Announcing the 2015 50 Best Bars in Philadelphia

Keith Raimondi at Townsend | Photo by Neal Santos

Keith Raimondi at Townsend | Photo by Neal Santos

For seven years now we’ve polled bartenders, beer reps, booze writers and professional drinkers of all stripes, and asked them to pick their most-loved bars in the area. We then add our own favorites, do a little cocktail-napkin math and come up with the 50 Best Bars in Philadelphia. This year the Best Bars list includes dives, gastropubs, cocktail lounges and even an awesome little spot in Port Richmond.

This year’s list features a new number one bar, but that’s far from the only interesting tidbit on the list.

Inside the Best Bars List »

Two Philadelphia Restaurants Nominated for Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants List


Hummus from Dizengoff; Townsend Wentz of Townsend | Photos by Arthur Etchells, HughE Dillon

Philadelphia’s Dizengoff and Townsend are among the 50 nominees for Bon Appetit’s “America’s Best New Restaurants 2015” list. Dizengoff gets the nomination for its hummus, which is described as “preposterously smooth, ethereally light, very generously drizzled with olive oil, and guaranteed to spoil you for the grocery-store stuff forever.”

Over at Townsend, Bon Appetit is thrilled to see that French food and white tablecloths still have a place in American restuarants.

The 50 nominees will be whittled  down to the final list of ten on August 18th.

The 50 Nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants 2015 [Bon Appetit]
Dizengoff [Bon Appetit]
Townsend [Bon Appetit]

Dizengoff [Foobooz]
Townsend [Foobooz]

Townsend Celebrating 1-Year Anniversary With A 5-Course Dinner

Chef-Owner Townsend Wentz.

On Wednesday May 27th, Passyunk’s Townsend is dishing out a five-course prix fixe meal in celebration of surviving their first year. The menu will showcase favorites from the restaurant alongside new dishes, and everything will be paired with wines from Townsend’s cellar. Sommelier Lauren Harris is bringing experts David McDuff, Seth Biederman, Jason MalumedJames Nolan, and Sean Faeth to join and discuss the pairings served at the meal.

That’s nice, now show me the menu

What’s Your Favorite Offal Dish?


Headcheese taco at South Philadelphia Tap Room

Are you all about the sweetbreads, headcheese and tripe? Then we want your opinion. What are the best offal dishes around town. Are you all about the tripe sandwich at George’s in the Italian Market? The headcheese tacos at South Philadelphia Taproom? The sauteed sweetbreads at Townsend?

Let us know in the comments.

Cocktail 101: Drexel Opens Mixology Class To The Public


For those baffled by the art of cocktail making, Drexel is opening a limited number of seats in their new class “Spirits and Mixology” to the general public. The class will explore the history and processes of major spirits, as well as cocktail-making, from basic to innovative. Lesson number one? No one who knows better ever calls it “mixology” anymore.

Read more »

Beyond The Plate: Townsend Wentz

townsend wentz at cook A few months ago, we told you about a beautiful, inspiring short documentary made about Chris Kearse from Will. Videographer Oliver Gallini told us then that this was just the first in a series of docs on local chefs and the stories behind their restaurants, their careers and their foods.

Well, today he made good on that claim. He’s now released the second short film in his series–this one focusing on organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, and his eponymous restaurant.

As was the case with the first video, this one is gorgeously shot and smartly put together. It captures both the chaos and the grace of kitchen work, the beauty of the plates, and the story behind how Wentz ended up cooking for a living rather than working in a lab.

If you’ve got a couple minutes, you should totally check it out.

Show me the video

James Beard Award Semifinalists Announced

james-beard-semisToday at noon, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards.

Abe Fisher and Townsend were Best New Restaurant nominees. Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri got nods for Outstanding Chef and Ellen Yin’s new restaurant group received three nominations. Fork was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant and Alex Bois (High Street on Market) and Jon Nodler ( received rising stars nominations.

The nominees »

The Details on East Passyunk Restaurant Week

Joe Cicala's Le Virtu and his new Brigantessa will participate in East Passyunk Restaurant Week | Photo via Brigantessa

Photo via Brigantessa

If 15 days of Center City Restaurant Week weren’t enough, you’re in luck: the third annual East Passyunk Restaurant Week is happening, Sunday February 22nd to Saturday February 28th.

28 restaurants have agreed to participate in East Passyunk’s Restaurant Week. Each meal will be 3-courses and priced at $15, $25 or$35. Even if you forget to make your reservations early, following #EPRW on twitter ensures that you’ll hear about last minute cancellations so you can swoop in.

Several restaurants from the Philadelphia magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants are participating, including Fond, Noord, Townsend, Stateside, Will and Le Vitrtu. Newcomers BrigantessaBing Bing Dim Sum and P’unk Burger will be participating as well.

East Passyunk Restaurant Week [Official]

Want To Get A Sneak Peek At Townsend Wentz’s New Italian Restaurant?

townsend wentz at cook

Well you can. Kinda.

First, you’re going to have to clear your schedule on the night of January 13 (which is a Tuesday, so you won’t really be missing anything good on TV). Then you’re going to have to find $65 (plus tax and tip). Then you’re going to have to make reservations for this special dinner that Wentz is doing at Townsend where he and some fancy olive oil guy (actually Lorenzo Caponetti from Caponetti Olive Oil) are going to be doing a four-course dinner where Wentz will be showcasing some of the dishes that will eventually make it onto the menu at his new Fairmount restaurant, which is set to debut later this year.

Read more »

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