Today, OpenTable revealed its Top 100 restaurants “fit for foodies” in America. The list was determined by OpenTable’s analysis of more than five million reviews of more than 20,000 restaurants across the country. The list includes twelve restaurants from Philadelphia, the second most restaurants from one city, only Portland, Oregon had more.
The list includes a high concentration of restaurants from California, Oregon and Pennsylvania but not as many from traditional restaurant cities like Chicago (five restaurants), Los Angeles (five), New York (four) and San Francisco (one).
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To help your summer along, Foobooz plans to give you some recipes by notable chefs and bartenders in Philadelphia. We’re calling it the DIY Down the Shore series, and we’ll be posting them all week. We’re bringing Philly’s dining scene into your summer homes.
Next up, the Better Loud Than Too Late from Keith Raimondi:
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Six-hour cured cobia at the Treemont | Photo by Courtney Apple
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.
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Townsend, the two-month old but critically acclaimed restaurant, is hosting a Five-Course, “Three Way” Wine and Cheese Pairing Dinner on Thursday, July 17th. Chef-owner Townsend Wentz and General Manager/Wine Director Lauren Harris put together the night of five wines, five cheeses and five plates. “I’m always looking for new ways to share our food and our wines with our guests, and this dinner promises to be the first of many inventive pairing events,” Wentz said.
Tickets are $65 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Guests will get a taste of contemporary French flare and domestic and imported cheeses, all of which are paired with wines chosen by Harris.
Reservations are encouraged. To reserve your spot, call 267-639-3203.
A few additional musings about my meals at Townsend…
Not all the wine comes in kegs
Much as there is to recommend kegged wine, sommelier Lauren Harris does right by bottles, too. Her trim list at Townsend offers some attractively priced, offbeat picks that complement Wentz’s cooking beautifully. Especially worth trying is Eric Texier’s “Rouletabulle,” a Chasselas varietal sparkler that makes a scintillating feint toward sweetness on its way to a bone-dry, mineral finish. And if you doubt the value of kegged wines in general, do yourself a summer favor and beat the heat with glass of the Gotham Project’s Finger Lakes Reisling being poured at Townsend (a wine which Tria Taproom is pouring at the moment as well; Pizzeria Vetri also often has a Gotham Project wine on offer).
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Photos by Jason Varney
We here at Philadelphia magazine decided last month to start debuting restaurant reviews early on Foobooz. We had reasons. And we discussed them here. Welcome to the new world.
Townsend Wentz was an analytical chemist shifting toward genomics research when he got a chance to cook at Philadelphia’s Four Seasons for a day. It was 1996, he’d just wrapped up a second bachelor’s degree in biology, and recombinant DNA was calling his name. But Jean-Marie Lacroix interrupted, and fate took care of the rest.Wentz, who’d cooked his way through college, had a great day in the French chef’s kitchen. It beat testing canola oil acids, and it was more social than laboratory bench work. When one of the restaurant’s line cooks quit that very day, Wentz’s lark in Lacroix’s kitchen, and later Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, turned into nearly 10 years.No wonder the Riverton, New Jersey native’s sauces are so good.
Philadelphians wise to Wentz’s transformation of McCrossen’s Tavern in Fairmount have known that for three years already. In May, he opened a place of his own—really, truly his own. From the salvaged cherrywood he planed to cap a rebuilt bar to the floors he refinished with his sous-chef and sommelier to the furniture they stained and reupholstered by hand, his fingerprints are all over the place. Before Wentz became a chemist, he built racing sailboats.
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Townsend opens on East Passyunk Avenue this evening. Owner/chef Townsend (Tod) Wentz has assembled an impressive team with Lauren Harris (McCrossen’s, Tria) as general manager and sommelier, Keith Raimondi (Lemon Hill, Village Whiskey) as head bartender and Colin Leary (McCrossen’s) as sous chef.
The menu will expand over time but its opening iteration includes eight starters and four main courses. The mains range between $25 and $27.
Opening menu at Townsend »
Townsend Wentz’s East Passyunk Avenue restaurant, Townsend will softly open this weekend by serving its bar menu. Drink Philly has the bar menu for the opening weekend that includes beef tartare, marinated hamachi and Pate de Campagne among other items. On the drink side, Keith Raimondi has fashioned a short list of classic cocktails and Lauren Harris has compiled a list of wines that pair well with the food.
The restaurant will be open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Look for a full opening on Thursday, May 1st.
Townsend Restaurant Opens Doors This Weekend for Sneak Peek with Bar Menu [Drink Philly]
That guy over there look familiar? If you’re the drinking sort, he likely does.
That’s Keith Raimondi, who has spent years slinging drinks at some of the best bars in the city. He was the GM at Lemon Hill, worked for years with Team Garces, putting in time at Tinto, Chifa, Distrito, Amada and Village Whiskey, and did the cocktails for Jose’s most recent book, The Latin Road Home.
Well, now he’s got a new gig which will put him behind the stick at Townsend Wentz’s eponymous new East Passyunk project, Townsend–the one opening in the (hopefully totally uncursed) space that formerly (and briefly) held Sophia’s. Raimondi will be head bartender (which is kind of a step back, but one he insists he’s looking forward to), sharing all booze-ly duties with GM and sommelier Lauren Harris.