Posts for March 15, 2012

Loco Pez’s Transforms the ‘Familiar Into Something Memorable’; American Sardine Bar Serves the ‘City’s Most Interesting Bar Food’

• Brian Freedman checks out Loco Pez, and learns that despite the bar’s place atop the hip food chain, there’s still plenty for food nerds to dork out on. He applauds the kitchen crew for their magic act of “transforming the familiar into something memorable.” Chicken tacos provide a “complicated sense of exoticism” with their “addition of tamarind,” and the carnitas “deglazed in orange juice and tequila” go “in the direction of some sort of barbecue.” As far as beverage go, the El Loco Pez is a “balanced gem,” and the Monte Carlo is “something more adventurous.” [PW]

• At Point Breeze’s American Sardine Bar, Adam Erace assesses chef Scott Schroeder’s “virtues of razor-sharp execution, confident seasoning and meticulous sourcing,” and comes to the conclusion that the sandwich-forward menu delivers some of “the city's most interesting bar food.” One drawback he highlights is that orders from the kitchen “can take long,” but the 16 taps in house to “alleviate impatience” is “worth the delay.” [Citypaper]

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Chocolate Wine Is Now a Thing; Jet-Setting Wine Collector Arrested for Fraud

"This Cocoa Bordeaux tastes great over ice cream!"

• So, there's chocolate wine now. A Washington-based company is marketing this stuff called Chocolate Shop, which is a Bordeaux-style blend from California mixed with sugar and chocolate. And apparently it isn't just college girls who are buying it. [Drinks Business]

• Everyone knows that the wine market in China is a hot topic, but not so many people know that Chinese nationals are increasingly buying up property in California's wine country. [Wines and Vines]

• Watch a video and listen to a seminar about Chateau Margaux, the second-oldest of the premier cru, or "first growth," wineries in Bordeaux. [Wine Spectator]

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The James Weird Awards: Beehive Thievery and Parachuting to Avoid a Check

The food world tried to teach us a few lessons this week. First: Don't swallow cinnamon (unless you put it on some applesauce or buttered toast first). Second: Don't steal from poor, defenseless food carts, because it's rude. Third: Do not, under any circumstances, provoke a cranky Jamie Oliver. He will snap. More what-not-to-do parables can be found in the James Weird awards, straight ahead.

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Looks Like Solomonov and Cook are Bound For the Burbs

Steve Cook and Michael SolomonovPhoto: Collin Keefe

This morning started with rumors flying that multi-concept restaurateurs Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook, are going to the burbs with their next effort. Foobooz dropped the doozy, suggesting that a Zahav clone or another Federal Donuts location was all but certain for the Main Line. Later, the Insider followed up with additional details on the project. It’s going to be called Citron and Rose, and will bring an updated approach to European glatt kosher cookery to Merion this summer. The operation is a partnership with David Magerman, who is the founder of Kohelet Foundation, an organization that supports kosher laws and Jewish day-school. [Foobooz; Insider]

Corks Pop at Moshulu to Celebrate 230 Years of Bubbly in the United States

Celebrating a 230 year love story.Photo: Collin Keefe

Yesterday marked the anniversary of the arrival of the first shipment of champagne to the United States from France in 1782. That very first bundle of bubbly arrived in Philadelphia, and was shipped off by Madame Clicquot herself. It’s not known who was the intended recipient. We have a hunch it might’ve been ages-old Le Bec-Fin. Nonetheless to commemorate its arrival, the champagne house sent cellar master Dominique Demarville to Philly’s Moshulu, where he poured rare selections from Veuve Clicquot’s private collection, while chatting up those in attendance. “We are here in Philly today to celebrate the first coming of champagne in the States,” Demarville told Grub. “It’s a big honor for us to see the 230 year old love story between Veuve Clicquot and the United States continue.”

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Schools Can ‘Opt Out’ of Pink Slime

You may recall that the country's schools were all set to be the last conceivable place that people could get "pink slime," the beef additive that even Taco Bell won't buy. But an unnamed USDA source tells the AP that schools won't have to peddle this crap if they don't want to.

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Here are the Super-Secret Wines the Obamas Served at Last Night’s State Dinner

What are you drinking, Mr. President?Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Among the chatter leading up to last night's State Dinner was talk that the Obama Administration, in keeping with a policy it set last year, wouldn't be publicly releasing the names of the wines served at the meal. The menu simply said that American wines would be paired with each course, and the going theory is that the move was in response to backlash the White House received after serving pricey wine at a 2011 State Dinner.

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Jamonera Comes Up With a Good Reason to Stay Out Late

Jamonera's papas fritasPhoto: Jason Varney

Late night dining’s going to get a little more rewarding come Monday. That’s when the dynamic duo of Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran debut their new evening-time tapas specials at Jamonera. Every Sunday through Thursday night beginning at 10 p.m., the Spanish tapas bar will feature a selection of easily affordable, and we’re guessing equally delicious, tapas, like fried, chorizo-stuffed olives and sheep’s milk cheese with membrillo, for $2. The selection of munchie options offered will change frequently. Chef Turney is also introducing a menu of what she’s calling “Kitchen Staff Snacks.”

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Bottle Shocker: New Jersey Wines Hold Their Own Against the French in a Blind Tasting

Jersey wines? Ha, what exit?

Keep an ear out for the Wine School’s Keith Wallace this morning on local public radio affiliate, WHYY. He played a hand in what’s undoubtedly one of the more compelling stories of late about wine. At the request of journalist Jen Howard, who wanted to get to the bottom of smack-talk about how the Garden State's climate and terroir is just as good for producing wines of note as those in France, Wallace coordinated a blind tasting of wines from New Jersey — yes, they do exist — against comparable bottles from Bordeaux and Burgundy. Surprisingly, the tasters empaneled for the showdown found that the Dirty Jerz wines held their own against those from France. To which Wallace said, “That is pretty effing amazing!” If you miss the story on the air, you can still check it out on the web. [Newsworks]

Erin Go Broke: Corned Beef Costs Skyrocket; America Wastes More Food Than Most Other Countries

• Erin go broke: In the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day, the cost of corned beef is going through the roof. [KYW Newsradio]

• As of yesterday, feeding Philly’s homeless in the great outdoors is a crime. [Daily News]

• We're not just saying this because it's almost St. Patrick's Day: Irish Whiskey is making a comeback. Think of it as somewhat along the lines of small-batch American bourbon. [Food Republic]

• Some guilt with your coffee? Around 30 to 50 percent of food in the world goes to waste, with Americans one of the worst culprits, tossing 33 pounds a week per person, on average. [MSNBC]

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