All Restaurants Confirmed for Philly Cooks

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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 »

The Fat Ham Adds Lunch and Happy Hour

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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 »

Because Sbraga Loves Vegetarians, Too

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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 Launches Brunch

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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 »

Limited Tickets Remain to Philly Chef Conference

philly-chef-conference-sunday-940Drexel 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 McIlhinneyJoseph 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]

Juniper Commons Is Now Serving Lunch

juniper-commons-gourmet-bon-appetit-940Kevin Sbraga’s Juniper Commons has started serving lunch. Now your lunch can feature ’80s highlights like peel-and-eat shrimp, a tableside Caesar,a hot roast beef sandwich, pastrami reuben or Fettuccini Alfredo.

Check out the full lunch menu below and look for brunch to start this weekend. Sunday brunch will feature complimentary champagne and a jazz band.

Juniper Commons lunch menus »

New Bar Menu At Sbraga

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As if Sbraga (the restaurant) didn’t already do enough, now Sbraga (the chef) has decided to launch a new menu of bar snacks at his eponymous restaurant. It’s a short list, but includes at least one dish (which will now be regularly available during all regular dinner services and available for a la carte ordering in the dining room) which will have Sbraga loyalists super excited.

Check out the menu below.

Read more »

Did Georges Perrier Bring That Ladder, Too?

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In keeping with our pretty-much-unbroken streak of posting about Kevin Sbraga every day (no, seriously), we present you with this. A nice little peek into some recipe testing with Georges Perrier happening at Juniper Commons. According to Sbraga’s Twitter, this is all about “Making sauces with the master.”

Kevin Sbraga [Twitter]

One of Us: Interview with Kevin Sbraga

Illustration by Andy Friedman

Illustration by Andy Friedman

The Top Chef winner is set to open his third restaurant, ’80s-themed Juniper Commons, this month. He talks about his love of Michael Jackson, the secret to Italian gravy, and the Philly food trend that must end.

My name is … Kevin David Sbraga. My last name is Italian, and something tells me that it means “large around the waist.”

I was born in … Mount Holly.

The best thing about growing up in New Jersey … was tomatoes in the summer.

If I wasn’t doing this, I would probably be … a truck driver.

I drive a … Mercedes ML350.

One food I cannot stand … is takeout Chinese.

Yelp is … a pain in the ass.

Read more »

First Look: Juniper Commons

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Kevin Sbraga’s third restaurant, Juniper Commons is now open at Broad and South Streets. The restaurant is heavily influenced by the 1980s and Sbraga intends to make that a good thing. There are table-side Caesar salads, baked potatoes, house-made wine coolers, prime rib and so much more.

But this is more than just kitsch, the restaurant is Sbraga’s biggest yet, and the 1980s vibe is just a jumping off point. To any child (or adult) of the 80s, the soundtrack will be hard to resist. And that music selection goes a long well in setting the mood. So does the bar program which is aiming to stock over 150 gins and offer a cocktail menu exclusively of gin-based cocktails. That isn’t to say there isn’t a full bar selection available but the bar is definitely obsessed with gin. And what’s gin without tonic? Juniper Commons is stocking 24 tonics, including six that are made in house.

Read more and check out the photos » 

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