Volver’s announcement of ticketed dinners had us wondering how Jose Garces’ new restaurant stacked up against other dining experiences in the city.
Here is a selection of prix fixe dinners in Philadelphia.
Volver, Jose Garces’ culinary showcase is set to open in April at the Kimmel Center. The space will feature a caviar and champagne lounge as well as a forty-seat performance dining area. Garces, architects KieranTimberlake and interior designer Marguerite Rodgers have collaborated to design a space that highlights the arts, culinary and otherwise.
The Foobooz News Team rolled up on Rosa Blanca (the former Chifa, 707 Chestnut Street) just ahead of tonight’s staff-on-staff dinner, and can I tell you how much I loved this place? Seriously, I’ve been pining for some seriously good Cuban food since leaving Tampa more years ago than I care to mention, and this might finally be the place that brings it home. We didn’t get to try a lot–just a few rum-heavy cocktails (including a very well-served Cuba Libre), some ropa vieja (which was excellent), a bowl of black beans and rice and the best fried yucca I’ve had in a decade or more of looking EVERYWHERE for it.
We just received word that Jose Garces’ Volver at the Kimmel Center has been pushed back till January, 2014. We’re not surprised, given that we snapped the above photo of the very much under construction restaurant on Saturday morning during ThinkFest.
So we’ll just have to wait a little bit more before we get to check out Jose Garces’ champagne bar and culinary theater.
As for Garces’ Rosa Blanca, look for his Cuban diner to open the week of December 2nd.
Earlier this week we told you the time was winding down to enjoy Garces Trading Company’s $5 menu. But now we’re happy to learn that GTC has extended the $5 menu through the end of the year.
The deal remains the same, $5 bar menu, select beers, cocktails and wine from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Garces Trading Company [Foobooz]
Craig LaBan looks at restaurants on the Avenue of the Arts. Paying special attention to what’s imminent, Jose Garces’ Volver; the reinvented, Perch Pub; and what is coming down the line, a replacement for Ted’s Montana Grill.
Avenue of the Eats: A two-way street for the arts and dining [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Construction is underway at 707 Chestnut Street as Jose Garces continues work converting Chifa into Rosa Blanca, a Cuban diner. The diner will be similar to retro-Cuban diners found in South Florida and will feature an open kitchen with stainless steel and white subway tile. A pink and faux-marble lunch counter runs along the open kitchen. Black-and-white tile flooring completes the diner feel. The main dining room is laid out similar to Chifa’s, with booths along the walls and tables down the middle.
Last week’s report that Jose Garces had signed a lease to the original Bookbinders space at 2nd and Walnut created more questions than it answered. Today we have an official statement from the restaurant group that at least sets the context.
It was a big week for Philadelphia restaurant news. And next week looks like it’s going to be even crazier. So to catch you up on all the action of the past seven days, here’s what you might’ve missed.
Over at the Insider, they’re reporting that Jose Garces has recently signed a lease on the Old Original Bookbinder’s space at 2nd and Walnut.
This is a huge deal for Garces–and I mean that in every sense of the word.
For starters, it’s literally HUGE. Better than 10,000 square feet. Which is bigger than any of his local spaces (with the possible exception of his operations at the Kimmel Center, depending on how he utilizes all the space available to him).
Second, it’s huge because it’s the old Bookbinder’s–a name that still swings a lot of weight in this town. The last guys to take over a restaurant with a name saddled with that kind of history? Nicolas Fanucci and his crew at Le Bec Fin. And we all know how that went.
Third, the Iron Chef already has a pretty full plate. He’s got Rosa Blanca set to open next month in the old Chifa space. Then Volver at the Kimmel Center. Then his other out-of-town operations to worry about. Taking on a space like this is a bold move no matter what he decides to do with it. And the one thing no one knows right this minute? What, exactly, Garces is planning to do with it.
The Insider has some details on the deal itself. You can check out the full story there.
Garces Leases Old Original Bookbinder’s [Insider]