Illustration by Kagan McLeod
I am, for better or for worse, a child of the 1980s.
Born in 1973, I spent my youth in a haze of Transformers (the original ones), Atari and Members Only jackets. I owned an actual pair of parachute pants, though I only wore them to school once, was mocked, and acquired, briefly, the nickname “Parachute.”
More important, I started cooking in the ’80s. I cut my teeth in the industry through the late ’80s and early ’90s (seeing as this was upstate New York during the pre-Food Network American food scene, the ’80s lasted until about 1996), and I can tell you one thing: The food was terrible. Read more »
Hey, remember yesterday when we showed you the new menu that Kevin Sbraga and his crew were rolling out at Juniper Commons? Of course you do. And while getting to take a peek at the menu itself was exciting, you know what’s even better than that?
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Juniper Commons | Courtesy of Sbraga Dining
Juniper Commons, Kevin Sbraga’s ’80s themed restaurant at the corner of Broad and South, has debuted its new menu for spring, and it boasts big changes. The overhaul may have come in response to a series of lukewarm reviews from critics who called the restaurant’s food good but aggressively normal to the point of almost being boring.
Gone are the days of the rotating weekly rotisserie menu. In fact, the whole menu has been streamlined.
Some of the new dishes include garlic shrimp, eggplant fritters, lavender fried chicken, blackened salmon, broiled scallops, a soft shell crab sandwich, Wagyu flank steak and an $80 32-oz rib eye. In fact, the only entree that seems to have made the transfer from the old menu to the new one is the Surf and Turf, and even on that the lobster has been replaced by king crab.
Spring menu at Juniper Commons »
Juniper Commons | Photos by Michael Persico
At Juniper Commons, where old newspaper headlines paper two walls in a triumph of microfilm and selective memory, there’s electricity in the air.
E. GERMANY OPENS BORDERS
SURGERY OVER, REAGAN IN CHARGE
PHILLIES RULE THE WORLD
Lionel Richie’s on the radio — along with Air Supply and Hall & Oates, all those smooth synthesizers washing over the occasional drum-machine downbeat of early LL Cool J. Votive candles flicker in amber ashtrays beneath globe lights fed by telephone-coil wire, and the lounge area goes back to the future with wingback chairs out of the Jetsons’ living room. Read more »
What, did you seriously think Kevin Sbraga was going to let a holiday like this go by without throwing a party?
If you can’t make it all the way down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, you can still celebrate Fat Tuesday in NOLA fashion at The Fat Ham. On Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 5-9:30pm, the crew will be aiming a little further south than usual and guests can pay $39 to get their creole-style feast on.
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The Foobooz Speakeasy
If you were waiting to until all of the restaurants were confirmed before buying your tickets to the Philly Cooks Big Event, your time is now. 50 restaurants and bakeries will be at the February 18th event, including many from Philadelphia magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2015, plus some of the most exciting newcomers to Philadelphia.
Another feature returning this year is the Foobooz Speakeasy. The bar and lounge will be helmed by bartenders from Franky Bradley’s, Olde Bar and the Franklin.
Get your tickets now »
Lunch is back at the Fat Ham | Pimento cheese with grilled country bread
Beginning today, the Fat Ham is offering lunch and happy hour. Kevin Sbraga’s Southern restaurant in University City is offering lunch weekdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Lunch includes the Fat Ham burger, shrimp and grits, pork belly and a hot chicken sandwich.
Happy hour consists of $4 snacks, discounted beers, wines and cocktails.
Check out the Fat Ham’s lunch and happy hour menus »
There’s no arguing that Philly is becoming the center of a fine dining vegetarian revolution. But we forget sometimes that this loving consideration of vegetables stretches beyond the boundaries of Vedge and V Street and Charlie Was A Sinner and other dedicated vegan establishments. So here’s the crew at Sbraga weighing in on the gentler side with a dish of sunflower risotto, wild mushrooms, sea asparagus and brown butter.
Almost looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it?
Kevin Sbraga [Instagram]
Juniper Commons adds brunch to its repertoire, just a week after adding lunch service. Brunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and Sundays are particularly special with complimentary champagne and a jazz band from 12 p.m.to 2 p.m. The 1980s inspired restaurant is of course offering quiche as well as strawberry compote but has a full menu of breakfast and lunch dishes to get you excited.
You can also expect several Bloody Marys to choose from as well as a list of cocktails made with sparkling wine–because what would an ’80’s restaurant be without sparkling wine coolers?
Full menus »
Drexel University’s second annual Philly Chef Conference takes place this Sunday and Monday. Monday’s chef-only sessions are already sold out but a limited number of tickets remain to Sunday, January 11th’s public event.
In addition to a keynote address by acclaimed baker and teacher, Peter Reinhart, Sunday’s schedule includes a panel on Pennsylvania liquor laws that will feature State Senator Chuck McIlhinney, Joseph Brion, head of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and several hospitality industry pros.
A second panel focuses on Philly 2020, a look into the future of Philadelphia’s dining scene. The panel is moderated by Sam Katz and will include the conference’s chair Kevin Sbraga as well as Jeff Benjamin of Vetri Family, Joncarl Lachman of Noord, Marcie Turney of Barbuzzo, and Rob Keddie of Garces Group.
Sunday’s sessions runs from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Bossone Research Center, Mitchell Auditorium at 3201 Market Street. Tickets are $20 per person and available on the Drexel web site.
Philly Chef Conference [Official]