more »
Sunday, April 12 kicks off a new wine and cocktail tasting series at Fond. David Snyder is a lawyer turned food critic turned back to lawyer who dabbles in the role of wine expert. Snyder is the man behind Fond’s wine list and is working with beverage manager Kristian Fidrych to create a tasting menu.
The series will occur monthly and each installment will have a different theme. The first event will be an introduction to the tastings, focused on spring flavors.
Light bites from chef Lee Styer will accompany the tastings and complement each wine and cocktail.
The tasting is $50 per person and begins at 2 pm. Give the restaurant a call at 215-551-5000 to make reservations.
Because round is boring? Joe Cicala is rolling out an “underground” selection of his Neapolitan pizzas that will come in playful shapes at his Brigantessa. These pizza shapes are kind of the Lucky Charms marshmallows of the pizza world. Check out Brigantessa’s video where chef Cicala creates the Stella (star shaped) pizza with points stuffed with sheep’s milk ricotta and the Racchetta rolled on one end and stuffed with ricotta. Both of these odd shaped pizzas appear on the menu. Other shapes are only available by customers who are in the know.
More on the secret shapes »
Bing Bing Dim Sum | Photo by Courtney Apple
If restaurateurs were rock stars (and in Philly, they’re as close as we come), Ben Puchowitz and Shawn Darragh would be vintage R.E.M. Whether they’re slinging ramen with brisket and matzo balls, as at Cheu Noodle Bar, or papering the walls of their new Bing Bing Dim Sum with acid-trip dumpling emojis, they have a knack for twisting a budding trend just far enough to make it unmistakably their own. Read more »
The Kobe Ribeye at Palladino’s | Photo via Palladino’s
Craig LaBan finds that Luke Palladino has managed to find an unfilled niche in Italian-loaded South Philadelphia. At Palladino’s, there are excellent steaks, focaccia di Recco that LaBan predicts will become one of the most sought after plates in the city, and other dishes that stand out.
Among my other favorites were a juicy duck sausage roasted with pickled grapes over goat-cheese-whipped polenta; the baked crepselle rolled around wild mushrooms enriched with Taleggio; a refined casino take on oysters (instead of clams) that roasted those mollusks to perfection. A house-extruded pasta was the secret al dente weapon that elevated the spaghetti alle vongole with tender cockles in flavorful broth to another level.
Three Bells – Excellent
Palladino’s in South Philly: Northern Italian with a chop-house twist [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Photo by Emily Teel
It’s proving to be a busy month at Le Virtu and Brigantessa, especially for chef Joe Cicala. For the start of the spring season, the two restaurants are hosting a variety of events lasting until April 30th. We already mentioned the Scott Schroeder spuntini takeover happening on April 2, but here’s a round-up of what else is happening at the sister restaurants.
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TREND images via Redfin
In the spirit of spring cleaning, which Shoppist has so generously helped us tackle, we present you this organizer-friendly South Philly house. Per the listing, the second-level bedroom has built-in storage taking up an entire wall, while the master bedroom boasts another whole wall built-in closet and walk-in closet. Additional storage space and a home office can be found in the finished basement. Guess keeping things from disarray should be easier now, huh?
Other features of note include swing doors with bamboo inset, two wood fireplaces, mid century chandeliers and light fixtures, a solar powered water heater, trellis patio, and a kitchen overlooking the open elevated dining room. It also has a newly installed A/C unit and there’s access to the roof from the family room.
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Photo via Instagram | @kingsnakejewelry
Get ready to let out a long “awwwww”: Massage therapist and yoga instructor Daniel Cordua, who teaches at studios all around the city, and his girlfriend, designer and jewelry maker Rachel Robles, are weaving their passions together to open Palo Santo Wellness Boutique, a yoga studio-meets wellness center-meets boutique mashup. And this is where the “awwwww” part comes in: The space, located at 1707 East Passyunk Avenue, is right across the street from the restaurant where the couple had their very first date. See? Awwwww. Read more »
Remember when we told you about how gift shop Occasionette and decor store Home are combining forces? The adorable home store is moving into the back of Occasionette (which was formerly used as a space for crafty workshops). The mega-store of adorableness — think Paper Source plus your favorite vintage home store times a million — is planning on opening on March 17th, and they’re hard at work on the move. Your proof? This Instagram pic, which shows the too-cute stripey floors that Home owner Sary Em is working on. Obsessed? Us too. Let the countdown begin!
East Passyunk’s annual Flavors of the Avenue culinary festival is back on April 26th, from 12 pm to 4 pm. Although the weather out the window right now may not look like it, spring is just around the corner and tickets for the event are on sale now.
Over two dozen East Passyunk chefs are participating in the event, which will also include a street festival with live music and vendors.
VIP Tickets are $65 and include all day access to the food tent, including a private VIP hour at noon with premium menu items. The tickets also give all-day access to the VIP area with specialty cocktails, premium craft beer and even include complimentary valet parking.
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