About Last Night: Booze, Lentils, Booze and Booze


The title may be misleading—last night’s event wasn’t all about booze. It was, as always, an impressive showdown between two extremely talented chefs. They came prepared, for sure; they came excited, no doubt; they cooked us a phenomenal meal. But while they were doing their thing behind the line, the alcohol was working its magic on the guests–mostly in the form of wine, tequila and an icy bottle of Grey Goose which (mysteriously…) didn’t last the night.

In the end and to say the least, we had a great time at Open Stove XXVII. But behind the line, one team had a better time than the other, so let’s recap and see how it all went down.

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R2L Hosts the 5th Summer Harvest Dinner


R2L is continuing their Summer Harvest Dinner Series, an event meant to highlight farmers’ hard work and bring them closer to the restaurant and its attendees, on Tuesday, August 5th. And this edition will feature Barefoot Gardens. Starting at 6:30 p.m., guests can not only enjoy their food but the farmers’ company, too, as they go around and discuss working on a farm.

On the menu is Crudo with Mackerel, Fennel and Crispy Potato Salad, Stuffed Rabbit Saddle, and Lemon Verbena Parfait. The 4-course menu is $75 per person.

Availability is limited, so to make reservations now by calling 215-564-5337.

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R2L Debuts Pre-Theater Dinner Menu

Just in time for the start of the arts season, R2L is debuting their pre-theater dinner menu. For $45 guests will receive a three-course menu and seatings are available between 5 to 6:30 p.m. Guests can even choose to eat the first two meals before their show and return afterwards for dessert.

Any subscriber or member of BalletX, the Chamber Orchestra, Curtis Institute, the Kimmel Center, the Opera Company, Walnut Street Theatre, or the Wilma will receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine with dinner.

Read on for the full menu »

Tonight: Celebrity Bartender Series at R2L

As part of R2L’s Celebrity Bartender series District Attorney Seth Williams will be taking the stand – er, bar – tonight and serving up cocktails from 6-8pm with $1 from each drink going to his charity of choice, the Pet Support Phashion Charity Affair. And tonight only, chef Daniel Stern will be serving up the DA Burger (pictured above) in honor of Williams, which will feature LaFrieda beef, grilled bacon and salami, Gruyere cheese, french fries, collard slaw, heirloom tomato, caramelized onion and R2L’s special sauce.

Each burger is $22 which, yes, is pretty damn pricey, but $5 from each burger sold goes toward the PSPCA. So you can feel good about helping animals while eating at least two of them.

This series, which has recently featured “Philebrities” like Stan Hochman of the Daily News, radio personality Howard Eskin, and Eagles defensive end Darryl Tapp, is set to occur Tuesday and Wednesday nights this summer with more celebrities to come. Stop by throughout the summer to see your favorite local celebs behind the bar for charity.

R2L [Official Site]

Pet Support Phasion Charity Affair [petsinphilly.com]

New Menu at R2L

Chef Daniel Stern has created a new menu for R2L for lunch and dinner. Highlights from the lunch menu include lobster and crab spring rolls with Chesapeake bay mousse and roasted flank steak with corned beef hash for. For dinner, Stern has created a foie gras spring roll and entrees that include grilled Scottish salmon filet and a vegetarian pot au feu.

For the full lunch and dinner menus check out R2L’s official website.

Six Pack: Philadelphia’s Zombie-Proof Restaurants

In the wake of yesterday’s zombie attack in Miami, I’ve been thinking (as I often do) about the inevitable zombie apocalypse. And when I get to thinking about the inevitable zombie apocalypse, my thoughts often turn to practical questions like: When the worst finally happens, where would I hole up for a final drink? Or, when feeling somewhat less fatalistic, what restaurants in Philadelphia would be best for weathering an invasion of the undead?

Thus, as a public service, the Foobooz Zombie Defense Working Group has come up with a list of the 6 best restaurants in Philadelphia for witnessing (and possibly surviving) a zombie attack.

You’re welcome.

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PIFA Report: French Invasion, Wolfgang Puck and the Death Of A Trend

PIFA–the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts–is currently in full swing, offering everything from trapeeze artists and discussions of Dadaist cinema to augmented reality smartphone installations (like a giant squid named Archie assaulting the Schuykill River Waterworks), a re-imagining of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella by the Miro Dance Theatre and a stage full of slam poets (which, not for nothing, would be much more interesting if they were also being assaulted by a giant virtual squid–or a real one).

But if you’re reading this blog, it’s probably the food that has you most excited, so for all you serious Frog-humpers and Francophiles in the crowd, we have this reminder: Tonight is the final night that the 11 chefs brought in from Paris and Lyon to cook with their Philadelphian partners will actually be in the kitchens, preparing dishes from the menus on which they collaborated. Most of the restaurants will continue serving the special menus for the duration of the festival (places like Le Bec-Fin and Rouge will not), but if you’ve always wondered how Terence Feury at Fork would get along with Simon Lacassin from Prefecture du Rhone in Lyon, or what might come of a one night stand between Daniel Stern (of R2L) and Babette De Rozieres (of La Table de Babette, Paris), tonight will be your last chance to find out. The way the schedule looks, the French contingent is being given Saturday night to get weird in Philly all on their own, but they’ll be on a plane come Sunday and headed back to their own kitchens. You can check out the full list of hot chef-on-chef pairings (and make last-minute reservations) here at the PIFA website, and for a run-down on all the menus and dishes being presented (like the Feury/Lacassin scallop mousseline with puff pastry and morel sauce, the Bresse chicken with foie gras terrine at Le Bec or the floating island desserts being done by something like half of all participating kitchens), just go here.

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Seats still available for Restaurant Club Dinner: All About Wine at R2L


Philadelphia magazine and The Restaurant Club are teaming up with Chef Daniel Stern to launch our Restaurant Club Dinner Series: All About Wine at his latest spot, R2L. In addition to ensuring you leave feeling like a wine connoisseur, the night will also include a selection of Chef Stern’s most creative dishes, panoramic views and so much more. Read on for all the details.
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Summer Wine Dinners at R2L


Every other Tuesday through August R2L is offering a special high-end dinner for $125 per person. Each dinner will focus on a famous wine region and consist of a special menu created by chef Daniel Stern. Only 22 reservations will be accepted for each dinner.

The Summer Wine Series schedule:

  • July 13th – Spain:  Where the Traditional and Modern Coexist
  • July 27th – Willamette Valley: Why the Vignerons of Burgundy are Setting up Shop in Oregon
  • August 10th –  Provence: 2600 Years of Winemaking Tradition and Counting
  • August 24th – Expressions of Chardonnay: Compare Chardonnays from Champagne, Burgundy and Sonoma

R2L [Official Site]

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