SUNDAY NIGHT ANXIETY – SAUSAGE & FENNEL KABOBS WITH GRILLED BREAD & FETA

Pre-grill (which almost didn't stop me from eating them raw)

Pre-grill (which almost didn’t stop me from eating them raw)

 

In an attempt to take advantage of the warmest week in a fleeting Boston summer, my boyfriend and I have pretty much grilled out every night this week (he has used it as an opportunity to show off insanely impressive grilling skills; I have used it as an opportunity to polish off several bottles of sauvignon blanc under the excuse that anything is appropriate when done al fresco). In an effort to deal with PTSD from this horrific winter,* we conquered the burgers/grilled corn menu on Sunday (#classic), NY strip and grilled asparagus on Monday (#foodcoma) and decided to round out the week on a lighter note with way more vegetables (and way less butter) by making kabobs.

As this recipe is a twist on Giada DeLaurentis’** Chicken Sausage Skewers, I switched out chicken for sweet Italian sausage because why eat ten grams of fat when you can eat 20?*** It would also be amazing with lamb if you are into Mediterranean flavors and also a monster who eats baby sheep.

The true highlight of this recipe is the marinade, which can only be described as an Italian version of chimichurri. With tons of fresh herbs and a savory kick from the surprising addition of soy sauce, it was easy to pair with two of my favorite items to grill – fresh fennel bulb and lemon slices.

In keeping with the Mediterranean theme, I paired the kabobs with one of my absolute favorite (and possibly easiest) appetizers, Ina Garten’s tomato crostini with whipped feta. Just place the sliced bread directly on the grill (mainly for those aesthetically-pleasing grill marks) and brush with olive oil.

*A channel 7 newswoman counted down the number of weekends left in summer the other morning and I burst into tears. Picture of mental health right here.

**I have a love/hate relationship with Giada. Basically, I love her lip gloss, the obvious effectiveness of whatever workout routine she does, and her intense flirtations with Bobby Flay.  On the other hand, I hate how she has to add an affected Milanese accent to the most benign of Italian words. Like, just say spaghetti like a normal person. No need to be dramatic about it.

***I estimate that I’m like two good years away from investing in my first pair of Spanx so I’m just going to milk this last leg of my metabolism

 

Posted in Dinner, Italian, Meat, Sunday Night | Leave a comment

STRAIGHT UP – THE ITALIAN SPRITZER

I normally HATE pink drinks but this is good enough to move past my color issues

I normally HATE pink drinks but this is good enough to move past that bizarre issue of mine

When Hearst Magazines recently moved their offices from Times Square to One World Trade Center, the staff at Bon Appetit selected for their farewell cocktail in their now empty midtown test kitchen the completely subdued, totally uncomplicated, utterly un-Bon Appetit choice of Italian Spritzers over crushed ice*. A drink usually associated with 105-year old Italian men, the Italian Spritzer (or “Aperol Spritz”) used to be relegated solely to summer months but a recent growing trend has been the replacement of prosecco with champagne to serve the drink as a more luxurious winter cocktail (imagine in punch bowls). And because I worship at the altar of BA’s Senior Food Editor Alison Roman, I recently decided that I too, now drink Italian Spritzers over crushed ice in January.

The Italian Spritzer is one of the easiest cocktails to make and involves the simple combination of white sparkling wine, club soda and the Italian aperitif, Aperol.  Aperol is like training wheels for Campari – it’s flavored with mandarin orange, a little sweeter and a lot less bitter. And it only has half the alcohol content of Campari, which is a total bummer.

I thought I was being really cool and original and Bon Appetit-esque while mixing one for a friend the other night while droning on and on about creating the perfect champagne float on top and Aperol’s density versus other Italian apertifs from the Piedmont region, until I looked at the back of the Aperol bottle and realized…the recipe is right there. So yeah, I’m basically a modern day Julia Child.

Because I like to add calories to things, I switched out club soda for a very generous splash of San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa. This also had the added benefit that it turned my cocktail a glaring shade of hot pink and made me feel like I was drinking a post-college version of jungle juice appropriate for a 28-year old accountant.

The Italian Spritzer

 In a highball or large red wine glass, pour 2 oz. of Aperol over ice. Fill glass 2/3 way with prosecco (or any sparkling wine). Add splash of club soda or San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa. Top with one more ounce of prosecco. Garnish with orange slice (or an olive if you want to be molto tradizionale and also gross yourself out).

*I wish I knew this for cooler reasons but I know this because I stalk Adam Rapoport on Instagram

Posted in Cocktails, Italian, Straight Up | Leave a comment

[MONDAY] NIGHT ANXIETY – LEMONY ROAST CHICKEN

F+W's Lemony Roast Chicken

F+W’s Lemony Roast Chicken

Conquering my fear of roasted chicken…because ugh, bones

I usually go for recipes that take hours of prep work, require a minimum of eighteen steps and involve ingredients such as Jordanian black truffle salt and the use of baker’s twine all in order to feel a fleeting sense of accomplishment. So when I saw a recipe for Lemony Roast Chicken in this month’s issue of Food & Wine, I was immediately skeptical of just how easy it looked. But because roasted chicken is on my list of things I should know how to make in order to be considered a candidate for full-fledged adulthood,* I found myself on Monday afternoon at Whole Foods’ poultry counter trying not to gag. Luckily for everyone involved, I kept my completely unwarranted salmonella fears in check and the results turned out to be one of the best chicken dishes I’ve ever tried:

Lemony Roast Chicken (as adapted from Food & Wine Magazine)

½ lb. torn sourdough bread – I used half a boule of San Franciscan sourdough. Because I’m currently going through a highly unusual anti-carb phase where I decided I’m not eating carbs on weekdays (it’s obviously not going well), I almost omitted the bread which would have been tragic because it really is the best part of this dish.

4 large shallots, quartered

2 large lemons, quartered

¾ cup caperberries – I used a full cup because I have a death wish when it comes to ingesting sodium

¼ cup of olive oil – being of Italian heritage, I rarely measure anything when I’m cooking but in this case, you don’t want to be heavy handed with the olive oil due to the amount of liquid produced when the lemons and caperberries cook down

4 12-oz. chicken legs

Salt + pepper for seasoning

 Toss sourdough, shallots, lemons and caperberries with olive oil on a baking sheet.* Top with chicken legs. Season entire mixture with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 50 minutes (or for an hour and ten minutes if using my oven, which is
the bane of my existence). Tell whomever will listen between five and fifteen times how amazing your kitchen smells right now.

*Sadly, hardboiled eggs are also on my “list” and I fail miserably every time

** Side note – I recently invested in a few of Williams-Sonoma’s Goldtouch Nonstick Half Sheet Pans which are pretty much the best baking sheets ever and also have the added bonus that they do not stain and are extremely easy to clean.

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STRAIGHT UP – MULLED WINE

Mulled Wine at Bar Bocce

Mulled Wine at Bar Bocce

In typical female form, I am always cold. It’s why I keep my apartment at a refreshing 78 degrees, want to be in a civil union with my soup-making Staub Cocotte and have made a bad habit out of secretly jacking up the thermostat in other people’s homes, leading to awkward conversations that end with me crying and offering to cover heating bills. 

While I count skiing and occasionally leaving my flannel-sheeted bed as favorites, my ultimate winter activity is drinking hot cocktails while Boston’s weather dips below the freezing point. Since I can basically never drink bourbon again after the “Hot Toddy Winter of 2014” and spiked cider seems kind of gauche, I decided to switch over to mulled wine, inspired by those on the menu at Bar Bocce, an adorable waterfront bar in Sausalito with year-round outdoor dining featuring awesome grilled prosciutto pizzas, a giant fire pit and (shocker) bocce ball sets on the beach. 

And as I quickly discovered, people are pretty much obsessed with Bar Bocce. After posting a quick photo on Instagram**, I immediately received a plethora of likes and comments from friends everywhere from LA to DC, proclaiming their love for this place and mulled wine. 

Mulled Wine 

(as adapted from Ina Garten and Bar Bocce) 

Serves 2 for a pretty wild Friday night spent in yoga pants watching HGTV

2 cups of apple cider

Half a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon

1/8 cup of raw honey

1 cinnamon stick 

Half an orange, zest + juice (I used a Cara Cara orange for added sweetness)

2 whole cloves

3 star anise (finding these involved 20 minutes of searching and 2 Whole Foods employees)

Orange slice for garnish

Combine apple cider, wine, honey, cinnamon stick, orange zest, orange juice and 2 star anise into large saucepan and bring to a boil.* Simmer for ten minutes. Pour into mugs (or vintage teacups if you are Gwyneth Paltrow and/or happen to have these lying around) and garnish with orange slice and one star anise. 

*Bringing wine to its boiling point reduces the alcohol content by 15%, which is how I justified drinking five of these. 

** My photo of mulled wine got more “likes” than any picture I posted of myself…which was frankly, upsetting. 

"Mulling Spices"

“Mulling Spices”

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The Weekender – San Francisco

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(…it was a really long weekend)

I have spent a lot of time in San Francisco over the past five or six years. After a few really great friends left both Boston and Philadelphia to either move or return to the “Best” Coast (ew), several mini-vacations a year have involved sitting on red eyes trying not to gouge my own eyes out.

That said, I absolutely love San Francisco – namely because it reminds me of an East Coast city (Atlantic Seaboard for life <3), and also because while visiting, it makes me feel very resilient and tough to describe its 50 degree winter weather as “absolutely balmy” while my friends are trudging up and down hills in parkas complaining about how cold it is.

While previous trips to SF have served as bookends to wine tasting trips to Sonoma or ski trips to Tahoe, it’s becoming more and more apparent that my favorite west coast activity is (huge surprise)…eating. Outside of Philadelphia, there is no other city that has such unbelievable restaurants and the type of coffee shops that make me feel like I’m in an issue of Kinfolk Magazine (my dream). So on a very impromptu trip over the holidays, I was greeted by my friend Sindhu with what can only be described as a five-day food itinerary.

First Stop (Lunch): The Wayfare Tavern, Tyler Florence’s take on an English Pub.

Similar to the Dandelion in Philadelphia, The Wayfare serves English cuisine with a slight modern twist. Because there is no other way to recover from a 7am flight, I immediately started lunch with one two Cucumber Mules, the Wayfare’s take on a Moscow Mule with the substitution of Hendrick’s gin for vodka. Also impressive was the restaurant’s list of “classic cocktails” which included two favorites just starting to come back into style – the Sazerac and the Corpse Reviver #2. Located in the Financial District, I could also see the Wayfare having an awesome* happy hour situation.

In typical fashion, I wanted to immediately order the Wayfare Burger “Le Grande,” featuring grass-fed beef, brie from Marion, roasted onion and smoked bacon on brioche. But because I basically ate my entire body weight in antipasti over Christmas, I decided to forgo the burger and instead just casually ate three giant popovers the Wayfare serves in lieu of bread (our server was visibly disgusted by me). In agreement we should probably cool it with the carbs, Sindhu and I proceeded to order a salad with avocado and hearts of palm in a honey-lime dressing, a broccoli soup with gruyere mousse, and the best deviled eggs I have ever had, namely because they were blended with honey mustard, fried brussels sprouts and candied pumpkin. And then we got an order of poutine for “dessert” because we hate our arteries.

Second Stop (Breakfast): The Mill** (I can’t talk about this place without my heart legitimately fluttering)

Toast at the Mill

Toast at the Mill

My introduction to The Mill came courtesy of another good friend living in SF, Alix, who first led me into the most beautiful, simplistic coffee shop I had ever seen with the warning “you, specifically, are going to die when you see this place.” Open and airy with huge farm tables and white subway tile***, The Mill is best known for serving Four Barrel coffee and the Best. Toast. Ever, made with the most amazing breads by Josey Baker. Americano in hand, I managed to polish off both my order of walnut bread with organic maple syrup and sea salt as well as half of my friend’s order of dark rye with cream cheese, sea salt and black pepper.

Bread at the Mill

Bread at the Mill

Next Stop (Dinner): Nopa.

It’s basically impossible to get a reservation at Nopa. Recently named one of the best restaurants in San Francisco, Nopa now has a waitlist two months long and an average wait time for walk-ins on any given night averaging two to three hours. But if you’re feeling particularly aggressive and confrontational and an individual table isn’t a dining necessity, Nopa’s bar and large communal table just off its dining room are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. And so a recent Saturday night in San Francisco was spent circling said communal table (along with five strangers) like sharks, waiting for people to finish their meals.**** After about an hour of poaching (and memorizing the menu), we were able to secure seats and immediately ordered fried broccoli di ciccio with romesco and parmesan (which was meant to share but which I ate all of, and for that, I’m sorry), flatbread with bacon, maitake mushrooms, serrano chilies and mozzarella, a porkchop with orange-glazed sweet potatoes, escarole, walnuts and pomegranate, parpadelle with Kalamata olives, swiss chard and meyer lemon, and finally, French fries with a chili lime aioli. All said, Nopa is definitely worth the wait (and the arguments with fellow diners).

Heath Ceramics (picture via eclectictrends.com)

Heath Ceramics (picture via eclectictrends.com)

Last Stop (Shopping): Heath Ceramics (in the Ferry Building)

If you’re really into $50 handmade tumblers (which I am), no trip to San Francisco is complete without depleting your savings account at Heath Ceramics.***** Based in Sausalito but with stores in SF, Heath features ultra-simple, beautifully-crafted artisan pottery for cooking and dining. Already obsessed with my 9×14’’ platter from Heath’s Plaza line, I decided to purchase their multi-stem vase in indigo, which is actually a muted navy and would look amazing with white hydrangeas which are pretty much the only flowers I buy because I love them but also, OCD.

If you too want to average 8,000 calories a day in SF, I also suggest the following:

*Read: attended by attractive males

** AKA what my friends have dubbed “that $8 toast place.” For a Philadelphia comparison, imagine Rival Bros. on steroids.

***A New Year’s resolution is to stop talking about white subway tile so much

****You can tell Nopa is no joke when people are practically getting in table-flipping fights over getting seated. Upon accidentally making eye contact with a couple at the bar who were finishing their dessert course, I was immediately lambasted by another woman waiting – “Those seats are mine. We’ve been here four and a half minutes longer than you.”

*****To my family and close friends– if you want to buy things off my wedding registry years in advance of me getting married, I want eight place settings of the Miller Full Dinnerware Set.

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RESERVATIONS – OISHII BOSTON

(or…the best sushi I’ve ever eaten)

Sashimi at Oishii (this probably marks a handful of times I've actually appreciated presentation without just tearing into it)

Sashimi at Oishii (this probably marks a handful of times I’ve actually appreciated presentation without just tearing into it)

Located in Boston’s South End, Oishii seems to consistently turn up on Best of Boston lists and every Yelp review for “best sushi in Boston.” So this past Friday, which started with early evening cocktails at the restaurant’s bar (recommended: the lychee martini with vanilla, vodka, lemon and pineapple juices and “Ting’s Sushi Companion,” a summery blend of muddled mint and cucumber, lime juice, agave nectar and cucumber-infused sake) ended in soy-sauce covered mayhem in Oishii’s main dining room.

Upon ordering steamed edamame (I know, boring…but this is coming from someone who cites one of their favorite snacks as plain Saltines), our server instead steered me instead toward “broiled edamame,” which was essentially steamed edamame that had been chargrilled and was so good despite its buttery simplicity that now I can’t go back to eating normal edamame ever again.

Another highlight off the menu’s extensive list of appetizers was beautifully plated in-shell escargot accompanied by a lemon foam and a pre-sashimi order of a speciality maki roll with spicy mayo, asparagus, cucumber, bonito flakes and torched toro topped with ginger and jalapeno.

You know Oishii is really serious about sashimi and sushi when you place your order via pencil and paper. I also had the added bonus of dining with someone who is pretty much an expert when it comes to ordering raw fish and so our order was not limited to chu-toro, yellowtail, salmon, shrimp, eel, snow crab, octopus, and sea urchin:  all the thickest cuts of sashimi I’ve ever seen which quite literally melted in your mouth.

I do not place a lot of importance on presentation. In my opinion, some of the greatest foods in the world look absolutely terrible on a plate (read: spaghetti Bolognese). But Oishii may have changed my opinion on creative plating because each and every item looked So. Damn. Pretty. And it wasn’t limited to the mass quantities of raw fish we ordered. Everyone around us, when not being completely grossed out by our excessive eating and my habit of flinging soy sauce all over the table and myself, were either ordering appetizers which had been lit on fire or desserts encased in giant balloons of blown sugar.

And while Oishii had already solidified itself as the best sushi I’ve ever eaten, it was also helped by the fact that Tom Brady and Gisele were only feet away (and now I’m just completely unsatisfied with being a normal human).

Location: 1166 Washington St. Boston, MA

Website: OishiiBoston.com

Take Note: Reservations available via OpenTable.com

TL, DR: Unbelievably large portions of excellent and creative Japanese cuisine. You may even be witness to probably two of the most beautiful people on earth, so just get ready to spend a lot of time on plastic surgery websites the next day.

 

Posted in Boston, Japanese, South End, Sushi | Leave a comment

FAREWELL PHILADELPHIA (HELLO BOSTON)

The view from my Boston apartment is a little different than my Philly view

The view from my Boston apartment is a little different than my Philly view

After a long hiatus punctuated by complaints from my “fan club” (read: my mother and aunt), the Philadelphienne has officially moved to Boston. In addition to being completely obsessed with New England and returning to a city I love, this past month’s issue of Bon Appetit included an entire feature on dining in Boston so it was kind of fate, guys. And while I’m looking forward to eating a lot more lobster and living in a constant polar vortex, the chili-glazed octopus at Vernick, my daily Americano from La Colombe, happy hours at Tria and each and every burger I’ve ever eaten (like, ever) at Village Whiskey will always hold a special place in my heart* (kind in the same way normal people think about first crushes and their childhood homes).

While I’m spending the next few weeks having a complete meltdown that my new apartment has an electric stove (noooooooo) and googling the location of every Chipotle in the greater Boston area, I’ll also be transitioning this page into the Bostonienne (naturally) which can (eventually) be found via theBostonienneBlog.com.

And don’t worry about missing out on cocktail recipes…all of my alcohol is making the move with me.

*The humidity, dilapidated sidewalks, the general clientele sitting outside at Rouge, and Philadelphia Parking Authority agents? Not so much.

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RESERVATIONS – FITLER DINING ROOM

Fitler Dining Room (photo by Michael Persico)

Fitler Dining Room (photo by Michael Persico)

Or “FDR” as all the cool kids in my neighborhood call it

I have been spending A LOT of time in Fitler Square recently. It may be the nice weather, the convenient opening of Rival Bros. flagship coffee shop nearby at 24th & Lombard, or the plethora of attractive, young dads pushing strollers through the park*, but Fitler Square is my new favorite place in Philadelphia.

So when a friend suggested Monday night dinner at the neighborhood’s eponymous Fitler Dining Room in order to pay off a Triple Crown bet (a brutal loss for him and an absolutely remarkable win for me), I was unnaturally excited to try the restaurant I have walked salivated past so many times in the past few months

Fitler Dining Room is aesthetically pleasing to say the least. With white subway tile*, tufted benches in my favorite shade of seaglass, and an open kitchen, Rob Marzinky (see: Pub and Kitchen) has created in FDR the perfect, intimate take on an American bistro.

There are few things that make me happier in this world than having a date ask “want to start with cheese?” so our first course consisted of baked and creamy buttercup brie from local Cherry Grove Farm, a firm cow’s milk cheese aged in beer with the consistency of manchego from Brooklyn-based Valley Shepard Creamery and an Old Chatham Sheepherding Shaker Blue, a mild, nutty blue cheese. Served with fig compote and grilled bread brushed with olive oil (and accompanied by a glass – or three – of Clariette-Grenache Blanc) I could have easily had this as a meal alone.

We followed the cheese course with Beausoleil oysters on the half shell, perfectly briney in pickled ginger mignonette and a buttery crudo of black sea bass with horseradish, Asian pear and “fingerling chips” that had the consistency, crunch and saltiness of fried shallots.

All excellent but omg, the entrees:  the perfect special menu addition for a June night of halibut lightly poached in olive oil with cucumbers, tomatoes and cilantro in a strawberry gazpacho and a Painted Hills hangar steak with cucumbers, pickled carrot and braised shortrib, accompanied by a peanut and ginger salad that was easily one of the most flavorful steaks I’ve ever tasted and one we were still talking about the next day (which is pretty much the ultimate compliment because I talk about food alot).

Again I skipped dessert because when you quadruple your daily recommended serving of carbohydrates in one sitting, you don’t need it.

*You can add white subway tiles to any restaurant or home kitchen and I will automatically think the food is amazing but in this case, it’s actually true.

*Filter Square Park is a beautifully green, dog-free alternative to Rittenhouse Square during the summer months and has the added bonus that it’s not overrun by giant rats, the sight of which leave you silently screaming on the corner of 18th and Locust for at least five minutes until you can fully recover because you’re immature and even scared of mice and can’t accept them as part of city life (or maybe that’s just me)

Location:  2201 Spruce Street, Phila. (northwest corner of 22nd and Spruce)

Website: Fitler Dining Room (even their website is pretty)

Take Note: Make reservations. FDR only seats 32.

TLDR: …still thinking about the hangar steak

Taking a break from a morning run in Fitler Square Park (just kidding, I walked there)

Taking a break from a morning run in Fitler Square Park (just kidding, I walked there)

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SUNDAY NIGHT ANXIETY – THE “BEST EVER” DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES WITH SEA SALT

“I said to myself go ahead, take a chance. Bake the gross, boring cookie.” (this blog is literally turning into a tribute to badly amended quotes from the Devil Wears Prada and I’m sorry)

“I said to myself go ahead, take a chance. Bake the gross, boring cookie.” (this blog is literally turning into a tribute to badly amended quotes from the Devil Wears Prada and I’m sorry)

I hate chocolate chip cookies. When done well, they elicit the same excitement in me as filling out a tax return* or spending an hour at the DMV. When done poorly, eating them becomes my version of hell.

But when you decide to go grocery shopping a little hungover from your college reunion weekend, way too hungry because you decided to go on a “diet” (…which lasted about three hours) after eating too much during said weekend, and also in a bad mood (because that same weekend ended), it results in spending $75 on very dark chocolate in a very dark moment at Whole Foods and you need to do something with it.

So when I came across a link to this recipe on three different food blogs this week, I decided to give in and break out my rarely used baking sheets. I also feel like chocolate chip cookies are one thing everyone should be able to make from scratch and my entire experience with them has until this point culminated in eating raw Toll House dough straight out of the plastic wrapper with the refrigerator door left open at 3am.**

This recipe grossed me out at first because ew, chocolate chip cookies, but also because it requires the dough to sit for 36 hours before baking. I have a reputation in my family for throwing food out within 24 hours of purchase (even if it has a five-year long expiration date) because I’m convinced it’s rotten and I’m going to eat something bad and die.

But neuroses aside, I took the plunge and can say…without a doubt..this may be the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Crunchy on the edges and soft in the middle (which was helped by the fact I took them out of the oven early because who doesn’t love an absolutely raw center), there is nothing better than the salty/sweet combination of quality dark chocolate and Maldon sea salt. They may have changed my opinion on chocolate chip cookies forever. This is also coming from someone whose desired post-dinner snack is an entire bag of Herr’s Sour Cream & Onion potato chips.

Notes on the recipe: I used Nielsen Massey Madagascar Vanilla Extract and Maldon sea salt to make it fanccyyyyy. I also used a combination of large Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips and small Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips but shredded Valrhona would be amazing. This recipe is extremely high maintenance because it calls for cake flour AND bread flour (neither of which are all-purpose flour, which I eventually figured out) but it’s totally worth it.

I will also note that I have major OCD when it comes to cookies (I need them all to be the same exact size or the world will end) so I suggest using an ice cream scoop to make uniform dough balls.

*Note: despite being a CPA, I have never actually done my own taxes. Thanks Dad ☺

** I read that Oprah does this too so it’s fine

afterlight-3

 

these never actually made it into the oven because I lost all self control and ate them raw

these never actually made it into the oven because I lost all self control and ate them raw

The trifecta: Nielsen Massey Vanilla, Maldon sea salt, Ghirardelli chocolate

The trifecta: Nielsen Massey vanilla, Maldon sea salt, Ghirardelli chocolate

 

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RESERVATIONS – THE BURGER @ VILLAGE WHISKEY

 

I've been staring at this picture for way too long

I’ve been staring at this picture for way too long: the Village Burger with Jasper Hill cheddar and pickled long-hots

(This should technically be the ultimate installment of the Philadelphienne’s “best burgers in Philadelphia” series but my love for red meat knows no bounds).

I rarely refer to anything as the BEST.THING. EVER. because I’m constantly surprised and impressed by restaurant openings and innovative food trends starting in Philadelphia. At any given moment, a new chef could come on the scene and set an entirely new standard for the city’s collective dining experience. That said, I have absolutely no qualms at all with stating that the burger at Village Whiskey is the BEST. BURGER. EVER.

This past Saturday found my friend Josh and I at Village Whiskey, Jose Garces’ burger and bourbon concept, for the second time in two weeks, but I’m obviously not counting visits (or calories, for that matter), ordering the eponymous Village Burger – eight ounces of sustainable, farm-raised Angus from Maine on a sesame roll absolutely coated in house-made thousand island dressing (I know, so healthy that I had to run more than my usual half-assed 10-minute mile on a treadmill to burn it off but totally worth it). Village Whiskey has a “build your own burger” concept and having friends with impeccable taste when it comes to burger toppings, we both chose Jasper Hill Cheddar and pickled long-hots (Haystack Mountain chèvre and truffled mushrooms is another favorite combination). Because you can’t eat your body weight in trans-fats without having fries, we also ordered the duck fat French fries accompanied by a cheddar sauce laced with local Sly Fox beer. I wish I could describe the taste but basically it’s so good that my brain just shut down during the entire, dead-silent 120 seconds* we took to finish them.

In addition to amazing devilled eggs, Village Whiskey also specializes in Prohibition cocktails. Two highlights include the Cabana, a sophisticated take on the mojito, with Anejo rum, green Chartreuse, mint and lime, served in a coupe and topped with cava, and also a classic and fruit-less (thank god…you know how I feel about fruit in cocktails) Pimm’s Cup with lemon, ginger syrup and cucumber.

Side note – If you wanted to go all out and also possibly take a gamble with a heart attack, the Whiskey King is another menu feature: an 8 oz. Angus beef burger with maple bourbon-glazed cippolini onions, Rogue blue cheese, applewood bacon and your usual run-of-the-mill burger topping: foie gras.

Location: 118 S. 20th Street (northwest corner of 20th & Sansom; ironically across the street from Shake Shack)

Website: Village Whiskey

Take Note: Village Whiskey does not take reservations and seating is limited. Walking in on a weekend afternoon should be no problem but Thursday through Saturday night? If you can survive the 2-hour wait without salivating to death, you’re a stronger person than I am.

TLDR: I can’t talk about the Village burger without getting highly emotional. It may just be the cravings.

*I’m being extremely liberal with time here

 

Posted in Garces, Reservations, Uncategorized | 2 Comments