About Last Night: Lolita, Reborn

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Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney are still a couple of weeks away from opening the re-vamp of their first restaurant, modern Mexican Lolita, but the place already has polish to spare and we were lucky to get an early glimpse.

Safran and Turney have transformed Lolita–once a narrow, rectangular, rosy-hued room with an open kitchen smushed in to the middle of the space–to a layout that feels much more open. While it is, of course, still narrow, the kitchen and bar now run along one side of the room, creating ample bar seating that affords a primo view of cocktails being shaken, tortillas being rolled (on a Mexican machine complete with menacing safety illustrations), and meat sizzling shawarma-style on a vertical roaster.

The food, the drinks and lots of photos, right this way

Turney and Safran to be Honored This Evening

Photo by Jason Varney

Photo by Jason Varney

Tonight is Women Against Abuse’s Dish It Up 2014 event. The night features food, fashion and fun as it features food from premier female restaurateurs and chefs in the city.

Dish It Up 2014 will also feature the brand new Woman of the Year Award to honor women leaders who have shown “extraordinary support of the movement to end domestic violence in Philadelphia.” The first honorees are chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran – whose seven restaurants and boutiques on 13th Street in Philadelphia have helped transform the Midtown Village neighborhood into what it is today. 

Tickets for the event are now sold out but join us in congratulating Turney and Safran.

Opa Celebrates Greek Independence Day

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Opa is celebrating Greek Independence Day (we linked out to Encyclopedia Britannica because it was nice to see them at the top of our search results) today.

During Opa’s happy hour (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) there will be free bites at the bar. The Bekris cocktail, Metaxa (a brandy based liqueur is regarded as the spirit for the holiday in Greece), gin and bitters is available all day for $5.

A special four-course prixe fixe menu is available all day for $25. An optional $25 wine or spirits pairing is also being offered.

Full menu » 

New Brunch Options at Garces Trading Company

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Jose Garces’ Garces Trading Company is rolling out a new brunch menu this weekend. Among the options is Brunch Steak Frites for the table. For $29 per person, guests can get grilled flat iron steak, sunny side up eggs, potato rösti, truffled sauce Béarnaise. A $22 prix-fixe option gives diners two courses, GTC coffee or tea and a basket of house-made pastries.

In addition to the prix-fixe options the menu is available a la carte. New options include French Toast with spiced brioche and served with confiture du lait and blood orange and Poached Scrambled Eggs with kale pesto, pecorino, and toasted sourdough.

Garces Trading Co.’s deep dish pizza will also be available along with a selection of sides like Maple Mascarpone Polenta.

It ain’t brunch if you ain’t drinkin’ » 

Tonight: Veal, Lamb and Pig at Amis

amis-turduckenTonight’s industry night at Amis isn’t going to be scared off by a little snow. Join the Amis crew who will be throwing the bash this month with their friends from around the corner, Vetri.

Vetri’s chef Adam Leonti and company are preparing an amazing turducken-style roast that has to be seen to be believed. It’s a whole pig, stuffed inside a whole lamb, stuffed inside a whole veal.

Amis says they’re ready to feed 300+ people and will be pouring discounted wines, Lazzaroni spirits and La Colombe Pure Black coffee drinks to accompany the complimentary feast.

As always,  21+ and guests must bring an industry paystub for admission. The fun kicks off at 10 p.m.

Industry Night with Special Guest, Vetri [Facebook]
Amis [Foobooz]

Little Nonna’s in the New York Times

Spaghetti and meatballs at Little Nonna's | Photo by Jason Varney

Spaghetti and meatballs at Little Nonna’s | Photo by Jason Varney

Ingrid Williams visits Little Nonna’s for the New York Times. The only flaw she finds is in the pricy wine list.

[O]n a chilly evening in November, I couldn’t resist the Sunday gravy. A heaping portion of “gravy” (marinara made with San Marzano tomatoes) and paccheri (the macaroni of the day) arrived on one platter, and on another were assorted meats — pork braciole, spicy fennel sausage, meatballs stuffed with fontina. Other memorable dishes deviated from the traditional tried and true, like bruschetta with roasted figs, Gorgonzola dolce, celery hearts and crunchy hazelnuts. And a standout pasta dish featured braised duck, pecorino and turnips atop chestnut ravioli stuffed with roasted heirloom squash.

Restaurant Report: Little Nonna’s in Philadelphia [New York Times]
Little Nonna’s [Foobooz]

Second Igloo Opens on Walnut Street

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Tomorrow, March 1st will see a 20 degree jump in temperature. Certainly not balmy but a lot better than 24°. It’s also the grand opening of The Igloo at 1205 Walnut Street. The frozen yogurt spot will throw open its doors at noon. In addition to the frozen yogurt that their 23rd and Grays Ferry location is known for, they will also be offering a Greek yogurt and skim milk protein shake.

Igloo – Washington Square West [Foobooz]

Celebrate Opa’s Third Anniversary with $3 Food and Drink

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Today is Opa’s third anniversary and the Greek restaurant is celebrating with a menu of $3 drinks and food. The menu is offered all day and night, at the bar and also at the tables.

Skewers, croquettes, Greekified fries and baklava make up some of the food options while all drafts, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and a vodka cocktail are all available for just $3.

Full menu »

Umami Burger Narrowing in on Philly Location

Letto Diner

Letto Diner has previously flirted with Garces and Starr.

Michael Klein posted about the Monte Cristo burger at Umami Burger today. An odd choice, considering the closest Umami Burger location to Philadelphia is in Greenwich Village. But down towards the bottom of the post is this tidbit:

Philly happens to be high on Umami’s list of cities in which to open. My Umami source says the search has been narrowed to a couple locations.

Another source IDs one possible location as the old Letto Deli on 13th Street near Locust.

Could the Letto Deli,  which has flirted with Starr and Jose Garces finally wind up hitched to Umami Burger? We could dig that.

‘Top Chef’s’ sweet take on a burger [The Insider]

Take a Churro Break from Shopping

churros jamoneraIf you’re anything like me you’re looking forward to starting your Christmas shopping this weekend. And if you’re really like me, you’re already looking forward to the distractions that will keep you from completing your shopping.

One option that is sure to beckon like a siren, churros and chocolate at Jamonera. From 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday the 21st, the Midtown Village tapas hotspot will be offering churros for $8 plus some hot drinks.

Jamonera [Foobooz]

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