Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This is Why Tipping is Important

Be kind to your holiday drivers, or this may happen to you.

Let that be a lesson.

Champagne and Truffles in Fairmount, oh my!

The time for well thought out gifts and holiday meals is nigh, and McCrossen's Tavern has a great option for the foodie in the family. On Thursday, December 29, McCrossen's will be hosting a French Grower Champagne and Black Truffle event at 6:30pm.

The evening costs $100 per person and includes a four-course truffle dinner prepared by Chef Townsend Wentz (pictured), featuring black truffles from the Perigord, France and four grower champagne pairings by GM / Sommeiler Lauren Harris. Each growler served will come from the Champagne region of France and feature Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rose and Pinot Meunier grapes. View the entire menu below.

Seating is limited, so call ahead for a reservation for yourself, or someone you love.

McCrossen's Tavern 529 N. 20th St. Philadelphia, PA   215-854-0923

Roasted Sea Scallops with Roe
Bordier seaweed butter, truffles
Thierry Triolet Brut, Cote des Blancs

Coeur de Cochon Pithiviers
 creamed salsify, Perigueux sauce
Rene Goffrey Rose de Saignee Brut NV
Vallée de la Marne

Sauteed Fois Gras
 pickled prunes, Sauce Foyot, truffles
Gaston Chiguet Traditional Brut NV
Vallée de la Marne

Wild Scottish Pheasant {demi-deuil}potato fondant, Salmis
H Billiot Brut Reserve NV
Montagne de Reims

Petite FoursCoffee/Tea

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All You Can Drink Brunching at Valanni

2012 is literally just days away and while there's much to do between now and then (holidays, New Year's, and of course THE MUMMERS!!!) I'm really looking forward to the calm of January. So much so, that I'm already scheduling potential brunches.

First on the list is Valanni. The swanky cocktail lounge / restaurant which is known for its martinis and nightlife is now offering an all you can drink mimosa/ bloody Mary brunch for $25.

The menu sounds tasty and the thought of basking in a new year with good friends and a (near) never ending  glass of bubbly sounds wonderful, to me! Check out the menu here

Valanni 1229 Spruce St. Philadelphia, PA

Two Words - Butt Flap.

"Forever lazy has zippered flaps in front and back for great escapes, when duty calls..."

High-End Happenings: Own a Piece of Rittenhouse

In its latest fundraising initiative, The Friends of Rittenhouse Square are offering a piece of the park to take home. New to the park's many statues include bronze cast animals. The sculptures were made by Eric Berg, a resident of the Rittenhouse neighborhood. They were unveiled in November 2010, and adorn the Patty Hogan Gates around the Gardener's Cottage.

Fourteen individual bronze cast animals, are now available. The casts are detailed on one side, hollow on the other, and great for wall decor or garden art.

Buyers can choose from an owl, robin, woodpecker, pigeon, blue jay, little wren, praying mantis, toad, snail, salamander, chipmunk, two versions of a squirrel and a dog, ranging in price from $750 - $1,600 each.

No word on how much of the proceeds benefit the park, but I think my favorite is the snail.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Bucket List: Eat A Mimosa

The holiday season is always one of the toughest to grapple with. From buying and giving to returning and regifting, things tend to get a little confusing. Months of jingles on the radio is sure to turn even the sanest of us on our heads. Sitting on an old man's lap is condoned...up is down, down is up. It's not crazy. It's the spirit of the holiday season, and Davio's has joined in the fun,  offering a tasty twist on a favorite cocktail.

The Mimosa Dessert offered looks absolutely amazing. True to form, they're willing to share the recipe (below), but its much easier to let the kitchen prepare one for you instead. The Mimosa is made up of a prosecco sorbet, orange segments, champagne grapes, and candied brioche. It's finished with a scoop of vanilla custard and orange foam and sells for $11.

The dining room at Davio's looks wonderful year round, but during the holidays it really is beautiful. So stop in, pull up to the bar, admire the holiday handiwork, and order up one of the festive treats that Davio's is offering.

Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse 111 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103


Orange Soda
1 1Ž2 oz  Fresh Lemon Juice
1 3Ž4 C Fresh Orange Juice
3 1Ž4 oz  Granulated Sugar
4 tspPowdered Gelatin

In a saucepan bring juices to a boil, dissolving sugar. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin.
Stir to combine, strain and refrigerate.  Pour mixture into soda siphon and charge.

Vanilla Custard
3 T Powdered Gelatin
5 C Crème Anglaise, Warm
7 oz Crème Fraîche or Sour Cream

Add Gelatin to warm Crème Anglaise, stir to combine and chill. 
Add crème Fraîche, stir to combine and refrigerate.

Prosecco Sorbet
10 oz Prosecco(Champagne)
7 oz Simple Syrup
14 oz Water

Pour contents into a 2-quart ice cream machine and turn until frozen.

Other ingredients:
One loaf of brioche
Simple syrup
Orange Segments
Champagne Grapes

Dice brioche, toss in small amount of simple syrup and lightly toast in oven.

In any glassware you choose, arrange orange segments and champagne grapes, then several pieces of candied brioche. Add a scoop of vanilla custard, some more oranges and grapes.  Follow with a scoop of Prosecco sorbet and finish with orange soda foam.

*Adapted from Art Culinaire Magazine

Inspiration vs. Motivation

Inspiration comes in many forms but ultimately, I believe it comes from within. A fleeting moment of greatness that you can recognize and grab ahold of, riding it until its wheels fall off, or until you find the next shooting glimpse of inspiration to keep you going.

Motivation on the other hand, comes from people like Tyler Morrison. Morrison is a local realtor who launched a "site" just days ago and would like to know if I'd be interested in working along side of him for KNOW PHILLY. A new website that will inform residents and tourists alike in the Philadelphia Region.

To this I say, suck it dude. 

Google his site, you find me. Google me, you find me. And while I've totally been slacking, that's over.

Bring it.