Musi’s menu ventures somewhere in between the familiar and the unknown, with dishes like kreplach stuffed with kale-purslane-cabbage kraut. The restaurant — which chef/owner Ari Miller calls “not totally Jewish, not quite Israeli” — is stretching the imagination of Philly’s fine-dining scene. Come here to be taken out of your culinary comfort zone or possibly just eat some pasta that the menu says has nothing to do with Italy. 100 Morris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148, musiphilly.com.
Musi, Miller’s neighborhood BYO, has all the expected trappings: It’s charming and delicious, and it offers a menu that changes often and relies heavily on what his purveyors have available. But the food is never too serious, and neither is Miller. And that’s what sets it — and him — apart. 100 Morris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148, musiphilly.com.
This iconic 57-year-old music company—which started in Hamilton but expanded with this sprawling outpost in Asbury Park—recently went through a hip rebrand. It stocks the same matchless selection (walls lined with Gibsons; stacks of colorful amps), but now the post-industrial space looks a little more refined and a lot cooler and worthier of a trip. 619 Lake Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712, russomusic.com.
We know the city has a lot on its hands right now, but we wish it would do more with this lovely 6,000-person Fairmount Park amphitheater managed by Parks & Rec. There were only 12 (12!) concerts scheduled for all of July and August. Maybe the city shouldn’t be in the concert business? 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19132, thedellmusiccenter.com.
The year-old Hall is, simply put, THE spot for any and all cover bands. 23 East Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, ardmoremusic.com.
With serious musical chops and a sassy side that has parents ROFL, John Francisco’s classes – be it toddler music sessions honoring artists like the Killers and Johnny Cash or guitar lessons for older kids – will become the highlight of your week. (Note to Comcast: Give this guy his own show already!) 904 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, misterjohnsmusic.com.
Did you know that Curtis Institute of Music offers gratis student recitals every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, October through May? 1726 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, curtis.edu/performances/learn-more/student-recitals.html.
They already put themselves on the line. Then came a catastrophe. Read the full write up here. phillymag.com/news/2020/07/16/philadelphia-business-owners-coronavirus.
If being at home with your kids 24/7 has changed your attitude toward screen time, it’s okay. Allay your guilt (if you still have any) by registering for one of the many local kids’ classes that have popped up on YouTube and across social media. See the full write up at Virtual Classes. settlementmusic.org/music/settlement-digital.
Where else can you see the Grateful Dead, Heart, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd and the All-Catholic Jazz Band in a Northeast Philly park — for free? Okay, so they're not the actual artists (except for the All-Catholic Jazz Band), but these evening concerts are a ton of fun. Be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket and a well-stocked picnic basket. Welsh Rd at Cresco St, Philadelphia, PA 19136, pennypack.org.
Nine years ago, Mindy Dougherty was in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Gypsy. These days, along with co-founder Dann Dunn, she’s teaching little (and not so little) ones how to sing, act, and steal the Broadway spotlight at her new studio, with classes based on Frozen, High School Musical, Moana—plus an awesome master-class series. Benj Pasek, you’ve been warned. 262 South 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, musictheatrephilly.com.
A recent much-needed rehab and a new programming push (Erykah Badu, Frankie Beverly’s Maze and the War on Drugs all play this summer) make this once-neglected city-run amphitheater a solid venue contender. 2400 Strawberry Mansion Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19132, mydelleast.com.
While most concert venues in Atlantic City are overgrown, impersonal boxes of noise, the Borgata's 1,000-seat concert hall is decidedly more intimate, with lovely acoustics, and the perfect place to see your favorite artists up close and personal. This month: Supertramp's Roger Hodgson (8/18), K.D. Lang (8/24) and Cheap Trick (8/31). Also, look for semi-secret last-minute gigs, like the scintillating performance Fiona Apple gave earlier this year. One Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ 08401, theborgata.com/entertain/entertainment-venues/the-music-box.
Sure, some of the schools grads go on to Juilliard and Curtis, but for instructors like Soviet-born Dolly Krasnopolsky, it doesnt matter if youre better at practicing Chopsticks than Chopin. The 24-year Settlement vet takes (and loves) all kinds. See website for locations, 00000, smsmusic.org.
A warning: The first time you walk into one of Miss Marilyn’s music classes, you’re going to be overwhelmed. Babies are squealing and toddlers are dancing (the age-bracket sweet spot is newborn to about five years), and Miss Marilyn is bouncing around wildly and playing guitar, and you’ll come out wanting either a coffee or a cocktail. But loosen up and lean into it, and you’ll see what everyone else in Bucks County already knows: Miss Marilyn is the most fun person your kids will ever meet, and the single best way to get them to love music. (You might walk away with some cool new mom friends, too.) Follow her Facebook page for info on virtual class offerings. missmarilynkmr.com.