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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Former Eagles Linebacker Makes Film Debut in The North Star

Benjamin Jones (Jeremiah Trotter) carries Lewis (John Wooten) in The North Star.

Benjamin Jones (Jeremiah Trotter) carries Lewis (John Wooten) in The North Star.

The feature film debut of former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter will premiere at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center on September 17th. It is Trotter’s first film acting credit.

The North Star was helmed by first-time film director Thomas K. Phillips, who wrote, directed and produced the film. It was shot over 24 days in Bucks County in the summer of 2012 and tells the story of Benjamin Jones (Trotter) and Moses Hopkins (Thomas C. Bartley Jr., a Washington, D.C. native). The two characters are slaves who escaped from Virginia to Buckingham, Pa., in 1849. Read more »

DO THIS: Happy Hour at Bar Volver is Seriously Amazing

Bar Volver

Several months ago, I took a good friend of mine to Volver for drinks. He’s a little bit of a New York snob (which he’ll openly admit), but I knew I won him over when he said that this was the first place in Philly that he’d been to that felt like New York.

I, too, loved the place, even though it had received the reputation of being way out of my price range. Yes, dinner at Volver is, by far, quite an expense, but Bar Volver is a whole other experience. In short, it’s a little place of hip heaven just a few blocks away from the Gayborhood (attached to the Kimmel Center), and you really ought to check it out. Read more »

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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Tituss Burgess on Training Young Broadway Hopefuls at the Kimmel Center

Tituss Burgess

On Monday, a handful of Broadway and television professionals came to Philly to kick off a weeklong musical theater intensive at the Kimmel Center. They’re here as part of the Broadway Dreams Foundation (BDF), which offers top-notch training to young musical theater hopefuls. At the end of the week, the youth will join their teachers and each other in “Generation,” a Broadway-style revue in which they’ll show off all the things they’ve learned throughout the week.

Among those who are in town for BDF is hilarious stage and television star Tituss Burgess, who has brought tears of laughter to our eyes as grumpy Sebastian the Crab in Broadway’s The Little Mermaid, and, perhaps most famously, as “Peeno Noir“-penner Titus Andromedon in Tina Fey’s hit Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I nabbed 15 minutes of phone time with him this afternoon to chat about what he’s up to at the Kimmel, what’s next for his flamboyant character on Kimmy Schmidt and of course what it’s like working with Upper Darby’s own Tina Fey.

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Jazz Camp of Philadelphia Youth Performing Free at Kimmel Center

Jazz Camp

Anne Ewers, president and CEO of the Kimmel Center, says it best: “If you look at the vision statement for The Kimmel Center, ‘Transforming lives daily through the arts,’ jazz has such power, such ability to transform, it’s the perfect fit with what we do.”

That transformative power has been the focus of the Jazz Camp of Philadelphia, a program in residence at the Kimmel, which has worked with some of the most talented young musicians in the Philadelphia region for the last several weeks. The cumulation of their efforts will be presented during a free public concert tomorrow, Friday, July 31st at 11 am at the Center’s Perelman Theatre.

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