C.L.: That's great to hear, David. I heard that Fedway, apparently the largest wine distributor in all of N.J., was nearly wiped out by the storm. Lost somewhere upwards of 900,000 cases of liquor and wine, and not expecting to get back on line for a few weeks. Had to replace 90 trucks. That will surely have some sort of ripple effect on holiday wine-buying in the Garden State. Just not yet quite sure what. . . .
David Moore: Fortunately, our "supply lines" were completely unaffected.
Reader: My parents and I went to Blue Pear Bistro and sat upstairs for dinner. Unfortunately, the noise was deafening. The waiter could not hear us; we could not hear the waiter. We changed our order to carryout. Do you recommend quiet restaurants?
C.L.: Noisy restaurants, unfortunately, are much more the norm than the exception. I've been measuring sound for 12 years in restaurants, and virtually all of them exceed the base level (70-75 decibels) recommended by audiologists as "quiet." It's not a priority for new restaurateurs - or it is, but an expensive one that needs to wait a few months before the investment is made.
Reader: Where can I find a really good scone? I have been to several bakeries, but the scones are either like cake or hockey pucks.
C.L.: My favorite scones ever come from Who's on First in Ocean City. The butterscotch is unreal, especially when they're hot from the oven on Saturday mornings. . . .) Unfortunately, I cannot imagine what the scene is there right now.
Reader: One Shot Coffee has great scones
C.L.: Oh, yes! Thanks for reminding me. One Shot is a personal favorite for weekend visits - this artfully distressed bilevel space in NoLibs is one of the best coffee-shop decors in the city.
Reader: The scones that Edna at Nook (between Chestnut and Market on 20th) bakes are simply excellent.
C.L.: Thanks for reminding me of Nook! I really love this place - cute-as-a-button couple that are serious about both their coffee and their baked goods. Excellent old-school stuff (muffins, scones, quiches, etc.) with a personal twist. The location, on 20th just south of Market, is somehow just a bit off center. I'd eat their scones any day.
Reader: Awesome deal going on at Continental Old City - $4 cocktails all month long when made with locally sourced Philadelphia spirits - which is great because the Philly Blue Coat Gin is really good. . . . Also a good excuse to grab a bite at Continental where the Korean tacos are still pretty good
C.L.: Great to see the emphasis on local ingredients from the Empire. And yes, Blue Coat is a great local spirit (though by all means not the only one - check out Dad's Hat ryes if you can). Also, fyi, this reader has assured me he does not work for Stephen Starr. Just an eater who likes to drink local, especially when it's on sale!
Reader: The Continental is also featuring Art in the Age spirits . . . Root, Snap, Rhuby, and Sage. And if you haven't tried them, they are fantastic!
C.L.: As for the Art in the Age spirits, I am less a fan. They are intense, and I find they don't always 'play well' in cocktails with other ingredients. Root makes everything taste like a root beer float. I find them better as cooking ingredients, actually. Still remember the gingersnap panna cotta I ate about a year ago at Zavino made with Snap.
Reader: Being Election Day . . . who would be elected the POPFS (President of Philly Food Scene): (a) S. Starr; (b) J. Garces; (c) M. Vetri; (d) other.
C.L.: Love this idea! Let's do it! Chatters, ready to vote? Who is the President of the Philly Food Scene 2012?
Reader: Vetri! Quality over quantity.
Reader: Starr is Postmaster General. Delivers to the masses, usually gets the job done.
C.L.: Here's the results from this very unscientific, spur-of-the-moment poll:
Marc Vetri (39%)
Stephen Starr (26%)
Jose Garces (13%)
Michael Solomonov/Steven Cook (13%)
Marcie Turney/Valerie Safran (4%)