East Passyunk’s Townsend Landed a Hot-Shot New Sommelier

Gordana Kostovski is a big deal in the Philly wine community. The Macedonian Master-certified sommelier was awarded two of Wine Spectator’s Awards of Excellence, including a Best of Award of Excellence. And for close to three years, she’s remained the driving force behind Volvér’s wine program — easily one of the most consistent (and consistently great) aspects of the restaurant and bar. Last year, she was credited in the Wall Street Journal for inspiring a major New York wine purveyor to bring his business to Pennsylvania, despite the state’s restrictive conditions. To say the least, she’s been a major player in helping shape this city’s burgeoning wine scene.

Yesterday, at Philly Cooks, when I found her in front of Townsend’s table and not Volvér’s, I thought nothing of it — she’s married to Townsend’s chef-owner Tod Wentz. But lo and behold, she actually works there, too.

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Volver Releases Fall Menus

Dining Room at Volver | Photo via Volver

Dining Room at Volver | Photo via Volver

Back for a third season, the dining room at Volver is serving new eight and 12-course tasting menus. The prices remain the same as last season, $95 for the eight-course menu and $150 for the 12-course menu. There is also an optional wine pairing available.

The dining room at Jose Garces’ flagship restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday and reservations, which are required, can be made online or by calling Volver.

Details on the menu »

Volver Announces Fall Programming

Bar Volver adds dinner | Photo by Martin Buday for Garces

Bar Volver adds dinner | Photo by Martin Buday for Garces

With September’s swift approach, Jose Garces’ Volver is getting back into the swing of things. Most notably is the addition of a full dinner menu for Bar Volver. Previously, Bar Volver only offered bar snacks but will now offer more substantive plates. Reservations are also now accepted for dining in the bar area of the Kimmel Center restaurant. The changes answer the demand for quick but elegant dining for the before and after theater crowds. Bar Volver’s hours will be Wednesday and Thursday: 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 4:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Check out the full menu »

Jose Garces Kicks Off Summer Programming at Volver

Jose Garces prepping for class at Volver's Summer School

Jose Garces prepping for class at Volver’s Summer School | Photo by Chelsea Portner

We stopped by Volver yesterday as Jose Garces prepped for the first class of his Summer School at Volver. Garces is offering classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays this June and July to offer guests a different way to experience Volver as well as a way to spend some quality time with Garces Group chefs like James Beard Award winner Michael Laiskonis and Philadelphia native and Amada New York chef de cuisine, Justin Bogle.

Tickets are sold out for 9 of the classes already, so if any of the remaining classes appeal to you, like “Chimichurri to Romesco: Exploring the Latin Mother Sauces,” act quickly.

More plans from Jose Garces »

Volver To Host Summer School This June and July

volver summer classes 400This June and July, Jose Garces’ Volver is hosting hands-on cooking classes on Wednesday and Thursday events. Each class is taught by Garces Group chefs and beverage experts and are aimed for all culinary skill levels.

The series kicks off on Wednesday, June 1st with Jose Garces leading a class to prepare a menu of recipes selected by Garces himself. The hands-on class will feature tips, techniques and tools from the Iron Chef. Tickets to the Garces led kickoff are $225 per person. Other tickets range from $100 for cocktail classes to $185 for a pasta class with Amada New York’s chef de cuisine, Justin Bogle.

Classes begin at 6:30 p.m. and last two to three hours.

Volver [Foobooz]
Volver Summer School
 [Official]

Rolling Out An Every Day Happy Hour At Bar Volver

Bar Volver

Over the past couple years, Bar Volver has been refining the experience of eating and drinking at this kind of antechamber to Volver proper. It has always been the easier and more approachable of the two rooms–a place to just drop by for drinks, a snack, whatever. In the beginning, the menu was seriously limited (caviar, a handful of tartines), and the focus was on champagne. Then it became cocktails and snacks, with a guest bartender program on Wednesdays and a menu that slowly grew over the seasons.

But now, things have changed again.

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Volvér Gets 5 Star Rating by Forbes Travel Guide

Photo by Joni Nimrod

Jose Garces and his Volver team | Photo by Yoni Nimrod

Volvér has been named a Five-Star Restaurant by Forbes Travel Guide in its 2016 Star Ratings. Only 56 restaurants around the world received Forbes’ highest rating. Restaurants that receive the highest rating are described as “outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.”

The Forbes guide was formerly the Mobil Travel Guide and has been issuing ratings since 1958. The last restaurant in Philadelphia to receive five stars was the Fountain at the Four Seasons, which had it five consecutive years before closing in December of 2014.

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Pizza Brain Joins Forces with Volver

pizza brain squareSay what? Say what? Yes, tonight only, Pizza Brain will be selling a special Third Thursdee slice that is a collaboration with Jose Garces’s Volver. We don’t know if this idea is Pizza Brain’s or Volver’s, but it is an inspired collaboration.

The slice, which will be available at Pizza Brain between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. will be topped with scallion, radish, truffle aioli and cured wagyu beef. Get there early, there’s no guarantee it will last all the way till 8 p.m.

Pizza Brain [Foobooz]

The Best Restaurant Openings You Missed This Summer

bud-marilyns-Pu Pu Platter-940

Pu Pu Platter at Bud & Marilyn’s | Photo via Bud & Marilyn’s

Summer can be a distracting time. There are trips to the shore, rooftop beer gardens, empty lot beer gardens and beer gardens surrounding 1960s architecture. But while you may have been…elsewhere, the restaurant scene marched on, and here are some of the best openings and reboots of the summer. Read more »

New Menus And A New Season At Volver

volver-testing-2-joni-nimrod

Menu testing at Volver | Photos by Joni Nimrod

 

A couple weeks back, we got the chance to bop over to Volver and sit in on one of their menu testing sessions for the new season. It was a pretty cool experience (read: super-cool, and basically one of my favorite parts of this job–getting to witness the way chefs think and work when they’re not in the thick of service), and also represented our first look at what the menu at Volver might look like in this new season.

Well now, with the scheduled resumption of service set for Wednesday night, we have the full menu for you to look at.

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