May 4, 2016
SPRUCE STREET HARBOR PARK The long: You weren't one of the 750,000 who stopped by this psychedelic, LED-lit, half-floating, free Penn's Landing pop-up last summer? What were you waiting for? An early opening? The short: How's this Friday? The demo: Philadelphians. Nearly all a' dem. The games: Shipping-container arcades have Skee-Ball, air hockey, claw cranes, and racing games; grounds have bocce, ping-pong, shuffleboard . . . Come hungry: "Top Chef" Kevin Sbraga is serving brisket, pulled pork, hot fish sandwiches (The Little Fat Ham)
February 21, 2016 |
For Timothy Witcher, it came down to the last set of ingredients: raspberries, durian paste, cacao nibs, and coconut milk. In 30 minutes, Witcher created a raspberry doughnut with durian beer raspberry glaze, and cacao nib coconut mousse with shaved chocolate. The dessert delicacy earned him top honors on this week's episode of Chopped on Food Network. On Friday, the culinary department at Camden County Technical School was still buzzing with the excitement of Witcher's win. Witcher, 36, of Pine Hill, has been a faculty member at the school's Gloucester Township campus since September.
July 22, 2015 |
THEY CALLED it "The Hamptons Meet Philly," and the white linen- and seersucker-clad 10th-anniversary cocktail party celebrating Anthony Henderson and Jason Strong 's decade together went off without a hitch this weekend. Henderson is a longtime celebrity fashion stylist who balances his time between Philly and L.A., and has been doing wardrobe dressing for the Daily News ' Sexy Singles for more than a decade. Strong is an LGBT activist. Together, the couple has a 4-year-old adopted son, Marcelino . After meeting on a dating website more than a decade ago, they've outlasted many of their gay and straight couple counterparts.
June 5, 2015 |
Street food via Vietnam Bucks County-raised chef Chad Kubanoff, having immersed himself in Vietnamese food and culture for six years, has come home to open a restaurant in Northern Liberties specializing in Viet street food. Same Same - a riff on a Vietnamese expression ("it's the same, but not the same," Kubanoff explains) - is at 614 N. Second St., occupying the BYOB that previously accommodated Copper and Koo Zee Doo. Kubanoff kept the open-kitchen configuration, decorating with street signs and objects brought back from Vietnam.
May 15, 2015 |
Triangle reopens A deep cleaning is the obvious change at the Triangle Tavern (1338 S. 10th St., 215-800-1992), which has held the corner of 10th and Reed Streets since Prohibition ended. It reopened this week under Stephen Simons and David Frank, who own Royal Tavern, Khyber Pass Pub, Cantina Los Caballitos, and Cantina Dos Segundos. The menu from chef Mark McKinney includes long-ago staples: roast beef, mussels in red or white sauce, and meatballs. There's also a sizable vegetarian and even vegan selection, including vegan roast beef and wings.
March 6, 2015 |
IN THE '80s, quiche, crab cakes, carrot cake and blackened anything were chichi. So were Salad Alley, Chinese chicken salad, chicken Marsala and chicken Marbella. Southwest was in vogue. Nachos were novel. Now, somewhat suddenly, if not surprisingly, like Naomi Campbell and those creepy ghosties in "Poltergeist II," '80s food favorites, well, they're back. Philly's most obvious example of the resurrection of "Dancin' on Air"-era fare comes from "Top Chef" Kevin Sbraga. Juniper Commons, Sbraga's third restaurant, debuted mid-December.
December 12, 2014 |
Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga (Sbraga, the Fat Ham) and his director of operations, Ben Fileccia, are channeling the 1980s at Juniper Commons (521 S. Broad St., 215-735-1913), new at the corner of Broad and South Streets in the SouthStar apartments. The look feels just a touch retro, a bit diner-y, as Eimer Design borrowed from the Reagan-era playbook and riffed on that period's love of brass and glass. Newspaper pages are part of the wallpaper. Fileccia's soundtrack starts in the '70s at the beginning of the evening and progresses to 1989 by last call.
May 9, 2014 |
East Passyunk is building quite the collection of white-tablecloth joints, including Paradiso, Noord, Fond, Will, and Laurel. Its newest is Townsend (1632 E. Passyunk Ave., 267-639-3203), an elegant French bistro on two floors of a onetime rowhouse last known as Sophia's. Its namesake is chef Townsend "Tod" Wentz, the Lacroix and Four Seasons alum who won two bells for his work at McCrossen's Tavern. Wentz uses classic techniques for what is now a small menu that will grow (rabbit pot-a-feu, seared Icelandic cod, wild striped bass, all priced in the mid-$20s)
April 9, 2014 |
TAN MOM has not yet burnt to a crisp, and now she wants to get in the ring. Patricia Krentcil gained national notoriety and became a favorite of Howard Stern after taking her 5-year-old daughter to the tanning salon. Because our society is such that it is, Krentcil is still on the publicity-hound circuit, this time hooking up with celebrity-boxing promoter Damon Feldman . But Feldman is looking for an opponent for the leathery lady. Want a chance to win $5,000 on a Tan Mom TKO (take home $1,000 for a win, $500 for just stepping into the ring)
March 14, 2014 |
Years before winning over diners with dishes like chowder-poached oysters and gnocchi with snails, Fitler Dining Room chef Robert Marzinsky had a different artistic vision: He and a group of fellow art-school graduates made site-specific installations using ceramics and other materials. Since the works were temporary, he said, "We recognized that, to some extent, the real work was when you documented it. You'd come back with 500 slides, and spend $300 to process the film. " Today, in his kitchen at 22d and Spruce, Marzinsky is still making things that are ephemeral and beautiful - and he still acknowledges the impulse to document those creations.