Tonight, Kensington Quarters opens on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. The combination butcher shop, restaurant and classroom is unique to Philadelphia and it will be interesting to see how the concept grows and evolves.
For now, we have the opening dinner, dessert and drink lists. The restaurant is starting off with a tight menu of small plates, starches and entrees. The menu runs from $11 for rare beef to $26 for a pork shoulder entree, served with potato torta and mustard greens. Though Kensington Quarters does include a butcher shop, the menu is far from strictly carnivore as the menu includes dishes that are or can be prepared for vegetarians.
For drinks, Kensington Quarters offers wine ($8 to $10.50) and beer ($5 to $6.50) on tap plus a list of cocktails.
Tomorrow, we’ll have a report on opening night.
Check out some photos and the opening menus »
The smart homes at RiverView Court aren’t complete yet, but a few photos of what the residences will look like are already up. Now, maybe it’s just the Halloween spirit getting to us, but the computer-generated people in these renderings are seriously eerie. See the gallery below.
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Meat Locker at Kensington Quarters
Kensington Quarters is officially opening on Wednesday, October 29th. The Fishtown restaurant, bar, butcher shop, classroom combo will offer a selection of the region’s finest meats in its butcher shop, while diners of the restaurant enjoy drinks and dinner by Executive Chef Damon Menapace.
The classroom in the upstairs loft (which will also double as an event space) will host butchering classes as well as guest chef lectures and cooking demos that will acquaint guests with Kensington Quarters’ farm partners. A class schedule will be announced shortly after opening.
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The DN’s special section appears in today’s print edition as well as online.
For those who think daily newspapers lack a purpose in a digitized world that threatens to make traditional media outlets obsolete, today’s coverage of gentrification in a Daily News special section is a firm rejoinder. The seven articles that comprise “The Problems and the Promise: Gentrification in Philadelphia” is a pull-out section of the print edition and a microsite at philly.com. It illuminates the issues around the word that’s probably the most contested and least understood of any used to refer to real estate and development battles in the city.
The project isn’t perfect. There are missteps — like the boldfaced use of the term “Templetown.” But there are important myths that get debunked, and crucial facts that must be called to every Philadelphian’s attention before they expound on gentrification. Because, oh boy, do people expound. I hear far too much strident talk about “gentrification” from people ill-equipped to understand it. This series should help.
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I’ve had a flyer for Fette Sau’s happy hour on my desk for at least a month. I’ve been waiting for just the right time to post about their half-price beer,$5 Manhattans and $4 burnt end sandwiches that the Fishtown barbecue joint offers from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
And with today’s cold and rainy weather, hot barbecue and warming whiskey seems like the only reason to venture out.
Fette Sau Happy Hour Menu »
Just in time for the cool weather to set in, popular farmer’s market vendor Good Spoon Soup is opening up shop!
On the border of Fishtown and Kensington, the Good Spoon Soupery will open at 1400 N Front Street at Front and Master, just across from the El Bar. Kate Hartman, owner of the four year old business, is clear that the primary function of the space will focus on production with the goal of expanding Good Spoon’s wholesale availability around town, but she’s also carving out enough room in the big-windowed space for about ten seats–not so much a cafe, but a solid grab-and-go lunch option. Daily, there will be three or four hot soups available, plus bread and a few baked goods, and maybe one salad and one sandwich. There will also be refrigerator and freezer space for seasonal soups to go, similar to their farmer’s market offerings, and a few provisions and sundries from other local producers.
When is it opening? Soup season, of course. Look for it in early November.
Good Spoon Soupery [Official]
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]
This September marked the start of my 32nd year of residence in this city. And for all of those previous 31 years, I’ve treated this place as my oyster. It’s part of my nature: No matter what city I’m in, I want to take it all in, or as much of it as time will allow. Thirty-one years is a lot of time, and in that time, I’d set foot in every neighborhood in this city.
With — until pretty recently — one big exception.
Like most black Philadelphians, I had heard stories about Fishtown. It seemed that we weren’t welcome there. I’d read stories about blacks getting harrassed, and worse, when they moved into the neighborhood.
And I wasn’t alone.
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Adam Erace weighs in on the cocktails at the Yachtsman and happily reports, the tiki drinks are fun and good. But most importantly, fun.
Making cocktails has been elevated to such high art, at times they can elicit a why-so-serious backlash, but with Yachtsman’s menu of high-octane punches, sneaky frappes and colorful rum coolers, Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal have managed to weave together drinks that feel joyful as well as thoughtful. Like the Bird of Paradise, a frothy cross between a Clover Club and a Ramos gin fizz with a subtle orange blossom perfume, or the grass-green Missionary’s Downfall, a frosty, refreshing rum, peach-and-pineapple situation whose color comes from a jungle of blended-in fresh mint. The velvety Tree Frog, a Don Q banana daiquiri mix with an undercurrent of galangal, allspice and star anise, is flat-out delicious; I want to make it a part of my daily breakfast routine.
Also revealed in Erace’s review, his high school AIM username.
Review: Tropical breezes and tiki reimagined at the Yachtsman [City Paper]