Lineup Set for Taste of the Nation

logo_nkhThe lineup for the 2014 Taste of the Nation fundraiser for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign has been finalized. More than thirty restaurants including Serpico, Will and Vernick Food and Drink will be participating at the April 27th event. Tickets are on sale now fro the event which will take place at the Hotel Monaco. General admission tickets are $95 and VIP tickets (which come with an early admission time ar $145).

The 2014 Taste of the Nation Participants »

Historical Milk Punch Is Coming Back

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Photo by Vincent Stipo

In this week’s City Paper, Adam Erace takes a look at the history of milk punch and the version that Vincent Stipo of Vernick Food and Drink has on his menu. Meal Ticket also has Stipo’s recipe for milk punch in case you’re looking for a weekend project.

Otherwise try milk punch for yourself at Vernick, or make it a vertical tasting and get a second version of the historical drink from George Costa at Petruce et al.

Cocktail to try: Milk Punch [City Paper]
Recipe: Vernick’s Milk Punch [Meal Ticket]

Where We’re Eating: Vernick Food + Drink

Photo by Karrisa Olsen

Photo by Karrisa Olsen

I can remember, a long time ago, back when Greg Vernick was first opening his eponymous restaurant on Walnut Street and the early reviews were just coming in, talking with my food-nerd friends about the place—about how good it already was, and the weird feeling we all had that it somehow had the potential to get even better. Now, two years in, it seems to have arrived. The menu, with its oysters and small plates, simply roasted fish and chicken and brilliant toasts, is solid and welcoming and comforting while at the same time inventive enough to never be dull. The short cocktail program is well thought-out, and the service has mellowed and relaxed into a perfect upscale-neighborhood-restaurant model, with easy smiles all around. While there have been some complaints that the menu doesn’t change often enough, the benefit of this (relative) stability has been a crew brought up on consistency and attention to detail, which shows through on every single plate.

Vernick Food + Drink [Foobooz]

“Cocktails for a Cause” at Lemon Hill This Evening

lemon-hill-dining-roomThis evening, from 9 p.m. to midnight, Lemon Hill is bringing in some bartending talent for a good cause. Phoebe Esmon and Christian Gaal of Emmanuelle, Michael Treffehn of Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. and Vince Stipo of Vernick Food & Drink and Lemon Hill’s Michelle Curtis will be pouring cocktails featuring Beefeater or Plymouth gin. The cocktails will be available for $8 and half of the proceeds will go to support Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

The “Cocktails for a Cause” tour will continue with three additional stops this spring.

Upcoming “Cocktails for a Cause” dates »

Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival Is Happening This Saturday

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The annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is this Saturday, May 18, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.. The festival extends from Walnut Street from Broad to 19th and on  18th Street, from Locust to Sansom. Over 40 of the areas best restaurants will be serving up their cuisine for your enjoyment at an affordable price. Some highlights of the participating restaurants include a. Kitchen, Barclay Prime, Continental Mid-town, Di Bruno Bros., El Rey, Le Bec Fin, Oyster House, Parc, SbragaShake Shack, Vernick, and Village Whiskey.

If that doesn’t make you want go, maybe this will; there will be a tasting area with 20 of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Chairman’s Selection wines with a concierge and on-site store.

Other stands will offer Peroni beer, Rex Goliath wines, Cintron, and cocktails. Also, there will be cooking demonstration at 19th and Walnut courtesy of Starr Restaurants. The great food, booze, shopping, activities and weather make the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival a can’t miss.

Full list of participating restaurants »

2013 James Beard Semifinalists Announced

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The 2013 James Beard Awards Semifinalists have been announced and nineteen local chefs, restaurants and beer professionals have made the list. Vernick Food & Drink leads the way with a nomination for Best New Restaurant. Marc Vetri gets a nod for Outstanding Chef and his Vetri restaurant gets a nod for Best Service. Also in the Vetri solar system, Amis’ Brad Spence is nominated for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.

The coolest nomination might be for Andre Chin and Amanda Eap of East Passyunk’s Artisan Boulanger Patissier  who were nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Artisan Boulanger has been open more than sixteen years at the corner of 12th and Morris Streets. 

Also worth noting that East Passyunk has garnered some serious nominations, four in total. That’s more than than some serious food towns.

The locals on the list »

The $35 Challenge: Eat Like It’s Restaurant Week At Vernick Food & Drink

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$35 for three courses sounds like a helluva deal. And that’s what Restaurant Week is built around. But say you want to go somewhere awesome without having to deal with the crowds, the restrictions and the stressed-out wait staffs that are also a part of Restaurant Week. Is that possible?

It is, even if you happen to find yourself among the high heels and yappy dogs of Rittenhouse Square. Just aim yourself toward 21st and Walnut and deliver yourself into the hands of the crew at Vernick Food & Drink. Don’t believe you can get out of there with three courses for $35? Then check out the math:

  • Peas and bacon on toast $7
  • Crispy potatoes with shishito peppers $6
  • Pork blade steak with onion marmalade and sauteed mustard greens $22

All that, and for a grand total of $35, on the nose. Granted, if you’re willing to go just a little bit higher you could opt for the fromage blanc with kumquats on toast ($7), then the mussels in Dijon broth ($14) and then the potato ravioli with braised lamb and long beans ($15) for a total of $36, but that’s just crazy talk. Why would anyone pay $36 for a three-course dinner at one of the 50 Best Restaurants in Philladelphia when they could head down to Bleu Martini on 2nd Street and get chicken fingers, Cajun salmon and a slice of cheesecake for $35?

Ugh.

All Restaurant Week Coverage [Foobooz]

Vernick Food & Drink [Official]

Gastronaut: New York State of Mind

Philly has been luring Manhattanites away from the Big Apple for years. Now we’re taking its chefs—and concepts—as well.

For decades, Manhattan has been a kind of protected game preserve for chefs and foodies, a rarified environment where restaurateurs with big names could lure in enough of the monied trade to make the cripplingly high rents and off-the-charts food costs work with $300 tasting menus and $18 cheeseburgers. And because the biggest names in the game opened there, the best crews flocked to them. The best suppliers. It was a system that worked only because every piece of it depended on the willing suspension of all good sense, and a kind of universal acceptance by the people of Manhattan that they were living (and dining) in the greatest food city on earth.

Continue reading the Gastronaut »

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