Posts for April 4, 2012

BlueCat Now Serving Latin-Inspired Fare on Fairmount Ave.

BlueCatPhoto: Courtesy BlueCat

With newly opened La Calaca Feliz at one end and Marc Vetri’s also new Alla Spina at the other, Fairmount Ave. and its surrounding blocks are shaping up as a pretty impressive restaurant row. Other newbs include Lemon Hill and Hickory Lane. Now BlueCat, a just-opened Latin number from restaurant vets Guy Shapiro and Luli Canuso, is helping fortify the neighborhood’s status as a dining destination. The Insider reports that the menu, which is still being tweaked, boasts dishes like arroz con pollo and chorizo, a pan-seared fish of the day, sandwiches, salads and more. [Insider]

BlueCat, 1921 Fairmount Ave., (267) 519-2911

Bravo Divulges Why It’s Stalking Jen Carroll

Jen Carroll

Remember that business of the mysterious camera crews trailing hometown Top Chef heroine Jen Carroll since the beginning of the year? Turns out it’s all part of a new reality show that Bravo’s calling Life After Top Chef. Eater reports that in addition to Carroll, who is currently in the throes of opening her first solo effort tentatively titled Concrete Blonde, the show tracks other “most beloved former cheftestants” Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, and Spike Mendelsohn. Could this be the little bit of magic needed to rekindle the snooze-fest that Top Chef’s become? Perhaps. There’s no word yet on when it will air. [Eater]

Earlier: Bravo Trails Jen Carroll For a New Top Chef Spinoff

Francis Ford Coppola Sues Marin Restaurant Over Use of Common Italian Term, Which He Trademarked

C'mon, Francis.

Filmmaker and winery owner Francis Ford Coppola, who also owns a San Francisco café and a full-service restaurant called Rustic at his northern Sonoma winery, is suing the owners of a small Italian restaurant called Tavola Italian Kitchen in Novato over the use of the Italian term a tavola. The phrase means "to the table" and simply refers to the serving of dishes family-style, which is Coppola's preferred mode for his restaurants. Coppola went so far as to trademark the phrase in 2008, as Bloomberg reports, and subsequently his people had asked Tavola, which opened in November, to cease and desist — and possibly to change their name altogether?

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Share Our Strength Hosts ‘No Kid Hungry Happy Hour’ at Square 1682

Share Our Strength, which we told you a while back tapped Top Chef champ Kevin Sbraga as its local chair, is gearing up for its big Taste of the Nation shindig at Lowes on May 7, but in the meantime the non-profit aimed at eliminating childhood hunger, is hosting “No Kid Hungry Happy Hour” on Thursday, April 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Square 1682. House special Nectar Margaritas will be on offer as well as other happy hour deals, plus you can enter a raffle to win free tickets to May’s Taste of the Nation.

Walking Dead Producer Gale Anne Hurd Eats Truffle-Topped Sashimi, Consoles Zombie Victims at Mozza

Gale Anne Hurd

"A feature film is a sprint, but a television series has peaks and valleys," says Gale Anne Hurd, producer of AMC's horror show The Walking Dead. "You're constantly juggling crises. It's just like the restaurant business." Yes, Pasadena is a far cry from the zombie apocalypse, but those two worlds — TV and restaurants — consume Hurd's life right now. Like any producer (she's also responsible for The Terminator, Aliens, and The Incredible Hulk, among many other films), she has her mitts in multiple projects at any one time, zipping from her Hollywood office to studio lots then back to the restaurant she owns and operates, Vertical Wine Bistro. "I eat all over town. I have to. It's a survival tool," she tells Grub Street. This includes red-eye breakfasts over Arsenal matches at home, opulent sushi in the Valley, and the occasional quick tostada at her desk. See what else fuels Hurd's days in this week's edition of the L.A. Diet.

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More PA Raw Milk Linked to Salmonella; NJ Pushes For Legal Raw Milk Sales

Moo!

The State Departments of Agriculture and Health have put a temporary halt on the production of raw milk and raw milk cheese at Norman Z. and Edith B. Sauder Farms in Kutztown following a round of regular screenings that tested positive for Salmonella. Though no one’s been sickened this time around, NBC Philly reports that state health officials are advising consumers to discard any raw milk products purchased from the farm after March 25.

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Gastronomics: Building a Megabusiness From the Ground Up (Literally)

Just plant the seed ...Photo: iStockphoto

The food business has even more startups than the tech business: Every new restaurant, coffee cart, farm, dairy, and butcher shop is a story of micro-entrepreneurship. (In the case of restaurateurs who think very small, the advantages are clear.) The model is pretty straightforward: Come up with the idea, find the space, get the money, find your ingredients (preferably local and/or organic), sell your value-added product. But a new breed of owners are flipping the equation.

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Federal Donuts Teams Up With Art in the Age to Make Boozy Breakfast Treats

Federal Donuts' Art in the Age-inspired donuts.Photo: Collin Keefe

With its cult following and daily sell-outs of all its delicious, deep fried goodies showing no signs of letting up anytime soon, how’s Federal Donuts up its game? Easy, with booze! Grub received word (and first noms, pictured above) this morning of new limited partnership between Michael Solomonov’s and Steve Cook’s donuts and chicken shop and Philly-based booze-makers Art in the Age. Beginning Friday, April 20 (cough, cough… naturally), FedNuts will offer three signature donuts inspired by Art in the Age’s Root, Snap and Rhuby spirits. Those donuts will be available everyday through Sunday, April 29.

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And the Area's Worst Supermarket Is…

It's better in the burbs.

There’s no real surprise here for anyone who’s used to renting a ZipCar or making Philly CarShare reservations just to properly stock their pantry with regular, essential provisions: If you want the best possible grocery shopping experience, you have to trek out to the ‘burbs. Why? Because that’s where you’ll find clean, safe and sane supermarkets, as opposed to the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome-like setting the majority of the city’s grocers go with. According to Consumer Reports Wegmans is this area’s shoppers’ top pick for supermarkets. That’s the consensus the magazine’s editors came to after conducting a nationwide survey of regional grocery chains.

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Maya Rudolph Recalls Her Waitressing Days

Way before that public pooping scene in Bridesmaids, Maya Rudolph hustled for roles and rent, just like any other New York actor. Last night on The Tonight Show, she recounted those starry-eyed days. She waitressed at Benny's Burritos and the Coffee Shop in Union Square, where one time, a couple of guests were so "awful" she nearly spit in their food. But the biggest tip she got out of it: "The best thing to tell your children is to work in the service industry because it really humbles you."

To the video! »

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Food & Wine Announces ‘Best New Chefs’ 2012

An exraordinary honor for Team TIS.

After a little bit of harmless leakage yesterday, Food & Wine has released — and celebrated — the names of its prestigious "Best New Chefs" of 2012. Last year's New York winners included George Mendes (Aldea) and Carlo Mirarchi (Roberta’s), and this year's selection is even more luminous. Raise your lattes to this year’s honorees.

See the winners here! »

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