Drury Beer Garden and Opa Get New Summer Menus

Greek Mom's Grilled Cheese | Photo by Opa

Greek Mom’s Grilled Cheese | Photo by Opa

Chef Bobby Saritsoglou is making some menu changes for summer at Opa and the Drury Beer Garden. Drury gets a full new menu and Opa has new lunch options. Drury’s offerings are classic beer garden food: we’re talking burgers, fries, corn dogs and a pork belly sandwich with greens and sharp cheese that sounds delicious. Opa has several seasonal salads along with the Greek classics like gyros, Greek omelets and souvlakia.

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More Summer Happy Hour Goodness At Jamonera and Lolita

Red and white sangria at Jamonera.

Red and white sangria at Jamonera.

The list of places to get a late-afternoon snack or drink continues to grow this summer, and we’re certainly not complaining.

Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran are opening the outdoor seating areas and the bars at Jamonera and Lolita in Midtown Village for their new summer happy hour menus on Sunday through Thursday from 5 PM – 6:30 PM.

Drinks will range from $4-$6, and all sorts of tapas will be available for $5. It may not be Granada (the city that offers free tapas with every drink), but, then again, it’s not far off.

Still unconvinced? Then check out the menu below for a little motivation.

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Adam Erace Calls Opa a “Great Restaurant”

opa-Bobby-Saritsoglou-400Adam Erace was already a fan of Bobby Saritsoglou’s cooking from Saritsoglou’s time at Santucci’s. There, Erace realized the pizzeria was also a really good neighborhood BYOB. Now Saritsoglou is cooking Greek food at Opa and Erace says the Midtown Village spot is now a “great restaurant.”

[M]eat was where Saritsoglou really shined, whether in the bite-sized dolmades, smoky charred grape-leaf bundles rolled around aggressively spiced keftedes that positively quivered with juiciness, or the shareable Meat Board, a carnivore’s playground that shortly will become a new must-have dish in Philadelphia. Inspired by Greece’s kebab-and-beer psistaria, this scene co-starred four perfectly cooked proteins on a butcher-block backdrop: oregano-rubbed chicken so moist, the word “confit” hardly does it justice; uncased pork-and-beef soutzoukakiasausages shot through with woodsy za’atar; a take on loukaniko, a true sausage deeply perfumed with orange zest and fennel seed; and bifteki, which was like the most unearthly delicious burger patty you’ve ever eaten. The bifteki sat on a thick slice of tomato, a king on a scarlet cushion. I cut into the crunchy caramelized crust of the pan-fried 80/20 beef patty (a light dredge in flour is the key), revealing a glistening interior as red as the fruit it sat upon.

A new chef brings a fresh new menu to Opa [City Paper]
Opa [Foobooz]

Fergie’s Beach Returns on May 20th

fergies-beach-940

“The Tumble,”” mural by Robert Goodman, created as part of the Freewall series launched by Fergie and Philadelphia muralist David Guinn.

Last summer Fergie’s Pub opened “Fergie’s Beach” next to the Sansom Street pub. The “60-seat beer garden and asphalt paradise” will return on Wednesday, May 20th and will run until construction of the so-called “Fergie’s Tower” begins. That’s expected to be sometime in mid-July. “Last year was so much fun, we decide to do it again this year, while supplies last!” said Fergie’s co-owner Fergus Carey.

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A Day in the Life of Midtown Maven Valerie Safran

If there’s anyone whose goings-on we want to know, it’s entrepreneur and queen of Midtown Village Valerie Safran. As if co-owning nine businesses — Open House, Lolita, Verde, and Barbuzzo are among them — isn’t enough, she’s also in the throes of building a new business venture, American restaurant Bud & Marilyn’s. Here, she shares her favorite things, from vintage haunts to secret hideaways and everything in between.

Safran's favorite sips, spots and goods | All photos by Courtney Apple

Safran’s favorite sips, spots and goods | All photos by Courtney Apple.

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Pine Street Pizza Has Closed

pine-street-pizza-940After 30+ years in business, Pine Street Pizza at 12th and Pine has closed. The pizza shop has spanned a time from when 12th and Pine was a dark edge of the Gayborhood to now where its location is being touted in a real estate brochure as a prime location in Midtown Village, near Tria, The Farm and Fisherman, Mixto and Amis.

Prodromos (Paul) Bouikidis owned the space since it opened in 1983. His daughter Christina took over the business. The Boukidis family also owns Effie’s down the block.

No doubt, the corner location that includes the first floor and basement for a total 1,860 square feet will be an attractive property for someone.

For more on Pine Street Pizza, check out this story on Philadelphia Neighborhoods.

1136-38 Pine Street (PDF) [CBRE]

New Chef and a New Menu at Opa

fried-rabbit-opa-940

Fried rabbit at Opa

Bobby Saritsoglou, the mustached head chef who took over the helm of Opa in early March, has released his new menu, which will be officially available starting today.

The menu is divided up into Mezedes (small plates), Spreads, Dakos (Barley toast), Gyros, Salates & Lahanika (Salads and Vegetables), Pites (Filo Pies), Macaronia (Pasta), From the Grill, and Trapezi (For the Table).

Highlights include: flash fried smelts with grilled lemon, marinated grilled sardine and heirloom tomato barley toast, duck gyro, wild boar ragu house made egg pasta, swordfish souvlakia with fennel salad, and buttermilk fried rabbit with slaw and bobota corn bread. Maybe not what you think of as Greek food, but the spices were all Greek and it was delicious.

Full menu and photos »

TONIGHT: Lobster Spaghetti Deal at Little Nonna’s

Photo by Jason Varney

Valeri Safran and Marcie Turney at Little Nonna’s | Photo by Jason Varney

Tonight, Little Nonna’s on Locust Street is hosting Lobster Spaghetti night. For $25, you can get a one-pound lobster with spaghetti in a San Marzano tomato sauce. Now there’s a way to take the Monday out of Monday.

This isn’t the first time Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran have done this at Little Nonna’s. So make sure you’re following them (or us) on Twitter for the next announcement.

Little Nonna’s [Foobooz]

Mercato Debuts New Spring Menu

Mercato_SpinachCavatelli

Spinach Cavatelli

As the trees turn green once again, so do our dinner plates as restaurants transition their menus to lighter and brighter fare.

Mercato, the longstanding Italian BYOB on the 1200 block of Spruce Street, just introduced its spring menu, with new appetizer, pasta and meat dishes.

The new market salad includes ricotta salata, shaved asparagus, fava beans, strawberries, bibb lettuce and balsamic. Their pasta dish is a spinach cavatelli with veal ragu, pecorino romano, cream and fava beans. They also have a grilled spring onion risotto with (you guessed it) fava beans, mint, fennel, meyer lemon and pecorino romano.

Mercato also recently left OpenTable for Yelp’s reservation system. You can make reservations on their website here or give them a call at 215-985-2962.

Check out Mercato’s full menu »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: Huge Loft in Midtown Village Will Be Next to East Market

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rittenhouse Hotel.

TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Rittenhouse Hotel.

We gave you a background snippet on the White Building last we reported on one of its available units: how the built circa 1867 structure basically helped along the whole Midtown Village/Gayborhood revival after undergoing a condo conversion in 2008 thanks to one Tony Goldman of Goldman Properties.

Now, we’re going to leave you with a hint as to where it’s going, as we’ve just noticed how unbelievably close it is to that East Market mega project that’s currently in the works. As most of you know, East Market is slated to be a game changer in the neighborhood, set to offer things like a MOM’s Organic Market, new restaurants and coffee shops, a promenade called Chestnut Walk, new retail, and additional residential units. Once completed, we have a feeling it’s going to be one of the city’s newest go-to spots. *Fingers crossed*

All of that, of course, is good news for anyone living in this loft condo. Because in addition to being situated right behind Philly’s latest upcoming mini village, the unit is a spacious double-bedroom offering over 1,600 square feet of space, 23-foot vaulted brick ceilings, hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and six huge double-hung arched windows that usher in an abundance of light. According to the listing, the windows also have “superb sound attenuation.”

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