New Wood-Burning Oven and Menu at Bar Ferdinand

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Northern Liberties’ Bar Ferdinand is busting out a fiery new addition to its Liberties Walk space: a handcrafted wood-burning oven, constructed by owner Owen Kamihira himself. Chef David Ansill, inspired by the flavors of Spain, is offering a new Late Night Menu that features an assortment of small and large dishes straight out of the oven.

The new late night menu is available in the bar and dining room and is offered Sunday through Thursday from 10:00pm – midnight and Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Bar Ferdinand’s new late night menu is divided into Tapas ($4 – $14), Spanish Flatbreads ($12 – $13), Raciones ($10 – $14) and Charcuterie & Cheese ($15 – $18). Familiar dishes like Spanish Octopus share space with bold roasted dishes including brandied chorizo, sardines and shrimp coca.

Bar Ferdinand [Official Site]

Blatstein Gives Up Controlling Interest in Piazza and Liberties Walk

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The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that Bart Blatstein has sold 60% of his interest in the Piazza at Schmidts and Liberties Walk. Kushner and Oaktree Capital Management L.P., a real estate investment fund are the buyers and the Inquirer estimates the deal is worth $130 million to Blatstein.

It would appear the deal gives Blatstein a cash infusion for his North Broad casino project, The Provence.

Blatstein sells controlling interest in Piazza, Liberties Walk [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Deconstructing Bart Blatstein [Philadelphia Magazine]

Homegrown Ingredients Make the Difference at Baan Thai

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Brian Freedman dines at Baan Thai in Northern Liberties and finds dishes inspired by their homegrown ingredients.

Rad-nar—tender, slippery flat rice noodles—are listed as being topped with a homemade “gravy,” a word that I’ve rarely experienced having been used so accurately as it is here. This was a gravy in the old-school sense, meaty, glistening and built from a stock that’s boiled down each morning. A nuanced, clear-flavored tom yum, rooted in a homemade chicken stock, also benefitted from the kitchen’s DIY insistence.

Personal Touches Take The Dishes at Baan Thai to a Whole New Level [Philadelphia Weekly]

Photo by Felicia Perretti

A Taste of David Ansill’s Tasting Menu at Bar Ferdinand

Adam Erace checks out David Ansill’s cooking at Bar Ferdinand during a recent Thursday tasting.

[J]uicy heirloom-tomato gazpacho, stylish in glass cups, with icebergs of salsa-verde-marinated crabmeat sinking to the bottom of the soup like emeralds. More heirlooms, in a salad anointed with tomato oil and garnished with fried parsley and fresh mint. Crunchy pan con tomate, grilled bread rubbed with fruit and topped with crispy Serrano ham. Thick-cut wheels of green tomato breaded, fried and dabbed with smoky, spicy chorizo vinaigrette. The bites followed in succession, each better than the last. Getting reacquainted has never been so delicious.

Feeling Bullish [City Paper]
Bar Ferdinand [Official Site]

Sonata in Northern Liberties Has Closed

A tipster informed us that Sonata in Northern Liberties has closed. The menu is down from outside the door and the windows covered. A call to the BYOB’s voicemail confirmed that they were closed for business as of yesterday and thanked their customers for three years of patronage.

Even in Craig LaBan’s praise filled review of Mark Tropea’s food at Sonata back in 2010, the sustainability of the business was a major concern.

Hopefully we’ll soon see Tropea cooking again soon.

UPDATE: Eater is reporting that a new Thai restaurant, Baan Thai, will be taking over the space.

Sonata in Northern Liberties Updates Menu

Mark Tropea shares his new menu at  Sonata on Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties. The BYOB’s new menu features hearty fare for winter plus some dishes that tease of spring.

Sonata is open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner

Read more »

Brown Betty Getting New Digs

Mural by Andrea Pippins of Fly Girl Blog and turned into reality by local artist Cathey White

The new Brown Betty Dessert Boutique at 722 N 2nd Street is aiming to open on Saturday, May 21st. The new flagship location will be three times the size of the original spot on Liberties Walk. The new space will also have a communal seating area for enjoying those delicious bites as well as hosting private events.

The existing Northern Liberties location will close on Sunday, May 15th. The other Brown Betty locations will of course be ready to serve your cupcake fix during the NoLibs downtime.

Brown Betty Dessert Boutique [Official Site]

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