Not even a stolen purse from next door’s a.bar can put a damper on Craig LaBan’s opinion of the revamped a.kitchen.
[T]he grill’s true stars were whole fish for sharing that are different from any others in Philly. That aji, butterflied and grilled over a Japanese grill grate that blistered the skin over dusky, buttery flesh, is a new favorite. The regal Dover sole, vented for the grill with vertical slashes and served over brown butter-lime vinaigrette – will be a bone-in change-up for older diners accustomed to black-tied servers doing all the fillet work. But the crispy skin and luxurious, moist meat was extraordinary. Like the restaurant’s unconventional wines, this is an a.kitchen challenge worth embracing.
Three Bells – Excellent
a.kitchen: A city gem not undone by a city problem [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Walking down the grand streets like Spruce and Locust that connect Rittenhouse and Fitler Squares, it is fun to imagine what Philadelphia must have been like before the stately homes lining those streets had been carved into a series of pricey condos and apartments. This rare find gives us a sense of exactly how magnificent these homes once were.
At nearly 5,500 square feet, this corner home dwarfs its neighbors. The listing notes that there are 16 separate room but we can’t be sure how they’re counting the master suite, which accounts for an entire floor of the sprawling home. Formal living and dining rooms which are each paired with less stodgy family living and dining rooms. A few of the 16 rooms also include a lounge, a study, a butler’s pantry and a wine cellar. The aforementioned master suite includes an entirely granite bath as well as a dressing room ringed by closets. Finishes in the gourmet kitchen are by SubZero, Dacor and Fisher & Paykel.
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Interested in what Justin Bogle is doing with the bounties of spring at Avance? Check out the recently refreshed a la carte, tasting and bar menus.
The signs of spring are particularly noticeable in the five-course tasting menu, where ingredients include spring peas, morels, spring onion and rhubarb.
On the bar menu, a few new exclusive offerings have been added including “bacon and eggs.” a dish that seems similar to what Bogle served at the Foobooz After Dark with Bogle and Will’s Chris Kearse.
Avance Spring Menus (PDF)
Philadelphia’s hottest neighborhoods: a topic no one ever stops talking about. Where are they? Who lives there? How much does it cost to buy a home in them? (Too much. But it costs nothing to fawn over them on the internet, so let’s continue.)
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Korean tempeh tacos
Vance Lehmkuhl of Philly.com’s V for Vegan sits down with Vedge’s Rich Landau to discuss plans for Landau’s Rittenhouse bar, V Street. Landau lifted the curtain on the highly anticipated vegan bar a bit during the Rittenhouse Row Festival but Lehmkuhl gets a bit more out of him.
Most notably, Landau plans to continue to push vegan cuisine forward, not vegan-izing meat dishes but by producing edgy dishes that will appeal to a “food warrior.”
Landau’s V Street may alter space-time continuum [Philly.com]
Pierre and Charlotte Calmels’ Le Cheri at 18th and Rittenhouse Square is now open for lunch Wednesday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is no bargain lunch however with appetizers ranging from $9 to $13 and main courses all coming in at over $20.
Le Cheri Lunch Menu (PDF)
Le Cheri [Foobooz]
Just a quick reminder for all of you out there still firming up your weekend plans. The Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is this weekend, and if you’re still wondering whether or not it’s worth cramming yourself in with thousands of your fellow Philadelphians, there’s this to consider:
Saturday’s party will, among other things, serve as the first public tasting of the food from V Street–the new, casual vegan bar and restaurant from the Vedge crew, coming to 19th Street. They’re going to be serving Korean seitan tacos, vegan soft-serve and rutabaga red chile salad. And while yes, those 11 words may cause the carnivores in the crowd to recoil in horror, let’s all just remember that radishes didn’t really sound all that exciting either until the Vedge crew got a hold of them.
UPDATE: Rich Landau from V Street reached out with some new intel on V Street’s debut. He says: “I don’t know if it’s to late but I just wanted to let you know that our menu has changed a bit.We couldn’t score a soft serve machine in time so we are doing slutty brownies instead. We are also doing Korean tofu tacos and instead of the rutabaga salad we are doing an Israeli cous cous & garbanzo salad with spicy zhoug.”
The festivities start at noon and will run ’til 6pm, rain or shine (or flooding or structural collapse). Check out the link below for all the information you need.
Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival [Official]
SliCE and Di Bruno Bros. have teamed up to create a special Margherita di Burrata Pizza topped with cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, Di Bruno’s handmade burrata and finished with fresh basil and sea salt. The pizza is available all month long and today only, free samples will be available from noon to 7 p.m. at all three SliCE locations (1740 Sansom St; 1180 S 10th St; 137 Egg Harbor Rd, Washnington Twp, NJ).
In addition to the burrata pizza, SliCE is also offering a burrata caprese salad for $10.95.
The recently opened Crow and the Pitcher on 19th Street, just off of Rittenhouse Square has added happy hour. Discounted food and drink is available Tuesday through Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Among the deals, $4 beers, $5 cocktails and $6 glasses of wine.
Discounted dishes include »