The Gastronaut: It Gets Better

MO-gastronaut-032015-400-kagan-mcleodI was at Aldine for dinner on opening night, and it was awful.

Of all the dishes set before me, I only found two of them appetizing enough to finish, and with another one, I had to pull the old Oh look, some of it fell on the floor trick just to make it appear as though I’d taken more than one bite.

But it’s okay. Don’t worry. Aldine got better.

I ate at Sbraga years ago, shortly after it opened. It was one of the most talked-about restaurants in the city, but not all the talk was good. And, frankly, neither was dinner. It was gimmicky, too clever, muddled in a way that I think was supposed to feel casual and fun but didn’t.

But Sbraga got better, too. Read more »

Sbraga: A St. Patrick’s Day Deal With No Green Beer

sbragapattysNot every St. Patty’s Day celebration has to be about the maximum consumption of crappy, green-tinted lager in minimum time. There are those out there who want to spend the day in quiet contemplation, thinking about the many contributions of the Irish to world culture (like whiskey, songs about drinking whiskey, and stories written while in whiskey’s company), and others who might be looking for a taste of Ireland’s many culinary accomplishments (including, but not limited to, potatoes, bacon, and potatoes with bacon).

For those of you out there interested in the latter–or just looking for an excuse to spend St. Patrick’s Day on Broad Street but not squeezed up against a sticky bar with 10,000 of your closest friends, Kevin Sbraga has put together a delightfully green chef’s counter menu that he’ll be serving for dinner at his eponymous restaurant.

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Philly Cooks Tasting Tours Are Now on Sale

PhillyCooksLogo_2014The first two Philly Cooks Tasting Tours are now on sale. Get unprecedented access to top restaurants in Old City and Center City. Each neighborhood-focused tour takes you behind the scenes at three different restaurants.

The Old City and Center City Tasting Tours take place on Tuesday, Februray 17th. The Old City Tour visits Capogiro’s new pizzeria Capofitto for a pizza primer, then heads to Eli Kulp’s High Street on Market for breads, pasta and meats before finally landing at Peter Woolsey’s La Peg for a history lesson and French pastries.

The Center City tour kicks off in the private kitchen at Kevin Sbraga’s latest restaurant, Juniper Commons for an assortment of appetizers and gin and tonics, then heads to Sbraga for a pasta and wine tasting before ending upstairs at Pub & Kitchen for large cuts of meat and make-your-own sandwiches.

For more details, check out the Philly Cooks Tasting Tours page. And don’t hesitate, tickets are extremely limited.

Philly Cooks Tasting Tours [Philadelphia Magazine]

Because Sbraga Loves Vegetarians, Too

SbragaVegetarian

There’s no arguing that Philly is becoming the center of a fine dining vegetarian revolution. But we forget sometimes that this loving consideration of vegetables stretches beyond the boundaries of Vedge and V Street and Charlie Was A Sinner and other dedicated vegan establishments. So here’s the crew at Sbraga weighing in on the gentler side with a dish of sunflower risotto, wild mushrooms, sea asparagus and brown butter.

Almost looks good enough to eat, doesn’t it?

Kevin Sbraga [Instagram]

New Bar Menu At Sbraga

sbraga-dining-room

As if Sbraga (the restaurant) didn’t already do enough, now Sbraga (the chef) has decided to launch a new menu of bar snacks at his eponymous restaurant. It’s a short list, but includes at least one dish (which will now be regularly available during all regular dinner services and available for a la carte ordering in the dining room) which will have Sbraga loyalists super excited.

Check out the menu below.

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Get Your Lunch Ubered To You

Vadouvan chicken salad sandwich on a seeded yeast roll. Served with a side of minted pickle salad with butternut squash, cucumber, and red onion with brown butter snicker doodle cookies for dessert

Vadouvan chicken salad sandwich on a seeded yeast roll. Served with a side of minted pickle salad with butternut squash, cucumber, and red onion with brown butter snicker doodle cookies for dessert

The taxi alternative, Uber is part of a campaign to raise money for No Kid Hungry, an organization aiming to eliminate child hunger in America. Today they are teaming up with Sbraga for a one-day UberLUNCH pop-up.

Between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., you can order a Vadouvan Chicken Salad Sandwich prepared by Sbraga and have it delivered in the same amount of time it takes to get an Uber. The sandwich costs $10 and all of that money goes directly to No Kid Hungry and the goal of #3MillionMeals.

You can order your UberLUNCH direct from the Uber app and delivery is available from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River, from South Street to Vine Street.

Fuel Up with UberLUNCH and Sbraga [Uber]

Tonight: Kevin Sbraga’s Career Dinner Looks Amazing

SbragaCareerDinnerChef Kevin Sbraga is hosting a Culinary Career Dinner tonight at Sbraga, and with it, he will be representing his entire career as a chef with one 7-course meal. Sound a little like the schtick at Volver? Well yeah, it is. But this one is half as many courses and will only run you $85 per person (plus an additional $45 a head if you want beverage pairings). And the dishes Sbraga has chosen to represent himself–everything from oysters and caviar a la Juniper Commons to cheesecake inspired by his father’s shop, Harvey’s Bakery– sound awesome.

Check out the menu and details after the jump.

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A Guide For Making The Most Of The Chinatown Night Market

So here we are–the last Night Market of the year. It’ll kick off tonight at 7pm, centered around 10th and Race Streets in Chinatown with around 60 food and drink vendors and, if past Night Markets are any indication of tonight’s madness, somewhere between 20,000 and a bajillion people all descending on the neighborhood looking for snacks, drinks and a good time.

The question thus becomes, how do you make the most out of your Night Market experience? Good thing you asked. As veteran Night Market goers (and just sneaky bastards by nature), we’ve developed some tried and tested strategies for winning any Night Market. And it all begins with…

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