An American In Paris: La Peg Revisited


Photo courtesy Peggy Baud-Woolsey

When the server told me the special for the night was a plate of snails packed with herb butter, I didn’t get them, because snails wouldn’t really have gone with everything else we were ordering. Wouldn’t pair with the fried cheese curds. Wouldn’t sit right against the oysters Rockefeller or feel right sharing a table with the chicken potpie.

Further, the snails? They were just kind of sad. They’d been a star of chef Peter Woolsey’s menu during La Peg’s first iteration, as a funky, modernized and geographically unhinged French brasserie—the kind of place where you could get bone marrow with sauce gribiche served alongside scrambled eggs and toast as a snack at the bar on a Friday night, or authentically French onion soup, potato rosti, pho consommé, and coconut milk-laced mango and passion fruit sorbet for dessert. A place where the fat Burgundy snails sat proudly among the entrées and couldn’t have been more French if Woolsey’s crew had served them with tiny little Tricolour flags flying from their shells.

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Old City Gets Another Awesome New Boutique


Another lifestyle retailer has joined the lineup of amazing boutiques along Old City’s North 3rd street. Bucks County Dry Goods – which has two other locations in Lambertville and Princeton – opened on Friday in an 800-square-foot space right next to the French-inspired florist Petit Jardin ev Ville.

The trio of BCDG shops (in business for 20 years) sells women’s apparel, accessories, and gifty goods, but you’ll really want to go here for an impressive collection of mid-century modern furniture, like Knoll diamond chairs, Danish coffee tables and bar carts, and vintage industrial tables. (Take a spin through the shop’s Etsy page to get an idea of what they’ve got in store).

The Details: 138 North 3rd Street, Old City. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11am-6pm. Call the Lambertville location for more details, 609-397-1288.

University City Keystone Innovation Zone to Expand Into Old City

The University City KIZ will now include parts of Old City. | UC KIZ

The University City KIZ will now include parts of Old City. | UC KIZ

Mayor Jim Kenney, the Philadelphia Department of Commerce and the University City Keystone Innovation Zone announced today that the UC KIZ will expand to include parts of Old City, home of a growing tech community.

The announcement took place at Arcweb, a digital product and design firm that is located in the heart of this budding area on N. 3rd St. — or as some call it, “N3rd Street” (say it: Nerd Street).

The University City Keystone Innovation Zone now stretches from 42nd St. in University City, through Center City and all the way down to Front St. in Old City. Read more »

Smooth Jazz and Skate Wing: 26 North Reviewed

Skate wing at 26 North

Skate wing at 26 North | Photos courtesy of Mike Stollenwerk

The 1990s were a bad time for the American restaurant scene. We were, as an emerging culinary entity, in our first youth—like awful (if precocious) toddlers who’d gotten into Daddy’s special juice. All we did was copycat, put things in our mouths and stagger around blindly from impulse to impulse. Sure, we were occasionally cute. Occasionally (accidentally) brilliant. There were great restaurants that somehow managed to avoid all the foibles and excesses of the age, but on balance, almost everything was terrible all the time.

Consider a brief list of things restaurateurs and chefs thought were good ideas in the 1990s:

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Blueprint for Elegance on Chestnut Street

Living Room

The great thing about new construction is that it’s all potential: an empty vessel waiting to be filled with your style and dreams.

We recently got wind of a very elegant and refined vessel on Chestnut Street in Washington Square West that already oozes style even before anyone fills it with furniture.

The vessel in question is 725 Chestnut St., the former home of the Philadelphia Blue Print Co., whose name remains in tinted blue glass over the first-floor commercial space. Read more »

Little Lion Launches Happy Hour

Southern Poutine, exclusively during the Little Lion's happy hour.

Southern Poutine, exclusively during the Little Lion’s happy hour.

Starting this evening, the Little Lion at 3rd and Chestnut rolls out its happy hour. Among the highlights, southern poutine, which is handcut fries tossed in a dry rub and then topped with pork belly, short rib jus, farmers cheese sauce, fried egg and scallion. To wash that down there are beer wine and cocktail specials.

The Little Lion happy hour runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays throughout the Old City restaurant.

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Penthouse Condo at Old City’s Other National Building Boasts Bridge Views

Old City views abound in this penthouse at The National | TREND images via BHHS Fox and Roach-Walnut

Old City views abound in this penthouse at The National | TREND images via BHHS Fox and Roach-Walnut

So there’s sort of a unique situation happening over on North 2nd Street in Old City.

As you may have seen, the gloriously orange National Products Company building –or simply “The National”– adjacent to Elfreth’s Alley has been demolished. It will soon to be reborn (and re-tiled) as a 6-story apartment building dubbed The National at Old City East. Read this excellent piece from Bradley Maule at Hidden City for more information.

However, as Maule notes, there’s a 10-story condo building across the street that now bears the “National” moniker. So yeah, we’ll soon have a dueling-National situation on North 2nd, one chockfull of apartments and the other with high-end condos.

This super cool penthouse unit at the current National just hit the market for $879,900, and offers plenty of city views from its many oversized windows. The listing from BHHS Fox & Roach says you can see the Ben Franklin Bridge (see above), Old City, the Delaware River and even the “Jersey Skyline,” which we’ll assume they simply forgot to add future onto that last one before the skyline bit.

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The Little Lion Grand Opening Party


The Little Lion officially opened yesterday on Chestnut St. in the old Haru. On Wednesday night, owners Chris Younge and Jason Dills hosted a party for the press and friends. At the soiree, cocktails were served, as well as an array of tasty delights from the menu executed by Little Lion executive chef Sean Ciccarone formerly of Pennsylvania 6, Farmer’s Cabinet and the Mainland Inn.

Chef  Ciccarone told me he once worked at Haru a decade ago and was pleased with the renovations of the historic building. He told me he was influenced by the southern cooking he did in Charleston, South Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida, at earlier gigs he’s had.

I think you’ll agree he’s captured the magic of Southern cooking in his fried chicken, mac and cheese and the most delicious Brussels sprouts you’ll ever have. Originally the Brussels sprouts were a side dish to the beef short ribs, but they tested so good they’re now a standalone dish. There’ll be 16 draft lines with craft beers, draft cocktails and draft lattes all available. Currently Little Lion is open for lunch and dinner, and soon will server brunch on the weekends.

Photos after the jump »

Now Open: The Little Lion in Old City

Pimento Cheese - Country Pit Ham, Pickled Green Tomato, Grilled Country Bread

Some Southern cooking at the Little Lion | Pimento Cheese with Country Pit Ham

The Little Lion is now open at 3rd and Chestnut Streets. The former Haru has been extensively renovated and is now serving up chef Sean Ciccarone’s Southern comfort food. The “pour house” will offer 16 taps, 14 for beer, and one each for cider, cold press coffee and housemade sangria.

The menu has shifted towards more Southern fare from when the Little Lion was originally announced. Look for the oh-so-right-this-moment pimento cheese to make an appearance with country pit ham. There are also smoked wings, New Orleans-style chargrilled oysters and stone ground grits on the appetizer section of the menu. Highlights from the entrees include: a smoked bone-in pork chop; wild rabbit and sausage and blackened Mississippi catfish.

Menus and photos »

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