A Sneak Peek At Stephen Starr’s Latest: Il Pittore, A Modern Italian Restaurant Debuting Tonight In Rittenhouse Square
Il Pitore takes over the space that was formerly Noble on the 2000 block of Sansom Street. Chef Chris Painter will be serving guests a refined and authentic taste of regional Italian cuisine complemented by a 200-bottle wine list. (Photos by M. Edlow for GPTMC)
Stephen Starr officially opens his 19th currently operating restaurant in Philadelphia tonight, Il Pittore.
It’s an authentic upscale Italian restaurant that’s taken over Noble American Cookery’s former space. While keeping some of Noble’s key design elements intact, the team has breathed new life into the space, personalizing it with a rustic and warm vibe for a truly homey Italian dining feel.
We got a sneak peek at the restaurant, and it promises to be an awesome addition to the Starr family.
Below, the Il Pittore vitals: the decor, the rooftop garden, Chef Chris Painter’s favorite dishes on the menu and more.
Il Pittore is located on a thriving block off Rittenhouse Square, one that’s only getting more exciting by the month. Jose Garces’ Tinto and Village Whiskey are just steps away, with Capogiro facing them, the Adrienne Theater is directly across the street and New York’s hugely popular Shake Shack is destined for the corner of 20th & Sansom in 2012.
Here’s the set-up: the restaurant seats 85 total, 65 upstairs in the reservation-only, white tablecloth section of the restaurant, and 20 downstairs at a large family-style dining table and a wrap-around food counter.
The Starr team cut in half the gorgeous 400-year old piece of bubinga wood from Cameroon, Africa that Noble shipped from overseas and had crafted into its bar and four of its tabletops; it’s now the downstairs dining table, with beautiful rough-hewn edges that add to the comfortable atmosphere.
That vibe is augmented by the exposed ductwork and beams, subway tile bar backsplash, local reclaimed pine bar, lights made from metal piping and red leather placements at the food counter.
There are also two murals hand-painted by a local artist, replicas of the iconic vintage posters by Italian artist Leonetto Cappiello.
Below, we have the low-down on the food, the 200-strong wine list, future plans the restaurant has and more.
The rustic decor of the restaurant generates a warm, homey vibe perfect for a delicious Italian feast. (Photo by M. Edlow for GPTMC)
Chef Chris Painter is Starr’s longtime culinary director; he developed menus for and opened countless of his restaurants, including Tangerine, Angelina and the new Fishtown beer garden Frankford Hall. And yes, it’s name pays homage to the chef — Il Pittore is Italian for “Painter.”
In preparation for Il Pittore‘s menu development, Painter traveled throughout Italy, drawing inspiration from the towns, eateries and markets he visited.
Throughout his travels, Painter garnered several useful tips about authentic Italian cuisine that inform his work in the Il Pittore kitchen. He picked up the fact that American Italian restaurants roll their pasta too thin, and real Italian pasta is actually thicker in order to avoid sticking. He’s also tried to recreate the pasta textures he ate there, so that he’s using a total of five different pasta doughs, which in turn use various types of flour, not just the standard 00.
A few choice dishes Painter highlighted to us as his favorites include the lightly smoked cod with saffron and spiced calamari salad; lamb sausage with lentils and sundried tomato soffrito, and fennel; and wild boar pappardelle with rosemary and parmesan.
There are four or five vegetarian options on the menu, including mushroom bruschetta, cheese ravioli and pear and ricotta antipasti.
Lastly, pastry chef Vita Shanley is dishing up the dolci, with delicious offerings like fried chocolate Bomboloni with nutella filling and vanilla sauce (a favorite of Painter’s).
The restaurant has maintained the functionality of Noble’s rooftop garden, which will grow herbs, tomatoes, peppers, chilis and beans in the warm months. The herbs move indoors during the fall and winter, lining the inner lip of the skylights upstairs.
Painter also tries to get all his meat from local suppliers; he uses chickens from Lancaster County, and goats and baby pigs from farms throughout the state.
Il Pittore is as serious about their beverages as their food. There’s an in-house sommelier, and a 100% Italian wine list, 200+ strong, along with 18-20 wines by the glass. Imported artisanal beers will be featured like the Italian brewery Menabrea’s “Ambrata” and “Bionda” lagers, while classic Italian cocktails will complete the beverage offerings.
The gorgeous light-filled upstairs dining room, from which diners can view the chef's rooftop garden, truly enhances the dining experience. (Photo by M. Edlow for GPTMC)
Painter says Il Pittore plans to offer a six-course chef’s pasta tasting menu starting next week, featuring five pasta courses and a dessert. They’ll also offer a rooftop menu, six courses or so, come summertime.
Also keep your eye out for future partnerships with local organizations like dance company Koresh, who’s hosted performance opening events with other restaurants around town.
2025 Sansom Street
Granite Hill At The Philadelphia Museum of Art To Host A Four-Course Harvest Dinner, Friday, November 11
Toast to fall in Philadelphia at the elegant Granite Hill restaurant, the perfect companion the Art Museum's luxurious holdings. (Photos courtesy Starr Events)
On Friday, November 11 at 5 p.m., indulge in a four-course dinner reflective of the fall harvest season.
Stephen Starr’s Granite Hill at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is hosting the special meal.
With a menu that includes cranberry-cured salmon and brown-butter hazelnut cake, you can enjoy an evening viewing the museum’s exhibits and then toasting to fall in Philadelphia. The meal will be paired with rustic wines from small farms.
Check out our coverage on current Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibits that you can explore in tandem with the dinner.
Call (215) 684-7990 to make a reservation.
Harvest Dinner at Granite Hill at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
When: Friday, November 11, 5 p.m.
Where: 2500 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
More info: www.philamuseum.org
Visit Philly Celebrates The Hoagie, Philadelphia’s Iconic Cold Sandwich, With The Great Hoagie Debate, A Chance To Win A Year’s Supply Of Hoagies, A Tailgate Takeover, The With Love Hoagie Invitational And More
Leading up to National Sandwich Day on November 3, we're celebrating Philadelphia's iconic cold sandwich: the hoagie. We've got polls, contests, Foodspotting guides, interactive hoagie maps, a With Love Hoagie Invitational and so much more. Bring your appetites; it's going to be delicious! Case in point: the amazing Italian hoagie from Sarcone's pictured above. (Photo by J. Varney for GPTMC)
There’s no hiding it or denying it: Philadelphia has great sandwiches.
And Philly’s sandwich prowess is led by the big three: there’s the nationally and internationally famous Philly Cheesesteak; there’s the amazingly delicious roast pork sandwich. And then there’s the authentic Philadelphia hoagie, a sandwich that we’re here to talk about today.
In honor of the approaching National Sandwich Day on November 3, Visit Philly is celebrating the hoagie with a series of special promotions and events to show our appreciation for Philadelphia’s quintessential cold sandwich.
Over the next week or so, hoagie lovers can help Philly show its appreciation for these delicious sandwiches in a number of ways. You can vote in the Great Philadelphia Hoagie Debate, enter to win a year’s supply of hoagies, enter to win a Tailgate Takeover at an Eagles game, attend the With Love Hoagie Invitational, explore some of the region’s best hoagies and hoagie shops via an interactive map and much more.
Here’s the complete rundown on the Visit Philly hoagie celebration:
Declared the “official sandwich of Philadelphia” by Mayor Ed Rendell in 1992 at Wawa Hoagie Day at City Hall, the hoagie is a built-to-order sandwich on a long Italian roll, typically filled with deli meat and cheese, garnished with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions and finished with a drizzle of oregano-vinegar dressing.
Authentic Philadelphia Hoagie Finder
The Philadelphia Hoagie Finder, a new permanent addition to Visit Philly, helps you locate the tastiest hoagies near you. You can also ad each location to your Foursquare list, or view it on Foodspotting via Visit Philly’s hoagie Foodspotting guide.
Once you’ve “spotted” the items in any of the 21 Visit Philly Foodspotting guides, you receive a customized Visit Philly badge for your Foodspotting profile.
The Great Philadelphia Hoagie Debate And Sweepstakes
Also (awesomeness alert right here) be sure to enter the Visit Philly Facebook contest, the Great Philadelphia Hoagie Debate, in order to be entered to win a year’s supply of hoagies from various iconic shops around the city. Just weigh in on which element of the hoagie you think is most essential: the bread, the meat, the cheese, the toppings or the dressing.
The Visit Philly hoagie celebration kicks off with a Tailgate Takeover this Sunday, October 30 from 2-6 p.m. prior to the Eagles vs. Cowboys game in the Wells Fargo parking lot.
Eagles fans can enter through CBS for a chance to upgrade their next tailgate catered by Primo Hoagies. Two winners will be chosen from the online contest, and the Primo Hoagies Patrol will also scout the parking lot in search of a third lucky group of tailgaters. Winners will receive hoagies, chips and all the fixings, along with an invitation to hang out in the well stocked With Love RV. You can enter right here.
With Love Hoagie Contest And Invitational
Plus (another awesomeness alert), Primo’s teamed up with our parent organization, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, and Philly.com/food to hold a competition for the new ‘With Love’ Hoagie. The recipe contest is closed, but you’ll be able to vote for your favorite at the upcoming Hoagie Invitational. The invitational takes place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday, November 3 in the Rotunda at The Shops at Liberty Place.
It’s a one-time competition in which five amateur hoagie makers attempt to create the official With Love Hoagie. Hoagie lovers and a panel of judges consisting of Philadelphia notables will taste test and vote for their favorite sandwich. The winning sandwich maker will receive an overnight stay in Philadelphia, Eagles tickets and name recognition at the 70 Primo Hoagies shops in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland that will carry the With Love Hoagie!
Philadelphia’s food has been garnering more and more national attention, so it’s only fitting that we celebrate one of our most iconic sandwiches with an extended celebration.
Now who’s hungry?
Chef Eric Ripert To Offer A Five-Course Tasting Menu From His New York Restaurant Le Bernardin At 10 Arts, November 1-5; Last Chance To Enter Our Ripert & Bourdain Giveaway
For just five nights, Chef Eric Ripert will offer a special “Taste of Le Bernardin” menu at his 10 Arts Bistro & Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton.
From November 1-5, guests can savor a five-course tasting menu from Chef Ripert’s acclaimed New York City restaurant, Le Bernardin.
The eatery holds three stars from the Michelin Guide; a four-star review from The New York Times; and a “29” food rating from the 2012 Zagat Guide, the highest of any restaurant in the city.
A Le Bernardin-inspired pairing will also be available in 10 Arts’ Lounge: Juniper Cured Gravlax with a signature Gin Martini.
Chef Ripert’s five-course menu will also include one of Pastry Chef Monica Glass’ delectable deserts:
• Fluke: Progressive Tasting of Marinated Fluke; From Simple to Complex
• Bacalao: Grilled Salted Cod; Hearts of Baby Romaine, “Caesar Vinaigrette”
• Salmon: Barely Cooked Salmon; Wasabi-Bean Purée, Yuzu Emulsion
• Striped Bass: Sautéed Striped Bass; Pickled Cucumbers, Black Garlic-Persian Lime Sauce
• Mont Blanc: Roasted Chestnut Cream, Meringue, Pear
The menu is $95 per person and $140 per person with wine pairings. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (215) 523-8273.
Throughout the evening of Tuesday, November 1, the launch night of the menu, guests will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with Chef Ripert himself. And don’t forget you have until today, Friday, October 28, at 5 p.m. to enter our Ripert-centric giveaway: you could win two tickets to see Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert share an evening of provocative storytelling November 2, 7:30 p.m. at the Merriam Theater PLUS a $100 gift card to 10 Arts!
10 Arts’ “Taste of Le Bernardin” menu
When: November 1-5, between 5:30–10 p.m
Where: 10 Avenue of the Arts
Cost: $95 per person, $140 per person with wine pairings
More info: www.10arts.com
Tinto To Honor Spains Espelette Pepper Festival With A Special 10-Dish, Pepper-Centric Basque Dinner, Thursday, October 27
Jose Garces Tinto gets even spicier with a special dinner celebrating Spains Espelette Pepper Festival.
On Thursday, October 27, join Spaniards across the ocean in the picturesque Basque town of Espelette in celebrating the harvest of their famed piment dEspelette.
For $70 per person, guests will enjoy 10 dishes of Basque cuisine showcasing the Espelette pepper.
Highlights include House-Cured Chorizo with espelette and garlic; and Gambas a la Plantxa, shrimp, chorizo, sherry espelette glaze and lemon aioli. An optional wine pairing will also be available for an additional $30 per person.
Call (215) 665-9150 for reservations.
The full menu is included below.
Tintos Espelette Pepper Dinner
When: Thursday, October 27
Where: 114 S. 20th Street
More info: www.tintorestaurant.com
The Fountain At The Four Seasons Continues Its Monday Night Chef Series With Porkology 101, A Three-Course Pork-Centric Dinner, October 24
The Four Seasons Philadelphias Fountain Restaurant continues its popular Monday Night Chef Series this Monday, October 24 with the whole hog.
That is, the dinner is all about the pig. Its called Porkology 101, and Executive Chef Rafael Gonzalez will serve up a versatile three-course menu influenced by his world travels and experiences working in restaurants around the globe.
The first course includes braised pork belly with compressed melon; house-made pate with a selection of mustards; classic clam chowder; red wine braised BLT; Frise salad with poached egg and Guanicale and Spanish Croquettes with Romesco sauce.
Guests will also enjoy a choice of glazed cider duroc pork chop with Anson Mills grits and matsutake mushrooms OR seared candied cod with chorizo, Long Island cheese pumpkins and sherry vinaigrette. Its as delicious as it sounds.
For dessert, enjoy Autumn Apple galette with brown butter and candied bacon ice cream.
For reservations, call (215) 963-1500.
Monday Night Chef Series Dinners at the Fountain: Porkology 101
When: Monday, October 24, 7 p.m.
Where: Four Seasons Philadelphia, 1 Logan Square
More info: www.fourseasons.com
Now Open On The Avenue Of The Arts: Top Chef Season Seven Winner Kevin Sbragas New American Restaurant Sbraga
Top Chef Kevin Sbraga, one-time Director of Culinary Development for Jose Garces, is proving his culinary mettle with his latest project, a self-titled restaurant on the Avenue of the Arts. (Photos by Jason Varney courtesy Sbraga)
Kevin Sbraga, the highly touted local chef and winner of Bravos Top Chef: Season Seven, opened his first solo restaurant in Philadelphia this weekend.
Sbraga is proudly situated on Philadelphias lively Avenue of the Arts, a great match for the chefs modern American cuisine. The place will be open Monday through Thursday from 5-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.
Heres a rundown of what to expect:
The 65-seat dining room features a $45, four-course prix fixe menu of Chef Sbragas artful dishes (you get to choose from a wealth of options for each course), including a selection of desserts made by his talented wife, Pastry Chef Jesmary Sbraga.
Some opening menu items include: Eggplant Terrine with black garlic and jalapeno; Foie Gras Soup; Arctic Char with barnaise sauce and celery root; Chicken with Brussels sprouts and candied sweet potatoes; Lamb with broccoli and sesame granola; Mascarpone Mousse with coffee granita; and Apples with caramel and mille-feuille.
Want to enjoy the menu a la carte? Just seat yourself at the restaurants bar. A chefs tasting ranging from eight to ten courses will also be available for an even broader experience.
Philadelphia-based design firm AP3C Architects used reclaimed Douglas fir wood slats from an abandoned textile mill in Fishtown to panel the restaurant walls. Edison-style antique lighting gives the space the appeal of a street-side cafe, the perfect vibe for one of the citys most trafficked streets.
The Green Factor
80% of the restaurants design materials are repurposed, making Sbraga one of the citys greenest new dining rooms. And as Chef Sbraga told Grubstreet Philadelphia, in addition to the reclaimed wood, the design team reused almost every piece of marble left behind by former restaurant tenant Chu Man Chew.
The Philly Connection
Before his season-winning stint on Top Chef, Burlington County, New Jersey native Sbraga created menus for Stephen Starr (Washington Square, Rats Restaurant at the Grounds for Sculpture) and Jose Garces (Tinto, Chifa, Distrito), plus the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. He also won acclaim at La Mas Perrier, the Main Line restaurant of Chef Georges Perrier.
Were so glad hes here to stay. Call (215) 735-1913 for reservations.
440 S. Broad Street
Super Popular Brunch Spot Sabrinas Cafe Has Opened A Third Location, On Powelton Avenue In West Philly, Complete With A Soon-To-Open Spencers TA Burger Annex
Sabrinas Cafe @ Powelton is located on the Drexel campus inside a beautiful old Victorian manor, complete with porch seating, the same epic French toast and an awesome new burger shop set to open this fall. (Photo courtesy Sabrina's)
It wouldnt be exaggerating to call Sabrinas Cafe a cult favorite among Philadelphia brunchers.
Now the popular spot has opened a third outpost, this one in West Philly on the Drexel campus, at 34th & Powelton.
Sabrinas Cafe @ Powelton is on the first floor of Ross commons in a beautiful old Victorian manor. Its the perfect location for hungry college students, and the ample seating will surely be put to good use. Theres also a half-wraparound enclosed porch with brightly lit seating, lovely on a crisp fall afternoon.
The menu is the same (read: famous stuffed French toast), but this location, unlike the other two in South Philly and Fairmount, is not BYOB.
Spencers Burger (the Greek letters read as Eat A), located inside the same building adjacent to Sabrinas, will open November 14 and will serve up burgers, hot dogs and shakes. Theyll have four or five featured burgers that will change every month.
Insider intel: one of these burgers may be an Italian-themed taste called Get Up On That, but other than that, the menu is still up in the air. Spencers will be open late on the weekends, the perfect late-night comfort food fix.
Your weekends just got even sweeter.
Sabrinas Cafe @ Powelton
34th & Powelton Avenue
Le Bec-Fin To Host Chef Han Chiang Of Han Dynasty For A Seven-Course Franco-Szechuan Dinner, Monday, October 24
Celebrated Han Dynasty chef Han Chiang will take over the Le Bec-Fin kitchen for one night, Monday, October 24 to serve a special seven-course dinner.
Some courses on the Franco-Szechuan menu will be served family style and some as plated dishes. There are two seatings: 5:30-6:15 p.m. and 8:30-9:15 p.m.
Le Bec-Fin is BYOB on Mondays but you can also choose to have the sommelier select wine pairings with each course, for $40.
Executive Chef Nicholas Elmi said that the kitchen at Le Bec-Fin is prepared for the fiery curmudgeon.
Tea Smoked Duck Brochette, XO Honey, Pumpkin Butter
Snail Sticky Buns
Pork Belly with Black Bean, Hot Pepper and Chili Oil, Pickled Cucumber
Dry Pepper Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Eddies Kung Pao Chicken
Crispy Sweetbreads in Garlic Sauce
Apple Wasabi Sorbet, Black Sesame Tuile
Call (215) 567-1000 for reservations.
Chef Han Chiang at Le Bec-Fin
Where: 1523 Walnut Street
When: Monday, October 24, 5:30 or 8:30 p.m. seatings
More info: www.lebecfin.com
Square 1682 To Host The 2nd Annual Cheesesteak Challenge Block Party, October 16; Top Chefs To Square Off For Charity
To mark its second anniversary, Square 1682 at the Hotel Palomar will host the Cheesesteak Challenge: High Steaks (get it?) block party on Sunday, October 16 from 35 p.m. benefiting Philadelphia Academies.
To pay homage to one of Philadelphias signature sandwiches, top local chefs will share their own renditions. The winner will receive a Cheesesteak Challenge trophy, plus bragging rights for the year.
Participating chefs include: Chef Guillermo Tellez, Square 1682; Chef Peter Woolsey, Bistro La Minette; Chef Mike Stollenwerk, Fish; Chef Daniel Stern, R2L; Chef Marcie Turney, Barbuzzos; Chef Townsend Wentz, McCrossens Tavern; Chef Konstantinos Pitsillides, Kanella; Chef Nick Farina, Verdad; David Boyle, Davios; Brian Turowski, Jackson 20 (Alexandria, VA) and Lynn Rinaldi, Paradiso.
Sandwiches will be judged by a panel of experts, including WMMRs Matt Cord, City Halls Melanie Johnson, Thrillist Editor Nick Hamner, GPTMC President Meryl Levitz and cheesesteak expert Frank Oliveri Jr. (of Pats King of Steaks).
For an admission fee of $20, 100% of which will benefit The Philadelphia Academies (a charity dedicated to Philly public school students), 300 guests can watch the chefs compete and sample their cheesesteaks. Beer will also be on sale from Victory.
Tickets are available online. Let the chow-down begin.
Square 1682s Cheesesteak Challenge: High Steaks
When: Sunday, October 16, 35 p.m. (rain or shine)
Where: Block party on Sansom Street between 16th & 17th Streets
Cost: $20 (includes samples of all cheesesteaks)
More info: www.square1682.com
Federal Donuts, A Donuts And Fried Chicken Shop In South Philly From Chef Michael Solomonov, Set To Open Monday, October 17
Federal Donuts, the much-anticipated donuts-and-fried-chicken shop from Steven Cook, Michael Solomonov, BODHi Coffee owners Thomas Henneman and Bob Logue, and local food-and-drink expert Felicia DAmbrosio, made a recent appearance at FEASTIVAL 2011, but now its set to officially open.
Federal Donuts, a mostly take-out, donuts-and-fried-chicken shop serving coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner, will open up shop in South Philly this Monday, October 17.
Donuts will be offered Sugared ($1.25), freshly fried and rolled in a custom seasoned sugar blends, like Chile-Lime and Vanilla-Lavender; and Filled ($2), prepped several times throughout the day for freshness and stuffed with flavored custards, then topped with yummy glazes, such as Coconut-Pineapple and Nutella-Tehina-Pomegranate.
Want coffee with your donuts? You can pick up custom-blend Federal Donuts beans, available by the cup and as wholesale.
Federal Donuts will also serve their chicken two ways: glazed with flavors such as Chile-Garlic and Honey-Ginger; and classic crunchy fried chicken dusted with seasoned salts like Zaatar and Buttermilk Ranch.
You know where to be on Monday morning.
1219 S. Second Street
Were officially in prime oyster season, and Fork Restaurant in Old City is fittingly highlighting the shellfish for the latest edition of its Sustainability Dinner Series.
On Thursday, October 14, Fork will host a four-course oyster-themed dinner featuring East Coast, sustainably-farmed varieties.
The menu includes Oyster Tartare with Serrano chilies; Chesapeake Oyster Stew; and Wild Striped Bass en Crepinette with oyster stuffing, which is one of Chef Terence Feurys signature dishes.
The dinner is $55 per person, with an optional $25 wine pairing.
Last fall, Fork made the admirable commitment to serve solely sustainable seafood. Reap the fresh benefits at this special dining event. To make a reservation, call (215) 625-9425.
Forks Sustainable Oyster Dinner
When: Thursday, October 13, seatings from 5:30-10:30 p.m.
Where: 306 Market Street
Cost: $55 per person, with an optional $25 wine pairing
More info: www.forkrestaurant.com
he November schedule at COOK is a serious lineup of the cream of the crop of Phillys food and drink scene. You get a front-row view of master chefs working their craft, plus hands-on lessons so you can replicate their work at home. (Photos courtesy COOK)
COOK, the state-of-the-art kitchen-classroom from Audrey Claire Taichman, owner of Audrey Claire and Twenty Manning Grill, has officially announced its November class schedule.
From a Thanksgiving Feast with Supper Chef Mitch Prensky (November 8) to Classic French Cuisine with Pierre Calmels of Bibou (November 14), the classes run the gamut of every conceivable cuisine and style.
Classes sell out super quickly, so take a look at the offerings and make reservations A.S.A.P. Insider tip: also be sure to keep up with COOKs Facebook page for updates on last-minute discounts and available seats.
A few November COOK class highlights:
Gone Fishin with Terence Feury of Fork: Tuesday, November 1, 7 p.m. Forks Terence Feury, 2010s Best of Philly winner for Best Chef, will kick off November with a special class for seafood-lovers. Hell demonstrate a handful of sustainable dishes you can prepare at home.
Chocolate 101 with Christopher Curtin of clat Chocolate: Thursday, November 10, 7 p.m. From Food & Wine to Vogue to Best of Phill 2010, Christopher Curtins award-winning chocolates and truffles have been getting lots of attention. Chris will talk about the raw ingredients of chocolate and the manufacturing process while teaching how to make ganache. Chris will also be bringing and the extremely rare Pure Nacional chocolate, thought to have been extinct for the past 100 years. Dinner will be served at this class.
Festivus for the Rest of Us with David Katz of Meme: Monday, November 21, 7 p.m. Join Chef Katz for a creative version of a holiday feast. As an alternative to the usual Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham, Chef Katz will roast a leg of lamb and a rack of pork, plus give you inspiration for some more unusual side dishes.
Oink! Oink! A Head to Tail Dinner with Jon Cichon of Lacroix: Tuesday, November 22, 7 p.m. Lacroixs Executive Restaurant Chef since 2010, Chef Cichon will prepare a head-to-tail pig feast. Hell talk about the different parts of the pig and how they can be used to minimize waste while creating a delicious multi-course menu.
Spaghetti Bolognese with Georges Perrier of Le Bec-Fin: Tuesday, November 29, 7 p.m. French master Le Bec-Fin chef Georges Perrier is also a genius when it comes to Italian cooking. Hell be demonstrating how to make his homemade Spaghetti Bolognese for 16 lucky guests. And then you get to eat it.
Check out the rest of the full lineup below, and read descriptions of each online.
Rittenhouse & 20th Streets
Tues 11/1, 7 p.m.: Gone Fishin with Terence Feury of Fork
Thurs 11/3, 7 p.m.: I Heart Mushrooms with Gianluca Demontis of Melograno
Sun 11/6, 3 p.m.: Foobooz Presents: Holiday Baking with Norrinda Brown of Brown Betty Dessert Boutique
Mon 11/7, 7 p.m.: Contemporary Comfort Food with Nicholas Elmi of Le Bec-Fin Hosted by Michael Klein
Tues 11/8, 7 p.m.: A Thanksgiving Feast with Mitch Prensky of Supper
Thurs 11/10, 7 p.m.: Chocolate 101 with Christopher Curtin of clat Chocolate
Fri 11/11, 7 p.m.: Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams with Kyle Bernstein of Petrossian
Sun 11/13, 5 p.m.: Brining and Curing Holiday Meats with Chris Allen of Lotus Farm to Table
Mon 11/14, 7 p.m.: Classic French Cuisine with Pierre Calmels of Bibou
Tues 11/15, 7 p.m.: Artisan Cheese Making with Patrick Feury of Nectar
Wed 11/16, 7 p.m.: Sumptuous Seitan Dishes with Michael Cassady of Michaels Savory Seitan
Thurs 11/17, 7 p.m.: Seasonal Fall Fast, Fresh and Simple Dinner with Hope Cohen of TCNs Fast, Fresh and Simple
Fri 11/18, 7 p.m. Foobooz Presents: Mas Tacos with Tom McCusker of Honest Toms Tacos
Sat 11/19, 1 p.m.: Cooking with Tea Featuring Alexis Siemons of Teaspoons & Petals
Sun 11/20, 1 p.m.: A Traditional Italian Sunday Supper with Sal Vetri
Mon 11/21, 7 p.m.: Festivus for the Rest of Us with David Katz of Meme
Tues 11/22, 7 p.m.: Oink! Oink! A Head to Tail Dinner with Jon Cichon of Lacroix
Fri 11/25, 7 p.m.: A French Classic: Beef Bourguignon with Peter Woolsey of Bistrot La Minette
Mon 11/28, 7 p.m.: Philadelphia Magazine and Foobooz Present: Holiday Cocktails with Jillian Encarnacion and Resa Mueller of Twenty Manning Grill
Tues 11/29, 7 p.m.: Spaghetti Bolognese with Georges Perrier of Le Bec-Fin
Philadelphia To Celebrate The First-Ever National Food Day With Two Weeks Of Food Festivals, Specials, Markets And More, October 15-29
National Food Day is October 24, spearheaded by the Center for Food Science in the Public Interest as a campaign to educate Americans about consuming affordable, healthy food thats humanely produced.
And because Philadelphia has such a strong food community, the city is celebrating for two whole weeks! More than 50 Philadelphia area organizations are observing National Food Day from October 15-29.
Philadelphia Food Day festivities include educational and family friendly events, farmers markets, dining specials, food and drink festivals and much more.
During the celebration, Philadelphians are encouraged to delight in the advent of autumn by indulging in fresh and sustainable local eats, learning how to prepare healthier meals, connecting with local food resources and/or volunteering with local emergency food providers.
Check out the Food Day calendar on the Philly Homegrown website for full event listings.
Make every day Food Day in Philadelphia!
Philadelphia Food Day Celebrations
When: October 15-29
Where: Locations vary
Cost: Mostly free
More info: www.food.visitphilly.com
Main Line Restaurant Week Kicks Off, With 26 Restaurants Offering $20, $30 Or $40 Prix-Fixe Menus
Tonight, Main Line Restaurant Week kicks off seven days of awesome prix-fixe specials at 26 restaurants across the Main Line and Philadelphias western suburbs.
Menus will feature discounted, three-course dinners (appetizer, entre and dessert) priced at $20, $30, or $40 per person. New this fall, Main Line Restaurant Week will also offer additional gluten-free menus from select restaurants.
Dig In and Win is your chance to share your dining experiences with other local foodies and win a $25, $50 or $100 gift certificate to a participating restaurant. To enter, dine out, take a picture of your meal and upload the image and a caption to Main Line Restaurant Weeks Facebook page during Restaurant Week. Gift certificates will be awarded to the best entries during the period.
Main Line Restaurant Week is the Philadelphia suburbs largest dining event. Check out the full list of participating restaurants so you can decide where to make reservations.
Main Line Restaurant Week
When: September 26-October 2
Where: 26 restaurants on the Main Line
Cost: $20, $30 or $40
More info: www.mainlinerestaurantweek.com
Roundup: Our Top Picks For Rosh Hashanah Menus At Restaurants In Philadelphia
Restaurants around Philadelphia are celebrating the first Jewish High Holiday of 2011 in high spirits, with special prix-fixe menus complementing their already delicious standard offerings. Our top picks are below.
LShana Tova 5772!
Zahav: From September 26 to October 2, Chef Michael Solomonov will be dishing up a delicious five-course Rosh Hashanah menu, $45 per person. On the menu: Salatim and Hummus with house-baked challah; Matzoh Ball Soup yemenite style; Griddled Honey Cake with foie gras and apple; Coffee-Braised Brisket with turnips, chestnuts and pumpkin-saffron rice; and Honey Malabi with pomegranate syrup and apple sorbet.
Supper: On September 28 and 29, you can feast on Chef Mitch Prensks five-course Rosh Hashanah-specific menu, $52 per person. Each course has multiple options, and everything is sourced from local farms for the ultimate fresh factor. Kugel of Egg Noodles with Linvilla Orchard Peaches? House-Baked Macaroons? yes, please.
London Grill: On September 28 and 29, dine on three courses plus apples and honey for $35 per person, featuring the best of Newish-Jewish Cuisine. Sample menu items include Sweet Noodle Kugel, Matzoh Ball Soup, Sweet and Sour Brisket, Budapest Coffee Cake and Honey Cake. Fine Israeli wines are available as well as, new to Philadelphia, Crispin Cider, a premium natural hard apple cider.
Delicatessen: Chef Michael Spector will prepare a special Rosh Hashanah menu September 29 and 30. Dishes include: Matzo Ball Soup, Butternut Squash Soup with Apples & Pomegranate, Slow Cooked Savory Brisket, Apricot Chicken with Honey & Thyme, Challah Stuffing with Figs & Pecans, Tsimmes with Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, & Carrots, Braised Red Cabbage & Apples and Noodle Kugel with Figs, Apricots & Honey. They ask that you order up to 48 hours in advance.
1518 Bar & Grill: Choose from either a three-course ($19.50) or four-course menu ($25). For the former, you get either pork and lamb meatballs or hummus with pita and olives; mushroom risotto with grilled chicken or rib-eye steak with roasted potato and vegetables; and for dessert, flourless chocolate cake or New York cheesecake. For the four-course option, you start with soup (minestrone) and salad (choose from three: roasted beet with orange and goat cheese; grilled romaine with black peppercorn and parmesan dressing; or traditional Greek salad), followed by grilled salmon or tilapia and the same dessert choices. Theyre both available over the next few weeks; just be sure to call 48 hours before.
River Wards Restaurant Week Returns October 2-8 With Special Deals And Prix-Fixe Menus In Kensington, Fishtown And Port Richmond
River Wards Restaurant Week 2011 kicks off this Sunday, October 2 and lasts through Saturday, October 8.
Its a great opportunity to sample some of the delicious cuisine in Kensington, Fishtown and Port Richmond at a special price. Last year was a success with eight major eateries participating, and this years has expanded even more.
The goal of the event is to encourage people to try foods for the first time, like Pho or roasted duck, and also hype old favorites in the neighborhood, which has been growing increasingly into a culinary hotbed.
This years River Wards Restaurant & Cafe Week has a few new participants, some new, some well established favorites. Think Frankford Hall, Johnny Brendas, Byrnes Tavern, New Wave Cafe and more.
River Wards Restaurant Week
When: October 2-8
Where: Restaurants in Kensington, Fishtown and Port Richmond
Cost: Deals range from $5-$30
More info: www.riverwardrestaurants.wordpress.com
Save The Date: Night Market #4, The Roving Outdoor Food Bazaar, Heading To Chinatown Thursday, October 6; To Feature The Public Debut Of Questlove Fried Chicken
The Night Markets just keep getting better and better; the most recent Night Market installment took place in Mt. Airy in August and it was amazing. (Photos by R. Kennedy for GPTMC)
This is something you wont want to miss: the next Night Market, the super popular roving outdoor evening food bazaar, is destined for Chinatown, Thursday, October 6 from 7-11 p.m.
One of Philadelphias most vibrant and eclectic culinary hotbeds is getting much-deserved limelight for the fourth installment of the Night Market series that began on East Passunk in South Philly back in October 2010 and continued to increased acclaim in University City and Mt. Airy.
This edition will feature food trucks youve never seen before and Asian foods youve never tasted before, plus live music, lion dancing and Asian arts.
Quest Loves Food
AND it will feature the public debut of Questloves food project, titled Quest Loves Food. For this edition of the Night Market, Questlove is partnering with Philly Homegrown to debut his signature dish, The ? Drumstick a gourmet piece of fried chicken (the drumstick naturally), made with locally sourced Lancaster County chicken and bursting with Creole flavoring.
Since the dish will no longer be debuting at this weekends Popped! Festival, Night Market attendees will be some of the first in the world with the opportunity to saver Questloves take on fried chicken. Proceeds from The ? Drumstick will benefit The Food Trust.
And be sure to look out for the Philly Homegrown photo booth where you can strike a pose with your favorite local food props.
Check out all our previous coverage on the Night Markets here, and stay tuned for more details.
Night Market #4: Chinatown
When: Thursday, October 6, 7-11 p.m.
Where: 10th and Race Streets
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.nightmarketphilly.org
Krispy Kreme Supplementing Center City Restaurant Week With A Dessert Deal: Buy Six Donuts, Get Six Free With A Restaurant Week Receipt
In honor of Center City Restaurant Week, going on now through Friday, September 23, the Center City location of Krispy Kreme is getting in on the dining deals with an even sweeter supplement.
Just bring in your Restaurant Week receipt to get six original glazed donuts free when you buy six.
For those that are participating in Restaurant Week, you can get a delicious treat as a second dessert, or else to start your morning off right the next day. Receipts are valid one week after purchase date.
Click here for a list of all the restaurants participating in Restaurant Week so you can plan out the most direct walking route from dinner to dessert.
Krispy Kreme: Center City
16th & Chestnut Streets
Summer Streets Alert: Rittenhouse Square To Annex 18th Street One More Time This Saturday, September 17, With A Giant Outdoor Cafe To Complement The Rittenhouse Fine Art Show
Don't miss your last chance this summer to enjoy 18th Street as a giant outdoor cafe, off limits to vehicular traffic, this Saturday, September 17, as Rittenhouse Square hosts its biannual Fine Arts Show. (Clockwise from top: K. Ciappa for GPTMC, courtesy Parc, E. Mencher for GPTMC, B. Krist for GPTMC)
Were really into this weather. The sun is shining, theres a cool breeze: the perfect setting for an outdoor bite.
Luckily, come this Saturday, the Friends of Rittenhouse Square will once again annex a block of 18th Street for the entire day. The Locust-to-Walnut block will be shut down to vehicular traffic, making room for Rouge, Parc and Devon to expand their already awesome outdoor seating into the street, creating a massive outdoor cafe.
The restos will be serving their delicious regular menus, which include plenty of awesome bites with drinks that go down easy for a great Saturday afternoon respite. Bonus: a portion of the proceeds from the days sales will go directly toward the upkeep and maintenance of Rittenhouse Square.
Plus, the expanded Rittenhouse Farmers Market will be in full swing along Walnut Street and a section of 18th, from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Pick up fresh produce, baked goods, dairy, fresh-cut flowers, chocolate and more.
But thats not all: the biannual Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show will have set up shop this weekend from Friday through Sunday exhibiting the diverse creations of more than 140 professional and student artists, both local and otherwise. The event, which has the long-running distinction of being the nations oldest outdoor original artwork show, is a great source for one-of-a-kind pieces to bedeck your Philadelphia home or help you remember your trip here.
Its all going down this gorgeous Saturday. This is going to be another great day for Rittenhouse Square, one of the citys most popular parks. See everyone there!
Rittenhouse Square Blockbuster Saturday
When: Saturday, September 17, 18th street block party from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., farmers market from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., art show from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: 18th Street between Locust and Walnut Streets
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.friendsofrittenhouse.org
University City Districts popular Sustainable Saturdays series concludes this weekend, September 17, with a Preserving The Harvest-themed event.
A few highlights from the days schedule, below:
A Sneak Peek at Mariposa Food Co-op: Noon-2 p.m., 4824 Baltimore Avenue. Get an inside look at the new co-op during renovations. Mariposa has been providing its members access to locally-grown, sustainably-produced food for 40 years. In late fall Mariposa will open a new store, five times the size of its current location. Enjoy a tour of the space and seasonal refreshments like local bread, cheeses, salsa, sauerkraut, apple cider and more.
The West Philadelphia Homebrewing Competition: 1 p.m., Dock Street Brewery, 50th & Baltimore Avenue. Celebrate the ultimate in drinking local. West Philadelphia-based homebrewers will showcase their amazing talents as you experience great beer emerging from the basements, kitchens and garages of Philly locals. For $7 youll get to taste this incredible selection of beers and vote for your favorites. Tickets are limited; get them online!
Apple Cider Tour & Tasting: 2-3:30 p.m. at Bartrams Garden, 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard. Tour the historic garden in its autumnal splendor, then try your hand at pressing your own batch of cider made from fresh local apples. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 students/seniors. RSVP online or call (215) 729-5281 ext. 112.
Philly Homegrown West Philadelphia Farm-to-Table Trolley Tour featuring JG Domestic: 4-8 p.m. at JG Domestic, 2929 Arch Street (at the Cira Centre). The tour will make visits to Walnut Hill Community Farm, Farm 51, Woodlands Community Garden and the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative Garden. Experience the world of urban farming and beekeeping, taste fresh foods grown in the neighborhood and hear directly from local farmers about what makes West Philadelphia so unique. The tour will end at Jose Garces JG Domestic featuring a dinner using regional ingredients. Tickets are $50: reserve your spot online.
Check out the full schedule online.
University City Districts Sustainable Saturday Series Concludes September 17 With A Day Of Canning, Homebrewing, Cider Tasting And More
When: Saturday, September 17, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: University City, various locations
Cost: Free, unless otherwise specified
More Info: www.universitycity.org
Media, PA Closes Down State Street For Dining Under The Stars Every Wednesday In September
While Philadelphia has infinite outdoor dining options, sometimes its nice to get out of the city for a relaxing al fresco bite.
Every Wednesday night, throughout the rest of September, State Street in Media is the place to be for dining under the stars.
Each week from 5:10 p.m., Medias strip of shops and restaurants closes down for traffic and opens up for al fresco dining on State Street from Jackson to Orange. There are no cars, no bicycles and no scooters allowed, but dogs on the leash are welcome to come along.
Dining under the Stars is great for groups, great for kids, and, incidentally, was named Best of the Main Line, Al Fresco Event by Main Line Today.
There is live music at the Plum Street Mall, hosted by Seven Stones Cafe, and over a dozen different restaurants participating in the seasonal event. Reservations are nice, but not required and with so many places to choose from, walk-ins are definitely welcome.
Stroll, shop and dine beneath the late summer skies: youve got three chances left.
Dining Under the Stars in Media
When: Wednesdays in September, 5:10 p.m.
Where: State Street from Jackson to Orange, Media
More info: www.visitmediapa.com/diningunderthestars
Shady Brook Farm To Host Its Annual Apple Festival September 17-18: Hayrides, Pick-Your-Own, Delicious Treats And More
Take a bite out of fall with one of the season's most enjoyable harvest festivals. (Photos courtesy Shady Brook Farm)
Start fall off the right way with Shady Brook Farms Apple Festival weekend, two days of apple picking, delicious treats, and fun fall activities next weekend, September 17-18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The weekend features hayrides, apple picking, and delicious homemade apple treats such as mouth-watering candy apples, all from Shady Brooks own farm. Once youve picked your apples, enjoy the other perks of this free fall treat: inflatables, face painting, crafters and vendors.
And anytime through September, you can hop on a tractor-led hayride through the sprawling farms famous apple orchards, where you can pick as you please fresh apples at 99 cents a pound. Also featured is a farmers market with produce, milk, cheeses and other scrumptious eats, as well as bakery goods and homemade ice cream.
Just because summer has ended, doesnt mean we have to say goodbye to fun weekends jam-packed with activities. As fall rolls in, welcome it the right way; and whats better than starting it off with the Shady Brook Farm Apple Festival Weekend?
Shady Brook Farm Apple Festival Weekend
Where: Shady Brook Farm, 931 Stony Hill Road, Yardley
When: Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, 11 a.m.4 p.m.
More info: www.shadybrookfarm.com
In conjunction with this fall's Restaurant Week, Center City District has released a special digital cookbook with 20 recipes from Garces Trading Company, R2L, Le Bec-Fin, Porcini, El Vez and other Center City restaurants. (Photos courtesy Center City District)
Its here! Center City District Restaurant Week presented by TD Bank kicks off today, running through Friday, September 16 and picking up again September 18-23.
Not only will you find three-course dinners for just $35 in 119 restaurants and three-course lunches for just $20 in more than 100 local eateries, but the event has a local, green twist as well. In partnership with Philly Homegrown, Center City District is promoting locally grown food by having every single participating restaurant feature a local dish.
Youll recognize the local dish on each menu thanks to a special local food tractor icon. (See example menu with the Tractor icon below.)
In addition, starting today Center City District will choose some of your treasured dishes from your favorite restaurants and compile the recipes in a brand new online cookbook, Center City Cooks. Online youll find more than a dozen seasonal recipes and other useful cooking information.
Plus, were giving away two restaurant gift certificates: one for $100 to Stephen Starrs The Dandelion and one for $100 to Ellen Yins Fork. (Note: the gift cards dont need to be redeemed during Restaurant Week.) CLICK HERE to enter.
And click here for a full list of participating restaurants and preview their menus for Center City Restaurant Week. Note that the Philadelphia Parking Association and Philadelphia Parking Authority will offer discounted $9 (or less) parking at dozens of lots and garages all over Center City.
Dont miss all the fun, excitement and fresh flavors of Center City District Restaurant Week.
Center City District Restaurant Week
When: September 12-16 and September 18-23
Where: Center City District
Cost: $35 for dinner, $20 for lunch
More info: www.centercityphila.org/restaurantweek
Stephen Starrs Pizzeria Stella Is Hosting An Encore Pizza Week September 12-16, Featuring A $25 Customizable Prix-Fixe Menu
Once again, in lieu of participating in Restaurant Week, Pizzeria Stella will host Pizza Week September 12-16.
For just $25 per person (not including tax and gratuity), you pick your own customized spread from the menu.
You get: choice of antipasti or salad + choice of any pizza + choice of gelato (current flavors: Stracciatella, Hazelnut, Blackberry, Espresso and Peach).
With nine antipasti, four salads and thirteen signature wood-fired pizzas (cooked in a visible custom built oven that can reach temperatures greater than 800 degrees!) to choose from, you just might have to make a return trip.
The deal is available for both lunch and dinner.
Interested details on the official Center City District Restaurant Week? Click here.
Pizza Week at Pizzeria Stella
When: September 12-16
Where: 2nd and Lombard Streets
More info: www.pizzeriastella.net
Marc Vetri To Release A New Cookbook, Rustic Italian Food, November 1: Catch Him At The Free Library, November 22
Chef Marc Vetri is getting ready to release his next cookbook: Rustic Italian Food, available beginning November 1.
Its a thorough primer on all things Italian food, with detailed, step-by-step instructions for making terrines, dry-cured salami, cooked sausage, bread, pasta and classic Italian preserves and sauces.
As Bobby Flay says of the book, Marc Vetri cooks the best Italian food in America. Now he shares his secrets with all of us. Get ready for gutsy flavors, silky pasta dishes, and your friends and family running to the table for meal after meal.
Vetris previous book, II Viaggio Di Vetri: A Culinary Journey, while acclaimed, was more of a memoir-style text, whereas Rustic Italian Food will be a straight-up cookbook.
You can catch Vetri talking about the book, live, for FREE at the Free Library on November 22 at 7:30 p.m.
You can pre-order the book online.
With great pride and anticipation, we are pleased to announce the Fourth Annual RiverCity Festival presented by the Fishtown Neighbors Association on Saturday October 1st, 2011 at historic Penn Treaty Park. The RiverCity Festival reinforces friendships in our community, promotes exciting local businesses, and showcases everything that makes Fishtown stand out as a neighborhood with tremendous history and vibrancy. We also invite you and your employees to email, friend and tweet the RiverCity Festival, so all of our friends and family know that fun is to be had in Fishtown at the RiverCity Festival.
Come sample some of the great cuisine that the Fishtown area provides every day! September will being the debut of Bubba's BBQ to Girard Avenue, and Bubba himself will bring his 20 foot smoker filled with BBQ Brisket and Ribs to the Festival. Perennial favorite Hinge Cafe of Port Richmond will have their heavenly pulled pork some vegan dishes and sides to satisfy everyone! Local favorite, Mandi's Deli will bring their homemade pork sausage with fennel served any way you like. Desserts by Johnny Brenda's will satisfy your sweet tooth and we'll have some Ice Cream offerings as well!
Your donation of only $20 towards a membership in the Fishtown Neighbors Association grants you entry and a bottomless cup at the debut of the FNA hospitality tent. Like you'll find at Octoberfest, there will be great brews on tap and places to sit, so you can drink while enjoying your food. Our own Philadelphia Brewing Company and Brooklyn's SixPoint Brewery are hooking us up with some great craft beer varieties. Make your donation to earn your wristbands now!