Head Butcher Bryan Mayer Out at Kensington Quarters

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Photo by Ryan Scott

Bryan Mayer, the head butcher at Fishtown’s Kensington Quarters has parted ways with the restaurant/bar/butcher shop/classroom. The departure has been described as amicable by owner Michael PasquarelloHeather Thomason has been promoted to head butcher.

Before Kensington Quarters, Mayer had consulted with butcher shops and trained butchers across the country and around the world. Mayer lectured at New York’s Culinary Institute of American and has run workshops on slaughter and butchering. Mayer describes himself as a “free agent” on Facebook.

Thomason was part of the opening team at Kensington Quarters and Pasquarello tells us, “Heather has years of experience working on farms, with food co-ops and in butcher shops. She also teaches butchering classes here at Kensington Quarters.”

Speaking of Kensington Quarters classes, butchery and sausage making classes are scheduled throughout the summer. As for Mayer, we hope he adds another butcher shop to Philadelphia, though preferably not in Fishtown. That part of town can’t have a monopoly on cool stuff.

Kensington Quarters [Foobooz]

Shroom Dinner at Kensington Quarters

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I was always warned against eating mushrooms because ” like, that stuff will blow your mind, man.” But on Thursday, April 30th, Kensington Quarters is partnering with Mycopolitan Mushroom Co. to prepare a 5-course, $75 per person (with wine pairings), mushroom themed dinner (don’t worry- it’s the normal kind of mushrooms. Disappointed? Join the club.)

Mycopolitan Mushroom Co., which wins the award for most fun name to say out loud, is located in Fishtown (right near Kensington Quarters) and is actually Philadelphia’s first mushroom farm. A representative from Mycopolitan will be at the dinner so you can get all your burning mushroom questions answered.

The menu includes mushrooms in each course and because it is spring, ramps; and because it is Kensington Quarters, filet mignon.

Full menu »

New Brunch Options Abound in Philadelphia

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The view from the Top of the Tower which now offers brunch.

Everyone’s favorite weekend ritual is about to get some more variety. As the weather warms up, restaurants are launching new brunches, complete with drink deals and outdoor seating. Whether you’re nursing a hangover with endless Bloody Marys or trying to find a place you can bring crying kids, there’s something new for you.

This past Sunday, SkyBrunch commenced at Top of the Tower at Three Logan Center (18th and Arch). Each week you can head up to the 51st floor for an all-inclusive brunch and an unbeatable panorama of the city. Brunch costs $50 per person.

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Meat Week: A Charcuterie Dinner At The Most Obvious Place For A Charcuterie Dinner

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Considering that Kensington Quarters has some of the best meat in the game, we’re pretty pumped about their upcoming charcuterie dinner on Tuesday, March 31 at 7 pm.

Oh, but wait. The menu goes beyond the typical prosciutto wrapped melon to bring guests an inventive meal that lets the meat really shine. The dinner begins with a charcuterie board, featuring bresaola, veal terrine, head cheese and ‘nduja. Then a shrimp and salami salad with cucumber, basil and hot sauce, followed by smoked goat belly served with egg yolk, baby lettuce and onion relish. Then porchetta with royal trumpet mushrooms, carrots, and radishes, and dessert will be caramelized cake with lomo and chocolate.

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Six Pack: New Happy Hours From Manayunk To Passyunk

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With the continuing restaurant boom in Philadelphia comes an array of new choices to visit during everyone’s favorite after-work past time: happy hour. It’s that blissful hour or two after work where you can complain to your co-workers about what’s going on in your life over cheap wine and bite-sized snacks. Now with all new options, it’s time to branch out from your favorite watering hole and try these six new happy hours in Philly.

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Restaurant Review: Kensington Quarters

Kensington Quarters | Photo by Michael Persico

Kensington Quarters | Photo by Michael Persico

You walk by Bryan Mayer’s butcher case at Kensington Quarters, and you develop certain expectations about what awaits you in the dining room. These deepen as you pass the meat locker, a sauna-paneled light box punctuated by widescreen windows framing floodlit views of hanging hog carcasses. By the time you reach your seat (the chairs face butcherblock tabletops anchored to honest-to-God I-beams), there’s just no two ways about it: You’re in for meat haunches so stupendous, they apparently require structural-grade steel to hold them up. Read more »

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