Last week we told you about Rittenhouse Row’s cool Culinary Collective, where eighteen restaurants were pulling out all the stops to create unique experiences between August 5th and the 7th. One of those special experiences will be at Crow and the Pitcher. Georges Perrier, who is often spotted relaxing at the Rittenhouse restaurant of Alex Capasso, will be in the kitchen preparing some of his most popular dishes from Le Bec-Fin’s past. A four-course prix fixe dinner will be available for $60 or a seven-course extravaganza will be $120. Seatings are available at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
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A reader provided us with a tip (and a pic) showing signs of progress at Petit Roti at 248 S 11th Street.
Set to open the doors in September, chef Olivier Desaintmartin, chef and Owner of ZINC and Caribou Cafe, hopes to bring a taste of France to Philly (again), but this time with a new spin. Desaintmartin will highlight France’s rôtisseries - a feat that seems more realistic when you hear that he has imported two authentic rotisserie machines from France. And along with the impressive machinery, Petit Roti will also have a pantry full of vinegars, oils, jams, olives, and more to emulate the French épiceries.
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On Monday, July 14th, Fond is hosting the legendary Georges Perrier, as he and chef Lee Styer prepare a collaborative dinner. The five-course menu will feature Perrier’s classic French cuisine in celebration of Bastille Day.
Reservations are limited, as there will only be one seating at 7 p.m., so call now. The five-course dinner is $90 and there is also an optional wine pairing.
Bastile Day Menu with Georges Perrier (PDF)
Photos by Jason Varney
We here at Philadelphia magazine decided last month to start debuting restaurant reviews early on Foobooz. We had reasons. And we discussed them here. Welcome to the new world.
Townsend Wentz was an analytical chemist shifting toward genomics research when he got a chance to cook at Philadelphia’s Four Seasons for a day. It was 1996, he’d just wrapped up a second bachelor’s degree in biology, and recombinant DNA was calling his name. But Jean-Marie Lacroix interrupted, and fate took care of the rest.Wentz, who’d cooked his way through college, had a great day in the French chef’s kitchen. It beat testing canola oil acids, and it was more social than laboratory bench work. When one of the restaurant’s line cooks quit that very day, Wentz’s lark in Lacroix’s kitchen, and later Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, turned into nearly 10 years.No wonder the Riverton, New Jersey native’s sauces are so good.
Philadelphians wise to Wentz’s transformation of McCrossen’s Tavern in Fairmount have known that for three years already. In May, he opened a place of his own—really, truly his own. From the salvaged cherrywood he planed to cap a rebuilt bar to the floors he refinished with his sous-chef and sommelier to the furniture they stained and reupholstered by hand, his fingerprints are all over the place. Before Wentz became a chemist, he built racing sailboats.
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La Peg at FringeArts
We’ve known Peter Woolsey who owns Bistrot La Minette is opening a brasserie at the FringeArts building on Delaware Avenue for awhile now. But some new details (and renderings) have emerged. The restaurant will be named La Peg, an homage to Woolsey’s French father-in-law, whose nicknames for his daughters have been adopted by the chef. Woolsey’s explains, “he calls my wife ‘La Peg’ and my sister-in-law “La Minette.’”
La Peg is being designed by architect Richard Stokes and Groundswell Design Group under David Fierabend. The restaurant, which will have 100 interior seats, full bar with seating for twelve, plus outdoor seating for 40.
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Pierre and Charlotte Calmels’ Le Cheri at 18th and Rittenhouse Square is now open for lunch Wednesday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is no bargain lunch however with appetizers ranging from $9 to $13 and main courses all coming in at over $20.
Le Cheri Lunch Menu (PDF)
Le Cheri [Foobooz]
Craig LaBan finds that the Good King Tavern does a heck of a job channeling Southern France, even if chef Paul Lyons might be better served by honing his menu than expanding it with specials.
“Eggplant “3 ways,” though, was my favorite, a multi-technique display that didn’t forget to showcase the ingredient. Baby eggplants were tenderly cooked sous-vide before a finishing pan char. Pickled cubes of eggplant added tangy little bursts. And a silky “eggplant caviar” puree at the base of this colorful medley (which also crunched with shaved raw sunchokes and purple rounds of watermelon radish) had a Mediterranean richness and a sneaky prickle of spicy heat.”
Two Bells – Very Good
A taste of Southern France in South Philly [Philadelphia Inquirer]
The Good King Tavern [Foobooz]
Townsend opens on East Passyunk Avenue this evening. Owner/chef Townsend (Tod) Wentz has assembled an impressive team with Lauren Harris (McCrossen’s, Tria) as general manager and sommelier, Keith Raimondi (Lemon Hill, Village Whiskey) as head bartender and Colin Leary (McCrossen’s) as sous chef.
The menu will expand over time but its opening iteration includes eight starters and four main courses. The mains range between $25 and $27.
Opening menu at Townsend »
Townsend Wentz’s East Passyunk Avenue restaurant, Townsend will softly open this weekend by serving its bar menu. Drink Philly has the bar menu for the opening weekend that includes beef tartare, marinated hamachi and Pate de Campagne among other items. On the drink side, Keith Raimondi has fashioned a short list of classic cocktails and Lauren Harris has compiled a list of wines that pair well with the food.
The restaurant will be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Look for a full opening on Thursday, May 1st.
Townsend Restaurant Opens Doors This Weekend for Sneak Peek with Bar Menu [Drink Philly]
Georges Perrier, Patrice Rames and Greg Moore
Tonight, Wednesday, April 23rd and Thursday, April 24th chef Patrice Rames of Bistro St. Tropez (and Craig LaBan’s first Philadelphia review) will be hosting his former boss, and friend, Georges Perrier. The event will feature classic French dishes paired with wines chosen by Moore Brothers Wine Company’s Greg Moore, another Le Bec-Fin alumnus. The four-course wine dinner will be served from 6:30 pm. t0 9 p.m. and the cost is $150 per person, plus tax and gratuitiy.
Perrier has been quite visible recently, spotted on multiple nights at Alex Capasso’s Crow & The Pitcher and telling Michael Klein, he’s looking to open a new restaurant of his own.
Check out the menu Perrier and Rames’ have put together for these dinners.