New (Old) Chef At Southwark, And A Very New Menu

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Typically, we prefer to toot our own horn here at Foobooz, but today we’ll admit that we’re really enjoying Danya Henninger’s column The Spot over on philly.com. In it, she profiles restauranteurs who have been in business for a decade or more. And while she hasn’t yet paid Southwark a visit (yet), they very well could be next on her list. Why? Because it’s turning 10, too, and is looking at some pretty substantial changes to the menu and in the kitchen.

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Southwark Named Among Best Bars in America

Sazerac at Southwark

Sazerac at Southwark

Southwark gets a nice national accolade. The Queen Village bar and restaurant is recognized as one of the Best Bars in America by Food & Wine. The magazine praises the bar as a “pioneer in the resurgence of classic cocktails in Philadelphia.”

It isn’t the first time that Southwark has been so honored. Back in 2011, it and Franklin Mortgage both made the list.

Best Bars in America – Southwark [Food & Wine]
Southwark
 [Foobooz]

The Revisit: Southwark

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The easiest way to tell a bar from a restaurant is by the smell of the men’s room.

I couldn’t keep that thought away from my olfactory nerve during a recent night at Southwark. It had been years since my first time there. And my first time had also been my last. I remember having a fine dinner, but one that failed to cast the spell that so many other folks had fallen under at the then-new, classically styled Queen Village haunt.

In retrospect, that was probably because I’d eaten in the back dining room instead of at the bar, where bartender George Costa was mixing Gibsons and Aviations when the rest of the city was still one big slosh of pink-lemonade Cosmotinis.

Almost ten years later everyone else has caught up—and Costa has moved on—but Southwark is still humming along. It recently installed a new chef, Sam Jacobson, whose previous tenure at Sycamore helped put Lansdowne on the dining map.
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Tonight: Six Course Chester County Cheese Dinner at Southwark

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In the event that you’ve always wanted to eat cheese, followed by cheese, with a side order of cheese for dinner (and who among us hasn’t?) today’s your chance! The Chester County Cheese Artisans are teaming up with Sam Jacobson, the new chef at Southwark, to bring you exactly that kind of local cheese menu. Cheesemakers from Shellbark Hollow Farm, Birchrun Hills Farm, and Meadowset Farm & Apiary will be on hand to talk about their goat, cow, and sheep’s milk cheeses, respectively, and the menu features their cheeses and those from three other local producers as well. The prix fixe menu is six courses and will run you $45 per person, but you can also order individual dishes a la carte, in the event that you want to stop in to Southwark (number 11 on this year’s list of the 50 Best Bars in Philadelphia) for a great cocktail and a cheese nibble.

Call 215- 238-1888 for reservations.

But what’s on the menu? (Other than cheese…)

Everyone’s a Winner in These Chef Moves

Nick Macri

Nick Macri at Hop Chef

Michael Klein has the story on some major chef shuffling that’s been happening around town. Aaron Gottesman, who until recently you could spot whipping up lamb dishes behind the counter at the Reading Terminal’s Border Spring Farms is moving on to Kevin Sbraga’s Fat Ham. Gottesman was a participant in Foobooz’s first ever Open Stove night at Cook. Back then he was planning on working in Jen Carroll’s Concrete Blonde kitchen.

The opening at Border Springs is being filled by Hop Chef champion and Southwark chef, Nick Macri. Macri gets daytime hours and the opportunity to butcher, which is something he enjoys.

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Tonight: Allagash Clambake at Southwark

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Southwark says goodbye to summer tonight with an Allagash clambake. The $35 per person dinner features three courses plus a couple of Allagash beers, including the rarely seen Allagash Golden Brett. Not made from Brett Hull’s hockey gloves, this beer is instead Allagash’s first 100 percent brett fermented beer. Expect lots of juicy pineapple notes in the beer.

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About Last Night: Hop Chef

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Southwark’s Nick Macri wowed the judges last night with his  “You Can Win Friends with Meat Salad,” an ode to Homer Simpson. Where most of the chefs chose one pairing principle (simple pairing, incorporation, mimicking, story telling and experimental), Macri included all five in his Ommegang Hennepin-based dish and that was enough for the win. But the coppa with ginger-pickled chiles, grains of paradise bread crumbs, ballpark nuts, and orange-coriander-cured sauce wasn’t the only dish that impressed. JG Domestic’s Yun Fuentes won the People’s Choice with his duck arepa and Ommegang Rare Vos glaze. And Fork’s Eli Kulp created a first-of-its-kind treat in his Crackerjack-topped beer rye pretzels.

If you were there, you know how good everything was. If you weren’t, the best we can offer you are pictures, shot by COOK photographer and Friend of Foobooz, Yoni Nimrod.

Enjoy…

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