The folk of East Passyunk Avenue dwell within an embarrassment of restaurant riches, but when the weather’s as lovely as it was at the beginning of August, apparently only one bar will do. That’s what I couldn’t help thinking when I turned up at Stateside on an evening when its giant windows inhaled a mild breeze. Every indoor stool but one was occupied. The open-air counter facing Cross Street was full, and the sidewalk bar on Passyunk was three deep with what looked like the tail end of a Hugo Boss shoot.
When a stroke of luck swept me into a Steam Age swivel-mount seat on the Cross Street side, there was no denying that life was good.
Then the wait began.
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Stateside has made a name for itself on East Passyunk as having one the best happy hours in the city. The gastropub in South Philadelphia is known for its bartenders’ fondness for pouring small American distilleries and domestic beer. In keeping with these trademark craft cocktails, Stateside bartender Katherine Petronaci shared her summer drink recipe for Why Isn’t This Purple.
Shaken, not stirred.
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You know what would make any 28-day dry aged New York strip steak even better? Hot dogs. At least that was the working theory last night, at the 26th Foobooz Open Stove Night at COOK. The battle went down between up-and-comers Geno Betz of Stateside, assisted by Blaise Sideris, and Alex Busch of Brauhaus Schmitz, assisted by Dan Britt.
So let’s see how it all shook out, shall we?
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I somehow managed to not eat at Stateside until this year—totally missing its (admittedly brief) reign as the restaurant this magazine once called the best in Philly. Unfortunately, those glory days under chef George Sabatino are long gone. He left a year ago this month, and Stateside is now just another dimly lit bar with a big whiskey list and slow service. If you go, the poussin with burnt-honey-glazed cornbread and the octopus with chickpeas and fennel are worthy dishes. But with Noord, Fond, Laurel and Will just down the street? Maybe wait for Sabatino to get his next restaurant, Aldine, up and running in Rittenhouse.
First appeared in the March, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
Image by Kate Kern Mundie
Stateside is rolling out brunch this Sunday. The East Passyunk bar is keeping its menu small for their first brunch but another South Philadelphia brunch option is definitely a good thing.
Brunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The menu »
Kema Fortunato from Stateside is a big fan of Deschutes Brewery. So big in fact, he wants it to be a permanent part of his draft lineup. And to celebrate its arrival on tap, Stateside is having a Deschutes happy hour this evening featuring half-off Mirror Pond Pale Ale and select Deschutes bottles for just $3.
As always, oysters are a buck during the 5 to 7 p.m. happy hour.
Tonight is Alla Spina’s monthly industry night and this month, chef Elijah Milligan and the crew from Stateside will be in the house.
Milligan is cooking up a taste of fall with cider braised veal short ribs and farro and apple risotto. Alla Spina’s Pat Szoke will also be bringing his braising game with beef shanks and more.
Stateside will also be mixing up some fall cocktails.
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Last night was our 16th Open Stove night at COOK. Or maybe our 18th. The amount of drinking that goes on, it’s hard to keep track sometimes.
But anyway, it was, for certain, ONE of our Open Stove nights–this one bringing together Geno Betz, sous chef at Stateside, Anthony Passeri from Popolino (which is due to open back up again any day now, after their summer break), and their brave assistants for a culinary battle royale that would only end when one of them emerged victorious.
The challenge this time around? Making a New American cook and an Italian cook work with Jewish ingredients in honor of Rosh Hashanah. To that end, we hit ‘em with secret ingredient after secret ingredient–everything from honey and apple-flavored licorice to matzoh crackers (which, for some reason, caused Phyllis Stein-Novack to just lose her shit), Manishewitz (which also caused Phyllis Stein-Novack to lose her shit), pomegranite, gefilte fish, challah and so forth.
The two teams fought hard, talked some smack, drank shots, blew the time limit (more than once) and, in the end, it was Team Popolino that prevailed, having done everything from challah bruscetta with herbed gefilte fish spread to a bitter greens salad with apple licorice lardons.
It was a good night. It was a long night. It was a night full of drinking and surprises and something like ten courses of inspired seat-of-their-chef-pants cuisine. And if you missed it, just click through the link to see what it looked like on the inside of Open Stove 16.
Or 18. Or whatever.
Show me the pictures
Soft shells with shoshito and honey at Stateside
We here at Foobooz World Headquarters have a soft spot for soft shell crabs. Some might get bummed out by the thought of biting through a shell, devouring a whole animal and all that. But us, we love the idea of crabby taste without the hustle or frustration of shucking anything. And softshell season is officially upon us. The delicious creatures have been showing up on more menus around town over recent days.
Here are where we’ve spotted soft shell crabs »
Chef Elijah Milligan continues to put his mark on the menu at Stateside. Late, last week Milligan rolled out his mid-Spring main menu. Among the items that caught our eye; seared foie gras with whiskey French toast, grilled grapes and ice wine vinegar; veal sweetbreads and Stateside Stew, a stew of rotating house-made sausage, fresh fish and shellfish plus vegetables.
Stateside Menu for Spring 2013 (PDF)
Stateside [Official Site]