Peter Woolsey Offers Teases of La Peg

la-peg-fringe-arts-squareLast night Feastival had a party for the event’s sponsors and beforehand several chefs showed off the dishes they would be serving at the FringeArts fundraiser to the assembled media. Peter Woolsey, who served a spicy tuna tartar dish, also dished on his new restaurant, La Peg.

La Peg, which Woolsey says is opening “imminently” is located in the FringeArts building at the corner of Columbus Boulevard and Race Streets, opposite the Race Street Pier. Woolsey says the restaurant will be a “French-ish” brasserie. The restaurant will certainly be large and multi-faceted. There will be a sit down restaurant with seating for 100, a 12-seat bar, a mezzanine and a 7,000 square foot exterior space.

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A Provençale Affair at Bistro La Minette

This place is like a dream of France: a tiny little Parisian bistro ripped from its moorings along the Seine and dropped smack in the middle of Philly. On its best nights, there is perhaps no restaurant in the city so capable of transporting you somewhere other than where you are—and then bringing you home again gently when the evening inevitably ends. Must Try: If you walk out of here without eating the snails, someone should just punch you. Especially if you’re the kind of person who normally doesn’t eat snails. If Only: The bar were a bit more serviceable. Six crowded seats and a (deliberate) lack of certain spirits can make the place a challenge for non-wine drinkers.  Visit one of the 50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia:  Bistrot La Minette, 623 South 6th Street, 215-925-8000.

Photo by Mike Arrison

Ever dreamed of a summer in Provence? Sipping glass after glass of chilled rosé under the Provençale sun with a large plate of something drenched in olive oil and covered with anchovies in front of you? If you weren’t before, you are now.

Plane tickets to the South of France this time of year are expensive. But starting tonight and ending tomorrow August 7th, Bistrot La Minette wants to make your Provançale fantasy a reality. Executive chef, Kenneth Bush, will be cooking up a four course meal for $35 per person or $50 with wine pairings. The authentic French bistro South Philly will serve as your retreat from the city and it’s not just for francophiles. Check out the full menu below and start planning your trip to South 6th St.

The full menu » 

Georges Perrier at Crow and the Pitcher

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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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Coming Soon: Petit Roti

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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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Georges Perrier at Fond for Bastille Day

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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)

Fond [Foobooz]

Restaurant Review: Townsend

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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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Peter Woolsey’s FringeArts Brasserie Gets a Name

La Peg at FringeArts

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.

More on Le Peg »

Two Bells for the Good King Tavern

lights-good-king-tavern-400Craig 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 This Evening

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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 » 

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