December 6, 2013
M arnie: Hi, Buzz, how was your holiday? Buzz: Aggravating. I ran out of vermouth. Again. Marnie: Vermouth is definitely a staple for holiday parties, in both colors - the sweet red and dry white - because they are essential ingredients in so many classic cocktails. But why do you always run out? Do you cook with it? Buzz: No. I run out because Manhattans are the only way I can get through the holidays with my family and the in-laws. And you can't have a Manhattan without vermouth.
August 1, 2010
Of course, Stephen Starr knows Philly had a serious cocktail scene budding before he opened the Ranstead Room with a New York consultant and some self-promotional comments that piqued the ire of proud local cocktailians. He recently gave nods to both Southwark and the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. as proof he acknowledges their existence. Still, while nothing I sipped at the Ranstead quite overshadowed the cocktails I've had at those competitors, I agree with Starr's contention that the Ranstead has a uniquely alluring vibe.
July 4, 2010
Old-school vermouth has been basking in a revival thanks to the classic cocktail craze. And while a number of boutiquey names have popped up to add intrigue to the insider bar scene (Dolin from France; Perucchi from Spain), few are as prized among craft-minded cocktailians as much as a bittersweet dark splash of Carpano Antica Formula. Made in Italy to a recipe that dates to 1786, it's at once smoother and less sweet than the producer's other vermouth, Punt e Mes. It's also more expensive than most other vermouths.
May 13, 2010 |
The double R logo on the otherwise generic door doesn't tell you much unless, of course, you're already in the know. Which is presumably the only way you'd find the Ranstead Room, the new cocktail lounge - a stylized speakeasy entered from Ranstead Street, the back alley that stutters across Center City, a half block north of Chestnut. A single pink lightbulb colors the balcony above. You enter a dim antechamber that feels more like an air lock, and emerge into a dark, sedate room, votives flickering, nudes framed, the music determinedly pre-1964, though pop hits have been scrubbed, for the most part, from the playlist.
March 4, 2010
PERFECT MANHATTAN 2 ounces rye whiskey 1/2 ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth 1/2 ounce Noilly Prat dry vermouth Dash Urban Moonshine maple bitters Luxardo Marasca imported Italian cherries Stir whiskey, vermouths and bitters with ice in a cocktail shaker to blend. In a double rocks glass, rinse cubed ice for drink with Marasca cherry juice, and drain off excess. Add stirred drink and garnish with cherries. VELVET ROPE 2 ounces rye whiskey Dash orange bitters 1/2 ounce Velvet Falernum (a cane-based spiced liqueur)
April 6, 2008 |
It was a fellow by the musical name of Manuel Roig-Franzia who introduced me to the Negroni, the most elegant - and unquestionably most adult, and certifiably legendary - classic cocktail (an aperitif, if you will) that you've likely never had the sweet pleasure of meeting. Even at the Swann Lounge in the Four Seasons Hotel, hardly known for edginess, they mix them about one to 500; that would be one Negroni ordered a week, versus 500 vodka martinis and their ilk. So finding a bartender sensitive to its subtleties is no simple matter: The Negroni, on paper, is neatly gin, sweet vermouth and Campari, equal parts, stirred on ice and strained, with a twist of lemon, or fresh orange, or for fancier presentations, perhaps freshly burnt orange.
July 30, 2000 |
Edamame (eh-dah-mah-may) is a soybean that has been harvested early and left in the pod. It is a popular Asian snack food, dating back well over a thousand years. In China, the first recorded use of edamame was around 200 B.C. In recent years, tourists discovered this nutritious snack in Japan, where these curious green pods are consumed instead of the usual pretzels and nuts in bars and restaurants.Patrons peel them and eat the delicious thimble-sized beans inside. If you have been to a Japanese restaurant or sushi bar, you may have already enjoyed this tasty snack.
June 18, 2000 |
We've known for quite some time that Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays an essential role in blood clotting. Now, research shows that vitamin K also plays an important part in forming and maintaining strong bones. A new report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association shows that some adults could be getting too little of this vitamin. How do you get more Vitamin K into your diet? By eating green leafy vegetables, and the darker the green the better. While dark, flavorful greens are packed with Vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and fiber, you also can get from 200 to 800 mcg (a microgram equals one-millionth of a gram)
April 29, 1998 |
Yo, Chefs! Two weeks ago, I attended a bridal shower at the Mansion in Voorhees, N.J. They served this vegetable dish. It was hamburger-shaped and made with orzo pasta, I think. It was delicious and looked very easy to make. I'm yearning for the recipe. Mary D'Angio Philadelphia Dear Mary, As one of the premiere catering sites in the Delaware Valley, the Mansion on Main Street hosts innumerable special events. In 1991, Chef Jeffrey Devine achieved the extremely demanding status of certified executive chef.
November 22, 1996 |
There are no salt or pepper shakers on the tables at Ottimo, a new, upscale Italian restaurant in Center City. Chef Anthony D. Vannello III must feel he seasons each dish to perfection, and he doesn't want strangers scrawling peppery mustaches on his Mona Lisas. Hey, "ottimo" means ultimate in Italian, so there's no shortage of confidence at work in this quiet, intimate, second-story restaurant. They aim high, but they also aim to please. They will grind fresh pepper for you if you request it, and they will furnish a salt-and-pepper mill if you insist.