Pickled Heron and Tenaya Darlington Host Rosé Dinner

Ricotta in Sicily | Photo by Tenaya Darlington

Ricotta in Sicily | Photo by Tenaya Darlington

On Sunday, August 28th, cheese guru and author Tenaya Darlington will be hosting a ricotta and rosé dinner party at the Pickled Heron on Frankford Avenue in Fishtown. The dinner, which includes four courses and rosé pairings is $85 per person. Seats are limited and vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives are available. Just be sure to mention your preference when reserving.

The ricotta dinner is the result of Darlington’s trip to Sicily, where she fell for the cheese. The Pickle Heron’s Daniela D’Ambrosio followed Darlington’s trip on Instagram and suggested the dinner.

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Field Guide: The Best Places to Eat and Drink in Fishtown and Kensington


We hope you’re hungry, and thirsty Photo by | Jeff Fusco

Maybe you think you know Frankford Avenue. You’ve met friends for table tennis, jenga and liters of German beer at Stephen Starr’s Frankford Hall. You’ve gotten the high score on Asteroids at Barcade. Maybe even checked out the pizza and pizza museum that is Pizza Brain. But even 12 years after William Reed took over Johnny Brenda’s and made it the Avenue’s shining welcome beacon, the best days for the corridor are still ahead of it.

Our field guide takes you on an eating and drinking tour of the rest of the best on the food mecca that is the Frankford Avenue — a full day’s worth of delicious debauchery.

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Twelve Philadelphia Restaurants Make OpenTable Best Restaurants List


Today, OpenTable revealed its Top 100 restaurants “fit for foodies” in America. The list was determined by OpenTable’s analysis of more than five million reviews of more than 20,000 restaurants across the country. The list includes twelve restaurants from Philadelphia, the second most restaurants from one city, only Portland, Oregon had more.

The list includes a high concentration of restaurants from California, Oregon and Pennsylvania but not as many from traditional restaurant cities like Chicago (five restaurants), Los Angeles (five), New York (four) and San Francisco (one).

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Foobooz TV: Hand-Made Ravioli From The Pickled Heron

Reviews of the Pickled Heron in Fishtown have been coming steadily over the past couple weeks. Adam Erace had his say, followed by Leah Blewett (at the Weekly) and Laban (who gave it two bells). And while no one is calling the place perfect, one of the recurring themes is love for the kitchen’s ravioli.

Unsurprisingly, chef Daniela D’Ambrosio makes her own. And lucky for us, we had the Foobooz Full Team Coverage news van pulled up outside Cook on the night she stepped in to make a few for the crowd. This was during our Fishtown Pop-Up dinner, of course, and we had the Foobooz TV cameras rolling. So whether you’re looking to make some of your own this weekend or looking for a place for dinner, maybe this video will inspire you…

Show me the video

Highlights and Missteps at Pickled Heron

Leah Blewett does experience some excellent dishes at Fishtown’s BYOB, Pickled Heron. Unfortunately there are also some stumbles.

Seared scallops are tender clouds drifting on sunchoke puree and a scattering of toothsome fava beans, the entire dish brightened by a judicious squeeze of lemon: early spring on a plate. The house-cured charcuterie includes mortadella with pistachios that is subtly sweetened with a hint of clove and brings life to the otherwise dry house-baked bread.

But for these highlights, there are twice as many missteps. The spring garlic soup, creamy and light, lacks salt despite a handful of duck prosciutto lurking beneath the surface. Veal breast is prepared porchetta-style, but the delicate flavor of the meat is lost, no match for the heavily breaded, fried white-bean cake served alongside; it’s essentially a refried bean croquette.

Pickled Heron in Fishtown Needs to Figure Out Where It’s Going [Philadelphia Weekly]
Pickled Heron [Official Site]

Two Bells for Pickled Heron on Frankford Avenue

Craig LaBan finds enough to like from do-it-yourselfers Daniela D’Ambrosio and Todd Braley  in his review of Pickled Heron on Frankford Avenue.

Both trained at culinary schools (New England Culinary Institute for her; Restaurant School for him), and they met during their years working at the Ritz-Carlton Grill, under both Terence Feury and Kevin Sbraga.

That experience shone through a number of fine flavors on their seasonal, ever-changing menu, giving good reason to come back. Wonderfully tender grilled octopus tumbled with baby fennel bulbs and tart segments of blood orange. Plump seared scallops take on an almost meaty south-of-France quality with bacony red-wine sauce, hedgehog mushrooms, and sweet salsify. Thin-stemmed roasted beech mushrooms and a crispy cake of white beans come beside a tender breast of veal rolled around a pinwheel of lemony sorrel – a clear emblem of the old-school Larousse aesthetic partly informing this kitchen.

Two Bells – Very Good

Pickled Heron [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Pickled Heron [Official Site]

Photo by  Georgi Anastasov

Fishtown’s Pickled Heron Needs Some Fine-Tuning

Missing acid and salt leave Adam Erace wanting at Fishtown’s Pickled Heron.

Cries for acid echoed throughout the meal. Most dishes needed some, except for the lovely lentil/sunchoke ravioli floating like an exotic lily pad in a tangy, subtly fruity Meyer lemon broth. Most, including that pasta dish, also needed salt. Improvement in both departments would have sharpened up all the slow-cooked richness in an otherwise excellent beef Bourguignon. D’Ambrosio and Braley do this classic with red-wine-marinated beef cheeks and roasted fingerlings, the kind of smart update that could be Pickled Heron’s calling card.

Half Pickled [City Paper]
Pickled Heron [Official Site]

Fishtown Pop-Up At Cook, In Pictures


The Italians invented foie gras. The Italians taught the Chinese everything they know about cooking. Cooking is all about love, but if you don’t like chicken livers you should just stab yourself in the leg.

This is just a tiny piece of the kitchen wisdom offered up by Peter McAndrews when he and his posse–including Nate Baynes, Jerry Blavat (yeah, that one), and a quiet, mysterious fella called Doc Razor–stepped behind the line at Cook for our Fishtown pop-up on Wednesday night. It was weird. It was wild. And yes, we have pictures.

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Restaurants That Never Open

We were doing some cleanup work on our Openings section today and had to shake our head and wonder what has happened to a few projects out there.

943 – This Argentine and Italian concept seemed close to completion in June after being announced by former  Butcher’s Cafe owner Pasqual Cancelliere in January 2009. Yet today, it remains unopened.

Meze -2028 Fairmount Street has had a freshly renovated exterior for over six months but no word on an opening for this organic restaurant. PhillySpeaks posters note that construction resumed in mid-December.

Pickled Heron – Originally slated for a Spring 2009 opening, then Labor Day, nary a peep since September when construction photos were posted to the Pickled Heron Facebook page.

Sticks & Stones – Glaciers move faster than progress at Sticks & Stones, a South Philly resto-bar we first mentioned in February of 2008. In September Michael Klein reported, albeit with a grain of salt, that it could open within a month. It hasn’t.

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