Toast to Being 5-0 With These Eagles-Branded Spirits
Plus, news from the new High Street, Sushi Suite, a new beer garden for University City and details on Philly Cider Week.
Hey everyone. Looks like our Foobooz weekly news round-ups are back again. So if you’re looking for all the hottest rumors, latest intel, openings, closings, chef moves, hot takes, hard truths and/or bad jokes, this is the place.
So let’s get at it, shall we? And I’m gonna start with …
High Street Is a Real Restaurant Again
Ellen Yin’s High Street has been on quite a journey these past couple years. There was the pandemic closure of the dining room, of course. A switch to a take-out and delivery model just to try to keep the lights on. Then there was the massive rent increase on the restaurant’s Market Street home of seven years that put the lights out for good. High Street moved, and continued doing take-out, but there was always a plan to re-open the dining room and operate like a proper restaurant with, like, tables and forks and servers and stuff.
Well guess what? Those plans were finally realized when the new-and-improved High Street re-re-opened on October 4th and started welcoming guests inside the fancy new location at 101 South 9th Street. Christina McKeough is in the kitchen (as she has been since 2019), and she and her crew are banging out a menu that’s geared for how people are eating these days in Philly — snacky, shareable, local and comforting. There are lamb meatballs with celeriac tzatziki, steak tartare toast with marrow and fish sauce, hand-made pastas, breads from the attached bakery and some rye cannoli with chocolate-chai cream, apple butter and black-tea caramel that sound like they might be the best thing ever. Oh, and if you’re down with the whole omakase-style experience (and there’s some more omakase news below), the kitchen is also offering a $75 “Leave It To Us” prix-fixe that’ll feature both on- and off-menu courses, all picked by the kitchen and served family style.
It’s still early days, but there are already plans for the future (seasonal menu refreshes, a coffee program, leaning into the whole bakery side of things with a focus on daylight grab-and-go and laminated pastries), and the one BIG change everyone is talking about is that High Street now has a bar — something the old location never had. Under the command of Harry Jamison (the manager at A.kitchen+bar), the staff has put together a seasonal cocktail menu focusing on American spirits and, you know, booziness. So you’ve got a rum-heavy drink called the “Low High Five” that’s kicked up with Chinese five-spice powder, lime and pineapple, and a rye whiskey sour spiked with Fernet and maple syrup.
It’s a serious step up, and makes this whole High Street re-launch make sense. And hey, if they’re so into those American spirits, maybe they can stock some …
Eagles-Branded Bourbon (Which Is Absolutely a Thing Now)
No, for real. Philadelphia Distilling co-founder Andrew Auwerda (who left the company a couple years back), started his own thing called BOTLD — which is a bottler and distributor of spirits not carried by state stores. And BOTLD is currently selling official bourbon and vodka from Bird Gang spirits — which is an actual partnership between the Philadelphia Eagles, BOTLD and local marketing agency WeHolden.
Right now, there’s just the American straight bourbon whiskey and the vodka, both decked out in their kelly-green finery (in keeping with the new retro Eagles uniforms). But the Birds, BOTLD and WeHolden are already looking at rolling out more branded bottles marking momentous moments in Eagles history. Personally, I’m waiting for a Jason Kelce “No One Likes Us” rye whiskey, but if the Eagles colors alone are your kind of thing, you can get them at pop-ups, at the BOTLD store (119 South 18th Street) or online, so long as you’re a resident of Pennsylvania.
In Other Drinking News…
The leaves are starting to turn, the nights are starting to get a little chilly, and Philly Cider Week is back — and just in time, too.
From October 21st to the 29th, PCW events will be held to showcase Philly’s cider bonafides as the fourth-largest producer in the U.S. The week kicks off with a party at Woodford Mansion. There’ll be live music, places to have a picnic lunch, charcuterie for sale, plus plenty of local cider, wine and cider cocktails. And then everything wraps up with another party — the Fall Street Fest, on October 29th on 7th Avenue between South and Fitzwater.
You can get all the details you need (including ticketing info) at the Cider Week website.
You guys remember Omakase by Yanaga? It was the reservation-only sushi bar set up behind Izakaya by Yanaga, back when Kevin Yanaga was part of the Glu Hospitality family.
Now, that Yanaga is behind the bar at the new Pod, the izakaya space has become Izakaya Fishtown, and for a while, Glu has had that space behind it just sitting there, going unused. But they’ve recently announced that it has reopened as Sushi Suite, with chef Mitsutaka Harada (ex of Morimoto, Zama and elsewhere) providing a 90-minute, 17-course omakase experience to just eight seats at a time.
Sushi Suite is being marketed as a kind of “sushi speakeasy” and is being brought to Philly by NYC-based SimpleVenue (in partnership with Glu). SimpleVenue is looking at opening at least two more Philly locations in the near future so, like the man says, watch this space …
In the meantime, we’ve also got At The Table from chefs Alex and Tara Hardy open now at its new location at 118 West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne. This is essentially an expansion, offering something like 400 percent more space for the Hardys’ BYO. They’re doing a combination tasting/a la carte menu with an international flavor that’ll change bi-weekly. Right now, we’re talking langoustine toast with uni and caviar, foie gras with brussels sprouts three ways (fried, pureed and as dust), plus onion foam, butternut squash and chanterelle tortellini and cinnamon sugar donuts with pear ice cream for dessert.
University City has a new beer garden with the seasonal pop-up bar uCity Square at The Lawn at 37th and Filbert. uCity Square is a “knowledge community,” but apparently all those big brains needed a place to dull the ol’ neurons, so they partnered with Milkboy and Our People Entertainment to launch this collaborative experiment with local breweries, food trucks, cocktails and “a plethora of live entertainment and activations.”
Anyway, they had me at beer and food trucks. So check it out if it sounds like your kinda thing.
And finally this week, we’ve got not one, but two pieces of news coming out of Philadelphia International Airport. First, it looks like Elixr Coffee is opening an outpost between terminals B and C sometime after the new year. And beloved brunch spot Sabrina’s is going to be bringing their “signature brunch menu” to Terminal C. Right now, that opening is penciled in for spring 2024.