Inqlings: Di Bruno's sets up in the 'burbs

Posted: December 16, 2010

More than five years after opening a swanky branch near Rittenhouse Square, South Philly-bred Di Bruno Bros. is spreading out to the Main Line, opening a food stand in five stalls of the Ardmore Farmers Market in Suburban Square.

Company president Billy Mignucci, targeting a March opening, says the stand - designed by Hugh Boyd, who put together Lexington Market in Baltimore - will have a small cooking-demo area, along with the usual trappings: 200-pound wheels of cheese, hanging provolones, and legs of prosciutto. Di Bruno's, part of the Italian Market since 1939, also has a stand in the Comcast Center.

O'Hearn on leave

Action News reporter Erin O'Hearn is off the air - and pretty much off her feet, as she's pregnant with her second child and is on leave. But she is also off 6ABC.com's Web page of staff bios, a puzzling development given that Action News has kept the images of such figures as Lisa Thomas-Laury during their medical leaves. No comment from the station, other than to ensure that the five-year veteran is expected to return after delivering.

Loco for Loko

When a move to ban foie gras heated up a few years ago, diners packed the few restaurants whose chefs were brave enough to prepare it and defy the protesters. Now that this has subsided, enter Four Loko, the fruit-flavored alcoholic energy drink that is being reformulated after a Food and Drug Administration crackdown. Chef Matt Levin, who owns Adsum, the establishment at Fifth and Bainbridge Streets, was lightheartedly ruminating recently on Twitter about the demon drink and began plotting a dinner based on it. "I was [unwisely tweeting while walking] at Fifth and Queen, and by the time I got to my restaurant, I had 37 people" interested, he says. He hoarded 28 cases. For Monday's special dinner, he added it to such dishes as lamb sausage, barbecue chicken, and pork, pairing the three courses with Four Loko cocktails. Three seatings - 162 people at $35 a head - sold out, and the feed drew local and national media coverage. Levin himself is no fan of Four Loko. "I don't know how they drink it," he says, noting that his room was full of college and grad students. Could there be a reprise? Levin says he has 18 cases left.

Loco for T.P.

It would be way too easy to say that Bucks County native Melissa Young is on a roll, being that she is Pennsylvania's representative in Charmin Go Nation - equal parts toilet-paper-themed pep rally and popularity contest. In her tryout, Young, 36, an actress, singer, and comedian (Pennsbury High, Class of 1992) who lives with her husband in Chicago, overshared that in 1986, as a 12-year-old, she had issues with sensitive skin. "Charmin Unscented changed my life," she said. "I still get the blue package." She and other state reps decorated toilet seats, now displayed in Times Square. Hers, which made the top 10 in preliminary judging, depicts attractions including the Liberty Bell and Nittany Lion, linked by the Pennsylvania Turnpike. She can win a trip to New York and $50,000. Voting at www.charmingonation.com ends Friday.

Sports notes

Phils pitcher Ryan Madson will collect toys and teddy bears and sign autographs at Gerhard's appliance store (9475 Roosevelt Blvd.) from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. next Thursday. The gifts will go to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Cliff Lee's first meal back in Philadelphia: Caesar salad and a rib-eye late Tuesday at Barclay Prime steakhouse on Rittenhouse Square.


Contact columnist Michael Klein

at mklein@phillynews.com. Follow

his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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