The forces of Rittenhouse Row, Kevin Sbraga, and Danielle DelRe, of Starr Restaurants, have come together to create an event that will be one to remember. From August 4th to the 7th, the restaurants of Rittenhouse Row will prepare meals unlike the ones on the traditional menus and give you a dining experience that is one of a kind. As of right now, 18 members will participate in the Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective, but the list is growing.
Philadelphia has so many great new restaurants that it’s hard to keep track of what to eat where. Here’s a cheat sheet of some of the best plates in the city to try right now.
Kevin Sbraga is now serving his spring menu at his eponymous restaurant, Sbraga. The four-course prix fixe menu is now $55 and includes a complimentary amuse course of his very famous foie gras soup (vegetarians can look forward to an amuse of carrot ginger soup). Also new is an all-new pasta and grains course. An optional beverage pairing is available for $40. “At Sbraga, our focus has always been hospitality,” says Sbraga. “It’s about giving your guests what they want without them asking. The foie gras soup is one of our most popular items, so we thought it would be nice to give everyone a taste before dinner, making it part of the nightly experience.”
Yesterday, we announced our fourth Foobooz After Dark dinner. On Saturday, April 26th at 11:30 p.m., we’re taking the chef de cuisine from SBRAGA, Greg Garbasz, and transplanting him into The Fat Ham’s kitchen with chef de cuisine, Aaron Gottesman. They’ll be doing what they do best: Aaron showing off his Southern skills, and Greg doing some fancy Yankee stuff.
Remember, beer from Sixpoint Brewery and The Fat Ham’s signature cocktails will be pouring all night, so it’ll be lots of eating and lots of drinking–as is tradition for our After Dark dinners.
Aaron Gottesman, the chef de cuisine at The Fat Ham, came to our first After Dark dinner at Will BYOB, and he sat at the table that had the most fun that night. After dinner, he came up to me and said, “I’d love to do one at The Fat Ham once we’re all settled in.” And guess what?
They’re all settled in. Read more »
Last night was a special kind of night at the COOK thunderdome. Sure, it was the same kind of set-up we’ve been using since the start–two chefs enter, vying for ultimate victory, and we do our best to make them cry like pre-teen girls with our secret ingredients, trash-talk, funny nicknames, enforced drinking policies and ridiculously complicated challenges. But still, last night was special.
For starters, it was a Sbraga-vs-Sbraga battle, with Aaron Gottesman from the Fat Ham and Greg Garbacz from Sbraga battling it out. Then there was the dictum, handed down from their boss, Kevin Sbraga himself (who was kind enough to show up last night to keep an eye on his guys), that neither chef would be allowed to bring a sous chef with him, forcing them to nut up and just cook all on their own (something that has only happened one other time in the history of Open Stove, and that one was accidental). Oh, and to make things even better, we decided to make last night a Theme Night, with all the secret ingredients and challenges based on Kevin Sbraga’s winning run during season 7 of Top Chef.
So how did it all shake out? Well, we’ve got pictures from last night’s contest to show you if you couldn’t make it in person. But let’s just say that it takes a truly remarkable chef to turn cuttlefish, coconuts, wonton wrappers, bok choy, horned melon and six-foot stalks of un-trimmed sugar cane into edible dishes for twenty drunken foodniks. Especially when you have to cook half the night tied at the ankle to your opponent…
I recently had some friends from California in town and they were wondering where to go to get some 100% legal Foie Gras in Philadelphia. So I came up with this list of traditional and creative foie gras dishes.
“Keep your head down and cook from the heart. The gimmicks? They’re not gonna work.” That’s the advice offered to our current Top Chef contestants by Kevin Sbraga—Philly’s only big winner to date. Here, he walks us through one perfect four-course prix fixe at Sbraga—with fallback options for those who don’t share his deep and abiding love of octopus and pork products.
Kevin Sbraga is hosting chef Michael Laiskonis on Wednesday, November 6th for an “inspiring” Lithuanian menu. Is your eyebrow raised? Well maybe you don’t know enough about Laiskonis. The classically trained chef was Le Bernardin’s pastry chef and is now the creative director at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education. He’s also won accolades from Guide Michelin, the James Beard Foundation, Bon Appetit and the New York Times among others.
Laiskonis is also proud of his Lithuanian heritage and much like he’s doing at COOK, he’s showing off the traditions and flavors of Lithuania in his creative menu.
The dinner is $150 per person including beverage pairing and all taxes and gratuity.
In the most recent Best of Philly issue, we gave Sbraga an award for “Best 2nd Year.” And, come October, chef Kevin Sbraga is going to be celebrating that milestone with a new counter menu that draws on everything he’s learned over the past two years.
It’s a “truly momentous” menu, according to the crew. Six courses. $75 (with an optional $50 beverage pairing add-on). Available from October 7 through the 31st. And because they’re only doing one seating per night (at 6pm), availability is severely limited. You want a reservation? You actually have to pick up a phone, call the house and ask for one. No Open Tabling this one.
Check out the (deliberately minimalist and likely misleading) menu after the jump.