Hardena does this every day. Stop in sometime during the week, and you’ll see. Just walk in, pick your plastic cutlery and a paper plate with a heaping pile of rice, and have one of the beautiful sisters top it with Surabaya classics. Sit in a rolling chair, roll yourself close, and delight in the first bite–because that bite will knock your taste buds around with every bit of gusto South Philly has running through its veins. And although they do it every day on the corner of 1754 S Hicks Street, there was something different about Saturday’s Foobooz After Dark rijsttafel dinner…
UPDATE: SOLD OUT
Last week, we announced the second coming of Foobooz After Dark. We know this time it’ll be a rijsttafel, a beautiful Indonesian feast put together the Hardena crew, held at Noord on East Passyunk.
Remember, there are only 25 seats available for this dinner, and tickets are going on sale very soon. To find out exactly when, sign up now for our Foobooz After Dark alerts.
If you do get a ticket, here’s what you’ll be eating:
Rijsttafel literally translates to “rice table”, and that’s what our next Foobooz After Dark dinner is.
For over 300 years, Indonesia was a Dutch colony and some of the best Indonesian food in the world can be found in Amsterdam.
So we took Philadelphia’s Best Indonesian, Hardena Waroeng Surabaya, and paired them up with our very own Little Amsterdam, Noord, to give us Philadelphia’s very first rijsttafel. Tables will be graced with big and small plates of beautiful Indonesian satays, sambals, fish, vegetables and the people will feast, family-style, until they can feast no more.
And like last time, it’s just going to be late, 11:30 pm on Saturday, February 1st and only 25 tickets will be sold, at $85 a piece (tax and gratuity included).
So who wants in? If you’re interested, sign up for our reminder email and we’ll email you the day and time tickets go on sale. Last time, tickets sold out in about two hours, so we suggest signing up.
The second annual East Passyunk Restaurant Week will run from Sunday, February 23rd through March 1st, 2014. The week of restaurant deals will include Noord’s Joncarl Lachman and Laurel’s Nicholas Elmi for the first time.
Twenty-four restaurants will participate in total, offering brunch, lunch and dinner menus for $15, $25 and $35. Look for specific menus to start being announced on the official web site on January 29th. Reservations are now being announced.
You’d think with the amount of restaurants jammed onto East Passyunk, there’d be a less familial approach between owners. But Passyunk is proud, and they are proud together—the competition is never hostile. So when Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan came into town, they joined the Passyunk family, and Fond, right across the street, welcomed them with open arms. The hugging hasn’t stopped since.
To wit: On January 27th, they’ll be cooperatively bringing in a giant Gloucester Old Spot (that’s a kind of pig) and they’ll let you choose your own adventure…
GAYBORHOOD RESTAURANT: Amis
You don’t have to spend the mortgage at Marc Vetri’s eponymous townhouse to get that delicious Vetri Italian cooking. This exposed-brick, slightly industrial-feeling space has food that will simply knock your socks off, including our fave, the addictive tonnarelli. Sit at the counter, sip some very good wine, and watch the masters do their thing. 412 S. 13th St., 215-732-2647, amisphilly.com.
NEW GAYBORHOOD RESTAURANT: Little Nonna’s
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s latest is a step back in time to the cozy kitchen of some little Italian granny—one who wants to put some meat on those bones. Loosen your belt and dive head first into the homemade meatballs sopped in “Sunday gravy” and a plate of the fluffiest gnocchi this side of Trastevere. 1234 Locust St., 215-546-2100, littlenonnas.com.
We have done a lot of these Foobooz Open Stove Nights. Almost twenty of them now, by my count.
And we’ve had good nights and bad nights. Nights where we messed with the chefs a lot, and nights where we more or less left them alone to do their own thing. We have taken away tools and ingredients, made them cook with gefilte fish, SPAM and gummy bears. We haven’t made anyone cry yet, but we’ve come close.
Never before though have we had an Open Stove Night like last night’s Open Stove Night at COOK. While we have, by necessity, developed a kind of what-happens-at-Open-Stove-stays-at-Open-Stove kind of mentality, I can say that we messed with our contestants last night in some truly remarkable ways. We made them switch sous chefs. Then we made them switch back. We f’ed with the clock, threatened them with a dance battle, made them cook with Kraft macaroni and cheese and a selection of truly awful junk food picked up from the fanciest 7-11 in all of Rittenhouse Square. We made them do shots. We made the crowd do shots. And in the end, despite all of that, Jonnathan Yacashin from Noord (who won the night by one of the closest margins we’ve ever seen), Mack Horebe from the Saint James and their sous chefs performed with amazing restraint and aplomb, cooking some of the finest dishes we’ve had at any Open Stove since the games began.
And yes, I am saying that Pringles-crusted steak, macaroni-and-cheese-stuffed squash blossoms and Swedish Fish demiglace are some of the finest dishes we’ve ever had. Don’t believe me? Get yourself a ticket to next month’s Open Stove and come see for yourselves.
Or, you know, you could just check out the pictures from last night after the jump and pretend like you were one of the lucky few who joined us for our Junk Food Rumble…
Noord has achieved its fair share of positive reviews throughout the spring and summer but there’s no doubt that the Dutch/Nordic cuisine of the Passyunk BYOB is going to be best suited for cooler months. Here’s a look at chef Joncarl Lachman’s first fall menu, it’s all about the snert! Not really, it’s just that we love saying snert.
Trey Popp dines at Johncarl Lachman’s Noord. He finds that the East Passyunk BYOB is more Dutch than Scandinavian but worth the visit nonetheless.
Pickled and smoked fish are the standouts. Lachman’s broodje haring is mercifully restrained: He leaves the aggressive funkiness of the genuine article in Amsterdam and brings to Philly a light pickling liquid that’s longer on wine and water. From this, the Icelandic herring fillets he was getting in early summer emerged with a sprightly tang that was an ideal answer to the heat wave. There was also wet-smoked salmon, velvety and rich, and lean smoked trout—part of a trio of open-faced fish sandwiches showered with tiny carrot crisps.
Two-and-a-half stars – Good to Excellent
Philadelphia Restaurant Review: Noord’s Northern European Homeyness [Philadelphia Magazine]
Noord [Official Site]
Photo by Courtney Apple
“I’m a restaurant romantic,” says Joncarl Lachman, and it’s hard to think of another label that would stick more tightly to the Southwest Philly native’s chef’s whites.
At Noord Eetcafe, the Northern European BYOB he opened in May, Lachman serves scallops in a traditional soup of mustard and vegetable puree, reminiscent of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s supper staples. When he isn’t manning the stoves, he’s tending his piece of trendy Passyunk Avenue the time-honored way: “I love to be the guy out cleaning the windows and sweeping the sidewalks.” And when he knocks off at the end of the night, Lachman doesn’t go far. Like an innkeeper of the old stripe, he lives upstairs.