March News and Events Roundup
BY ASHLEY PRIMIS
From dining specials to contests and classes, all the food-related things you need to know and do this month.
A few new places around town have added brunch to their normal service hours.
Distrito started serving brunch last weekend, and the menu is filled with mouthwatering small plates like the torta de huevos (eggs, queso Oaxaca, bacon, beans), chicken enchiladas, and morning-friendly cocktails.
BYOB Sonata in Northern Liberties now serves up an affordable version of this morning meal on Sundays. Items like eggs and French toast and salads and sandwiches make up the menu. Don’t forget your booze — Bloody Mary mix and OJ will be on sale.
Downingtown’s Firecreek has a Sunday buffet brunch that starts at 10:30, with lots of cold and hot food, carving stations, and desserts. It’s $20.95 for adults, $8.95 for kids.
NIGHTLY SPECIALS & PRIX FIXE
Old City’s Fork: etc. is adding an affordable nightly $15 plats du jour to the mostly sandwich-and-salad menu. We’ll be heading there on Tuesdays for the fried chicken with slaw and biscuits, on Wednesdays for the seafood stew with thyme sea salt crackers, and on Sundays for the duck confit with baby arugula and rosemary shoestring potatoes.
Mertiage is offering a prix fixe dinner for two on Tuesday nights. The dinner will change monthly, and this month includes a whole roasted chicken with parsnip purée, Brussels sprouts, and Chinese sausage with chicken jus for $30. (That’s $15 each. Great deal.) Add a bottle of wine (selections rotate weekly) for an extra $20.
NEW MENUS, ROOMS, AND PROGRAMS
Zento in Old City recently added a new chef/owner to the roster — Sam Ho, a former sous chef at Morimoto. He’s created some new menu items like salmon nachos, Kobe beef negimaki, and the rather interesting salmon sushi nigiri with roasted tomato on top.
Pub & Kitchen has just — finally! — opened up their upstairs dining room. Same great food and booze — now there’s just more room to enjoy it.
Metropolitan Bakery has started an ingenious Bread of the Month Club. Great for gifts or yourself, no? Three months costs $70, six months is $135, and a year is $250. Prices include overnight shipping. April is cracked wheat, May is organic miche, June is organic spelt. Click here for more info.
What: Canal House Cooking book signing and tasting
When: Thursday, March 11, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Info: Gourmet and the New York Times have sung their praises for this beautiful series of self-published cookbooks celebrating the authors’ (Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer) favorite recipes dreamt up in their Lambertville home. Price includes food samples from the books and complimentary wine. Authors will be onhand to sign books.
What: Philadelphia Steak Month
When: Sundays through Thursdays in March
Where: Eight of the city’s steakhouses: Davio’s, Delmonico’s, Morton’s, Palm, Prime Rib, Saloon, Smith & Wollensky, Union Trust
Info: Get a three-course meal at each of these steakhouses for $50 on Sundays through Thursday throughout the month.
What: “A Year in Provence” dinner
When: Sunday, March 14th
Cost: $48 for five courses
Info: The West Chester restaurant will create a five-course dinner based on Peter Mayle’s bestselling memoir A Year in Provence. Think pâtés and terrines, salmon with Sorrel sauce, pork with truffles, and chocolate cake.
What: Oyster-shucking contest
Where: Oyster House
When: Saturday, March 27th
Info: The region’s professional oyster-shuckers will compete against one another for a $200 first-place prize. After that, aspiring pros can join in on the fun (sign up ahead of time) and compete for a $100 gift card. The five-buck admission is for spectators. The Inky’s Rick Nichols and Grub Street’s Kirsten Henri will be judges.
What: Sixth Annual Brewers Plate
Where: Penn Museum
When: March 14th from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Info: Get tons of food and beer pairings from the likes of Varga Bar, Southwark, Fork, Flying Fish, Dogfish and Victor, to name a few. Proceeds benefit Fair Food Farmstand. Get tickets and more info at thebrewersplate.org.
What: Wine classes at Old City’s Pinot
When: Throughout March and April
Info: Pinot is rolling out a bunch of spring classes. Topics include: Essentials of wines, developing your wine I.Q., and beyond Chianti, to name a few. Taught by local experts. More info at pinotboutique.com
What: Regional dinner at Bistrot La Minette
When: March 24th
Cost: $35 for four courses, $50 with wine pairings.
Info: Chef/owner Peter Woolsey has started hosting monthly dinners exploring different regions of France. This month he’ll highlight the French and German tastes of Lorraine. Menu includes braised boar and smoked sausage.