Posts for February 7, 2013

Blatstein Unloads Piazza; Poised to Let It All Ride on The Provence Casino Project

Piazza at Schmidt'sPhoto: uwishunu

Looks like developer Bart Blatstein is going all in on his proposed Provence casino project. The Inky this afternoon is reporting that he’s sold his controlling interest in The Piazza at Schmidt’s, the sprawling mixed-use facility that’s home to a slew of bars and restaurants — P.Y.T., Gunners Run, Baan Thai, Max’s Brew Bar among them — that he built on the site of the old Schmidt’s brewery in NoLibs. He unloaded the properties to New York-based investment group that’s made up of Kushner Companies and Oaktree Capital Management L.P. The adjacent Liberties Walk goes with the Piazza in the deal. Though no numbers have been revealed, estimates put the value of the properties in the realm of $130 million. Asked if proceeds from the sale would go toward his North Broad Street casino project, Blatstein is quoted saying, the deal "allows me to focus more on The Provence." [Inquirer h/t Phawker]

Earlier: Piazza Developer Unveils Plans for a North Broad Street Casino

One Nation Under Fermentation: FLOTUS Tweets Kimchee Recipe

"Last week, we picked Napa cabbage in the garden," Michelle Obama tweeted last night. "Now, we're using it to make kimchi in the kitchen." The first lady even provided a recipe, which, with five Thai chili peppers per two heads of Napa cabbage, is pretty spicy. And awesome. [FLOTUS/Twitter]

Two Bucks Go a Long Way at Opa’s Anniversary Bash

Oh how time flies! Opa, the stylish, Midtown Village Greek restaurant and bar that the brother and sister duo of George and Vasiliki Tsiouris brought to life, is celebrating its second anniversary on Sunday. Seems like it just opened yesterday. In honor of this milestone, they are offering up the majority of their menu (mezedes, drinks, beer) for just $2. The everyday a la carte menu will also be available, but at full price. Here’s hoping Snowmageddon II spares us, and doesn’t put the kibosh on the festivities.

Top Chef Seattle Recap: David Rees on Sourdough Starters and Tom’s Mean Girl Tendencies

Slightly less intense than Deadliest Catch.Photo: David Moir/Bravo

According to my calculations, there are only four chefs left: Josh, Sheldon, Brooke, and Lizzie. And they all miss Stephan. That means he’s captured the hearts of 100 percent of the chefs on the Alaskan cruise ship as it pushes deeper into American’s last frontier, and his smiling face will be the last image in their minds before being torn apart by wolves.

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Foie Gras and Bacon: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together at Amada

Amada's whole raosted suckling pigPhoto: Jason Varney

You might want to sit down for this: The Garces gang is going to get bacon all up in its foie gras for the forthcoming National Pig Day festivities at Amada next month. This morning, Grub Street got its tubby trotters on the menu for the porcine party (it’s pasted below), and nearly fainted upon first glance at the words foie gras bacon mousse. And that’s just one of a handful of hedonistic hors d'oeuvre that the Iron Chef and his team will be serving at a special, pork-themed happy hour.

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Applebee’s Scandal Inspires Good Tipping

And that's how it's done.

Remember the pastor who wrote, "I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?" on a receipt and left no tip at Applebee's? She's unintentionally inspiring acts of actual goodwill. A server (at an unidentified restaurant) posted on Reddit that a customer wrote, "We don't give the imaginary man in the sky shit! So enjoy!" and left a 20 percent tip. Nice. People are still pretty pissed about Appleebee's decision to fire Chelsea Welch, the waitress who posted the pastor's receipt online, but they're taking out their anger by overtipping random servers.

Best kind of therapy. »

The Corner Foodery Makes Its Debut Today [UPDATED]

The Corner Foodery, that mash-up of The Corner restaurant and bar in Midtown Village (gayborhood, if you must), and super-convenient beer store and deli combo The Foodery (and its offshoots in NoLibs and Roxborough) that’s been in the works for more than a year, will finally open today on the 1700 block of Sansom Street at 11 a.m. With union protests, stop work orders, and most recently, as Corner chef John “Chainsaw” Taus pointed out on Facebook, a no-show chef, the run-up to its debut has been a bumpy ride. For its premiere today, Taus will have a selection of sandwiches, and house-cured charcuterie on offer. As with its three Foodery predecessors, you can also expect a deep stock of bottled beers from around that world.

The Corner Foodery, 1710-12 Sansom Street, (215) 567-1500

Update: Though doors are open, and about half of the menu items will be available today for a soft opening of sorts, Taus just told Grub Street that The Corner Foodery’s official debut won’t come until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Beyond Cocktail: The History, and Future, of Flair Bartending

There's more to flair than Cocktail.Photo-illustration: Jed Egan

Chris Cardone launches an empty beer bottle into the air in front of me at the Beatrice Inn and catches it behind his back in one fluid motion. The ceiling of the below-ground room is a piddling seven feet high — not much space to flip bottles, but enough for Cardone to twirl the tins of a Boston shaker, windmill barspoons between his fingers, and toss 750s of gin and Campari from palm to palm behind his back as he prepares a negroni.

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Sexy Mixology TV Show Is Ready for Prime Time

We'll watch, but you have to give this guy a part.Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/Corbis

The writers of The Hangover teamed up with Ryan Seacrest's production company and are making a show for ABC called Mixology, Deadline Hollywood reports, that is incredibly likely to feature at least one gravely serious, eccentric, and apron-wearing Brooklyn hipster-type bartender who steadfastly refuses to make appletinis but falls in love with a girl who only drinks Bacardi Razz and Tab on ice, which is actually a great drink.

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