Aldine opens | raw beef : mushroom : gribiche : quinoa
Aldine officially opened to the public yesterday afternoon at 4pm, and we were right there to witness it.
As a matter of fact, we were the first, official paying customers in the place, and so felt it our duty to give the kitchen and the bar a bit of a workout. Wisely, we also had our cameras with us. So in order to help you decipher (at least a little) the heavily colon-ated menu (rabbit : sour cherry : turnip : brioche is actually one of the more descriptive of the minimalist menu items, but it still doesn’t explain that you’re getting a terrine, or how excellent the vinegar-brined cherries are), we offer you this–our photo tour of Aldine’s opening menu.
We didn’t eat and drink everything on offer, but we did get most of it. At least enough to give you an idea of what’s you might be eating this weekend.
Menu photos, right this way
It was a rush to the finish line, but Aldine–George Sabatino‘s new, second-floor restaurant in the old Noche space at 19th and Chestnut–got open late on Friday afternoon for its first night of service. And while the official first night of business isn’t actually until tomorrow, we’re happy to report that the Aldine crew managed to get through the weekend without burning the place down.
Now we’ve already been inside to snap some photos of the interior. And we’ve been tracking Sabatino via Instagram as he did some menu testing. But now, for those of you maybe thinking about heading over to Aldine to check it out tomorrow night, we have an official version of the opening night menu.
Show me the menus
A first look at the elegant interior of Jennifer and George Sabatino‘s first solo project at 1901 Chestnut (in the space that formerly housed Noche). Aldine isn’t open yet. They’re still waiting on some inspections and are tinkering with the menus. But the way things are looking right now, they’re aiming to open maybe by this weekend, but certainly by next week.
That said, the opening will also be a kind of half-soft event, with the kitchen only doing a la carte service. Originally, Sabatino wanted to launch with two tasting menus–Omnivore and Herbivore–but now they’re planning on sticking with a la carte through their soft-opening period.
Oh, and the portraits of the couple’s dogs you’ll find hung on the walls? Those are by noted dog portraitist (and food shooter) Neil Santos.
Show me the photos already
Okay, so it’s still not much. But considering how long we’ve all been waiting for Aldine–George Sabatino‘s much-delayed, often sidetracked follow-up to the award-winning work he did at Stateside–something is better than nothing.
Sabatino posted this snap of the Aldine dining room, with all the tables and chairs in place, to his Instagram feed yesterday. Tables and chairs are a good sign. That means all the major renovation work has been done. All the big equipment is in place. And, in related news, the Foobooz Mobile Party Unit ran in to George’s wife Jennifer on the street last week while we were skulking around the neighborhood looking for been and octopus, and she said that the actual, official, no-bullshit opening of Aldine was “Close,” so, you know… There’s that, too.
Rex 1516 is continuing its guest burger chef series through August. This month, chefs Jeremy Nolen, Kevin Sbraga and George Sabatino will be participating.
Sabatino, who’s Aldine project is moving forward, will be the featured chef tonight. He’s crafted “the Livin’ La Vida Local” burger that’s topped with heirloom chile relish, Green Aisle summer pickle medley and fresh Jersey milk cheese.
The burger costs $15 and includes a pint of Newbold IPA and a shot of Buffalo Trace. Each week, the burger and an accompanying pun will be posted on chef Justin Swain’s Instagram feed.
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Last year’s chef at Morgan’s Pier, George Sabatino will be cooking tonight at the Garage in South Philadelphia. Sabatino, who is working on his own restaurant, Aldine, will be in the Garage’s food cart from 6 p.m. till 10 p.m.
Check out what other chefs will be “indacart” in the days and weeks ahead on the Garage’s web site.
Last night the ramen-lovers at Cheu Noodle Bar had to satisfy their umami cravings with some lesser take out option, because the only menu on the table was George Sabatino‘s (executed along with Cheu’s Ben Puchowitz and paired with cocktails by George’s wife, Jennifer Sabatino) for a sold-out, one-night-only pop-up to showcase the kind of dishes we can expect to see at Aldine – the Sabatino’s first restaurant, set to open in early June in the former NoChe space. Guests filled every seat for each of four on-the-hour seatings, and the food reflected Team Sabatino’s earthy flavors and modern techniques, as well as a yearning for spring ingredients to arrive in Philly.
Check out the photos
George Sabatino has been a busy guy since leaving Stateside way back when. He did Morgan’s Pier. He did Winterfest. And all the while, he’s been working on opening up his own place–Aldine, which will be going into the second-floor space at 19th and Chestnut that was formerly home to Noche.
And things at Aldine must be coming along nicely because we just got word that Sabatino (and his wife and partner, Jen) are going to be doing a one-night-only menu test / pop-up dinner at Cheu Noodle Bar on Monday, March 24.
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Photo by Neal Santos
City Paper’s Caroline Russock reverses roles on local chefs in her “Turning the Tables” series. This week she cooks dinner for George Sabatino and his wife, Jennifer. Russock pulls off citrus-and-herb-roasted pork shoulder and much more. She also gets some good details on Sabatino’s upcoming restaurant, Aldine.
The plan is to offer herbivore and omnivore tasting menus at $55, along with a small a la carte menu and beverage pairings both boozy and non-alcoholic. The set menus will be a series of small bites interspersed with larger plates. He shares a sample menu that he recently demonstrated for investors in New York with elegant and intriguing combinations — spot prawns with fennel and oyster tartare and coconut, granola and white chocolate.
For more on Aldine and dinner at Caroline’s, hop on over to City Paper.
I invited chef George and Jennifer Sabatino for dinner at my place [City Paper]
Here in the Mid-Atlantic, the weather is not our best quality. Spring and fall are okay, but summer is like living in the mouth of a panting dog, and winter? Perma-gray with occasional, delightful snow flurries followed by sad slush piles and icy sidewalks that seem custom made for crippling old men and women in high heels.
But in a valiant attempt to reframe our scuzziest season, Four Corners Management teamed up with the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation to host Waterfront Winterfest–a month-long pop-up party at the Penn’s Landing skating rink. In the event that you haven’t yet paid a visit, Winterfest features fire pits, a craft market coordinated by Art Star, and The Lodge–an indoor space built from shipping containers to house dance parties and concessions. There’s also the skating rink, of course, and lots of twinkly, outdoor space to enjoy a beer with friends.
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