Jose Garces Up Next in Pat’s Steaks Guest Chef Series

Photo by Joni Nimrod

Photo by Yoni Nimrod

Jose Garces is up next in the Pat’s Steaks Guest Chef Series. Garces will be there ahead of his Garces Foundation’s Think Local Give Local Benefit set for Friday, March 18th at the Loews Hotel. Garces will be slinging steaks at Pat’s on Monday, March 14th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

Garces will be serving the JG Cheesesteak, a steak sandwich made with Pat’s ribeye, served with provolone fondue, To-Jo wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, black truffles. The sandwich will $10 and all proceeds will benefit the Garces Foundation. As if getting a cheesesteak created by Jose Garces wasn’t enough of a reason to head to Pat’s on Monday, one lucky cheesesteak customer will receive two tickets to the Garces Foundation’s benefit. The tickets are valued at $300.

More on the benefit »

Volvér Gets 5 Star Rating by Forbes Travel Guide

Photo by Joni Nimrod

Jose Garces and his Volver team | Photo by Yoni Nimrod

Volvér has been named a Five-Star Restaurant by Forbes Travel Guide in its 2016 Star Ratings. Only 56 restaurants around the world received Forbes’ highest rating. Restaurants that receive the highest rating are described as “outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.”

The Forbes guide was formerly the Mobil Travel Guide and has been issuing ratings since 1958. The last restaurant in Philadelphia to receive five stars was the Fountain at the Four Seasons, which had it five consecutive years before closing in December of 2014.

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Garces Promises Wood-Fired Fare at His Next Restaurant

24 garces wood fired fare 400Jose Garces’ planned restaurant at 2401 Walnut Street finally has some details associated. The first floor restaurant will be called 24 and will feature “health-conscious wood fired fare.” The restaurant will offer a full bar and is aiming to open in the second quarter of 2016.

Garces and his culinary team will also have a research and development kitchen adjacent to 24.

In other Garces Group news, Amada New York is getting closer as final hires are being made. The first New York restaurant from the Iron Chef will be opening shortly with chef Justin Bogle at the helm.

And mark your calendars for Friday, March 18th. That’s the date of the Garces Foundation’s Annual Benefit.

Garces Group [Official]
24 [Foobooz]

“Amadaversary” Celebrates 10 Years Of Amada In Philly

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10 years is a long time. In the restaurant world (where we celebrate a 1-year anniversary like its remarkable and 5 like its unheard of), it’s damn near forever.

So it’s definitely worth mentioning that this month, The Garces Group is presenting “Amadaversary” as three different events celebrating Amada’s 10th Anniversary.

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New Menus And A New Season At Volver

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Menu testing at Volver | Photos by Joni Nimrod

 

A couple weeks back, we got the chance to bop over to Volver and sit in on one of their menu testing sessions for the new season. It was a pretty cool experience (read: super-cool, and basically one of my favorite parts of this job–getting to witness the way chefs think and work when they’re not in the thick of service), and also represented our first look at what the menu at Volver might look like in this new season.

Well now, with the scheduled resumption of service set for Wednesday night, we have the full menu for you to look at.

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First Look: The New Season At Volver

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We’ve said a lot of things about Volver over the past two years. From excitement over its potential, to bewilderment over its policies and pricing, to amazement at our first experience with a full-on performance dinner, to more bewilderment as the menu resolutely refused to change over the course of many, many months even as the concept got tweaked to make it more approachable in the second “season”.

Along the way, Volver picked up the only 4-star review that Trey has ever handed out at Philly mag, warranted a special, extra digression online after the review went up, discussing the booze, the price, the stars and the fish with its own TED Talk, and then frightened us all deeply when it announced a summer vacation–a two month long summer vacation which, not for nothing, seemed extraordinary and odd. I mean, what restaurant just gets to close down for two months in the middle of summer? What is this, France?

The team promised that they’d be re-opening on September 2nd (with Bar Volver debuting early–this Wednesday, as a matter of fact), reinvigorated and with brand new menus. We were skeptical, but hopeful. Volver has had a weird, bumpy run. We have been both fervent supporters and aporetic assholes, loudly voicing our worries and complaints in public. But the place still served me (and several of my colleagues) some of the best plates we’ve had in years, and considering the professional mouths I associate with, that’s no small thing. So when they invited us down to the kitchen late last week to show us what they’ve been working on during their summer vacation, we wasted no time.

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Volver Is Shutting Down For A Very Long Summer Vacation

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Volver is done for the summer. Not for a week (as is becoming almost standard among many of the more notable Philly restaurants), or for two weeks (which is the point at which we grow nervous about them ever opening back up again), but for a full two months.

The final night of service was June 30, at which point the whole place (Bar Volver included) went quietly dark. This is the message left on their Open Table page:

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The First Phase of The Playground Is Opening This Weekend

Concept for The Playground's T Street.

Concept for The Playground’s T Street.

With record speed, the first phase of The Playground, known as “T Street,” is officially opening its doors to the public this Friday in Atlantic City.

The Playground is Bart Blatstein‘s reinvigoration program for the Pier Shops at Ceasars, which will hold 14 music venues, two private clubs, a bowling alley and a massive sports bar when all’s said and done. Since we’ve already talked venues, attractions, and construction, how about we talk eats?

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