Craft Beer, Great Plates at City Tap House
The University City mainstay attracts beer and food fans alike.
March 22, 2013
Boasting the largest draft beer list in Philadelphia, City Tap House is home to over 60 taps that offer everything from wheat beers to pale ales, IPAs to malts. Fans of fruity, spiced beer should try the Brew Works Framboise, a 6.5% beer that spends three years fermenting in a barrel before being mixed with fresh raspberries. Meanwhile, porter and stout aficionados can indulge in Stoudt’s Fat Dog, or Young’s Double Chocolate Stout—a 5% beverage with a tasty, bittersweet balance. Not sure which beer to choose? Opt for the beer flights, which offer four five-ounce samples of beers of your choice.
After selecting the perfect brew, guests can start their dining experience with one of City Tap House’s unique appetizers. Vegetarians have the option of the chickpea fritters, a beautifully plated dish complete with feta puree, cucumber salad, parsley sauce, and grilled pita, while meat-lovers will want to sample ten-spice wings or the crispy smoked octopus with roasted baby potatoes. In addition to daily-themed suppers, hungry patrons can order brick oven pizzas, salads, mussels, craftwiches, and more. Whether it’s the ricotta gnocchi with foraged mushrooms, Brussels sprout leaves, green apples, and pine nuts, or the hearty portion of pork loin and Poblano mashed potatoes, the options abound.
Like what you taste? Join City Tap House in welcoming the warm weather months at the annual patio kickoff and Pig Roast Beer-B-Q on April 20 (12-4 pm). Guests will sample beers from the Brooklyn Brewery, cocktail specials, music from a Grateful Dead cover band, and an all-you-can-eat pig barbecue. For $20 tickets, visit citytaphouse.com. 39th and Walnut St., University City, 215-662-0105
Photography by Ryan Lavine (food)
Del Frisco’s Dishes Up Power Lunch
Philadelphia’s prime steakhouse launches a prix-fixe lunch menu.
March 20, 2013
Center City’s world-class eatery, Del Frisco’s Steakhouse, recently introduced a $20 prix-fixe menu for locals and professionals on-the-go who crave a quick—and luxurious—lunch.
The mid-day special includes two courses, an appetizer and an entrée, with a variety of options for each. Menu items will change monthly, giving diners a taste of all that the steakhouse has to offer. Throughout March, lunch-goers can look forward to choices such as Del Frisco’s famous cheesesteak dumplings with spicy ketchup, a fresh Maine lobster roll, and seafood ciopinno with Parmesan risotto, shrimp, calamari, white fish, and mussels.
“It is so exciting to provide such great value, especially to our lunch guests as it offers seasonal menu items at an affordable price in the most amazing ambiance in the city,” says regional manager Richie Furino. “The looks on our guests’ faces as they take in the architecture with its soaring ceilings, massive marble pillars, and 50-foot wine tower make me realize why we do what we do.”
Del Frisco’s is located at the corner of 15th and Chestnut in the First Pennsylvania Bank building. Call to make a reservation. 1426 Chestnut St., Center City, 215-246-0533
Photograph Courtesy Del Frisco’s
Special Programming Examines the '20s
The National Constitution Center's unique tie-in with spring break looks at the colorful era.
March 18, 2013
As a unique alternative to traditional spring break revelry, culture aficionados are encouraged to learn about the roaring ‘20s with special thematic programming “Spring Break: The Roaring '20s,” at the National Constitution Center starting March 25.
Just steps away from the ongoing “American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition” exhibit, museum guests will experience the colorful history of the ‘20s through an array of mediums. The Roaring ‘20s Show (10:30 am and 1:30 pm daily; 1:30 pm Sunday) is an informational discussion that will teach the audience about music, movies, literature, and politics during the Prohibition era. Meanwhile, Tales of the ‘20s (12 and 3 pm daily) is a program offered at a recreated speakeasy.
In addition to craft stations and theme days, the National Constitution Center will present fashion shows and dance lessons, the latter of which will feature infamous flapper-era dance moves like the fox trot and the Charleston. Museum-goers can also take in Music Days (March 27; April 3 and 5), with performances by the Perseverance Jazz Band, and the Jazz Age Show, an interactive musical experience that explores the impact of African-Americans in the 1920s. "The Roaring ‘20s" program will be available through Sunday, April 7; see the full schedule of events at constitutioncenter.org. 525 Arch St., Philadelphia, 215-409-6600
Rolls-Royce Wraith Debuts in Geneva
The British auto brand takes a 1938 model for a modern spin.
March 13, 2013
It’s symptomatic for Rolls-Royce to look backwards before moving forward when the time for contemplation of a new model is imminent. With a storied history—founder Charles Stewart Rolls was in his twenties when he co-founded the company and, as a young pilot, became the first man to double cross the English Channel non-stop—and a reservoir of creativity at its disposal, the British automaker proudly staged the world debut of its dynamic new Wraith recently at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show.
Wraith, titled after a mystical Scottish spirit, represents new potential direction for Rolls-Royce and extends its level of luxury, refinement, and hand-craftsmanship, but also presents unique positioning defined by power, style, and drama. Originally conceived in 1938, the rebirth of the current fastback and its perfectly engineered features and technical contour introduces a younger demographic to the Rolls-Royce brand. The sleek and vigorous Wraith is purely driver oriented with its Ghost-based 6.6-liter V12 that now outputs 624-horsepower (European spec), allowing it to reach 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. With this in mind, the majestic gran turismo becomes the most powerful Rolls-Royce in the history of the company.
Hallmark coach doors open into the Wraith’s rich cabin, which is composed of Phantom-grade leathers and Canadel Panelling wood veneers. A bespoke touch of imagination is displayed by way of the lustrous night roof lining, conceived by the hand stitching of 1,340 fibre optic lamps. For enthusiastic owners who position themselves directly behind the wheel, innovative technology dubbed Satellite Aided Transmission applies GPS mapping algorithms to forecast the driver’s next move using current location-base and drive characteristics. The system then pre-chooses the most suitable gear from the 8-speed automatic ZF transmission appropriate for the impending topography ahead.
Expect deliveries by the end of the year to early 2014 with a current European price of €245K. Further pricing details for additional markets such as the U.S. will be revealed at a later date. It’s currently a moment of introspection for Rolls-Royce as they position themselves for supplementary growth, heightened levels of performance, and inflated expectations from their loyalists.
Where to Spend St. Patrick’s Day
Area spots offer specials that stray from your usual green beer and bagels.
March 13, 2013
Gucci 'Handbag Artisan Corner'
The upscale fashion brand demonstrates how their luxe leather goods are hand-crafted.
March 11, 2013
Bringing the artistic beauty of Florence to the King of Prussia Mall, Gucci will host the “Handbag Artisan Corner” at its namesake store March 18-20. The event will give guests an insider’s look at how custom-made, Florentine-leather Gucci bags are crafted from scratch.
Even better, the bag assembling happens right in front of onlookers’ eyes—artisans will set up on custom worktables with metal tools, sewing machines, leather strands, and more. The skilled workers will be crafting the 130-piece New Bamboo, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis-inspired New Jackie, Stirrup bags, and the recently released Soft Stirrup bags. All bags are available with hand-embossed monograms and in multiple colors and exotic skins. Each creation will also feature a special interior plaque carved with the location and date it was made.
Gucci's King of Prussia store is located in the lower level of the Plaza near Neiman Marcus. 160 N. Gulph Road, King of Prussia, 610-337-4130
Liberté Lounge Menu Celebrates Artwork
The Sofitel’s lounge launches a limited-time nod to ‘Taming of the Stripes’ exhibit.
March 08, 2013
In homage to Norma Bessières’ zebra-inspired “Taming of the Stripes” art exhibit opening in the Sofitel lobby on March 15, the hotel’s Liberté Lounge will offer guests a specialty menu from March 15 through the end of this month.
Created by executive chef Jim Colemen, the offerings include an array of authentic African dishes tinged with a few French elements. Diners can indulge in Ghana soup shooters, Nigerian pancakes with smoked shrimp, and Kenya M’Baazi—a dish comprised of coconut beans in lettuce envelopes—among other native fare.
The Liberté Lounge will also be drawing up delicious drinks inspired by the vibrant artworks. In addition to an impressive selection of red and white wines, the lounge will feature the African Obsession, a mixture of vodka and white and dark Godiva liqueur; and the Safari, a fruity combination of Malibu rum, Cointreau, pineapple, and orange juice.
The “Taming of the Stripes” exhibit will be on display through June 2013, and the Liberté Lounge is open seven days a week (7:30 a.m.- 2 a.m.). 120 S. 17th St., 215-569-8300
Q&A With: Bobby Rydell on the National Kidney Foundation
In light of the upcoming Kidney Ball, the 60’s teen star and transplant survivor opens up.
March 06, 2013
In light of the National Kidney Foundation’s 29th Annual Kidney Ball at Philadelphia’s prestigious Hyatt at the Bellevue (Saturday, March 9), Philadelphia Style caught up with gala honoree and 60’s musical teen sensation, Bobby Rydell. Below, the Philadelphia native discusses being a kidney transplant survivor, his hopes and goals for the future, and his work with the NKF.
How did you find out you were in need of a transplant?
BOBBY RYDELL: In December 2011 I started to become very ill. I was in the hospital in mid December. After discharge I did a show with the Golden Boys at the Borgata for New Year's Eve; three days after that show I was re-admitted to the hospital and talk of a liver transplant started. I was having bouts of encephalopathy—swelling of the brain—due to the inability of my liver to rid the toxins from my body. It was at this point that I started the process to be evaluated for liver transplant. By May 2012 my kidneys had failed and I was started on dialysis three times a week. With this new crisis I became a candidate for a double transplant.
What is your goal with spreading the word about your experience?
BR: Although you can live without your kidneys because of dialysis, it is not the quality of life that most people want. After what I have been through, I feel that the public needs to be made aware of how important it is to take care of your kidneys.
How do you hope your experience will benefit others in similar situations?
BR: I hope that after hearing my story the public will pay attention to their bodies and see the doctor on a regular basis. It is important to follow the advice of medical professionals. I had been warned a few years ago that my kidneys were being compromised due to my diabetes, but since there was no pain and I felt fine I thought the doctors were being overly dramatic—boy, was I wrong!
How did you first become involved with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF)?
BR: I was approached by the NKF about two months after my surgery in regards to being an advocate. I, of course, agreed since I had just experienced a transplant. If one person avoids being put on dialysis by my story, then it is worth it.
Tickets for this weekend’s Kidney Ball are sold out, but discover more ways you can support the cause at kidney.org.
Flywheel Phenomenon Hits Philadelphia
The indoor cycling studio opened in Center City this past Sunday.
March 04, 2013
Flywheel Sports' signature stadium seating.
Offering a total body workout to cardio-cravers and thrill-seekers alike, the Flywheel Sports studio opened in Rittenhouse Square on Sunday, March 3. Whether riders choose to embark on 45- or 60-minute programs, the Flywheel experience will challenge every muscle, providing an intense, heart-pumping exercise routine. The cycling sessions put both the upper and lower body to the test with weighted bars and custom-made indoor cycling bikes.
“In the past few years we've been expanding Flywheel Sports coast to coast and couldn't be more thrilled to call Philadelphia our new home,” says Flywheel Sports cofounder, Ruth Zuckerman. “With each new studio opening I'm able to do what I'm passionate about—introduce people to a unique form of exercise that is not only challenging and fun, but provides a mental escape and motivates them to keep coming back for more.”
Consistent with the other 20 Flywheel studios, the Philadelphia flagship location boasts classes with stadium seating, and will feature one-of-a-kind amenities like the TorqBoard, a performance-tracking device that enables riders to accurately record their resistance and speed. Participants can post their performances on the flat-screen TorqBoard displays in the front of each class and then compare their progress to other in-class riders, or check out the Flywheel website post-workout to review their stats. Flywheel will also offer complimentary towels, indoor cycling shoes, and an in-house DJ to enhance your cycling experience. 1521 Locust St., Center City, 215-600-1281
Amada Celebrates National Pig Day
Jose Garces and team celebrate swine with pork-centric cocktails and small plates.
February 28, 2013
Old City tapas spot, Amada, pays tribute to National Pig Day with small plates and cocktails tomorrow night.
Paying tribute to National Pig Day on March 1, chef Jose Garces’ Amada will host a Pig Happy Hour tomorrow night (March 1, 5-7 p.m.) with pork-centric cocktails and tapas. Guests will indulge in small bites like octopus, pork belly, or Taylor Bay scallop brochettes, foie gras and bacon mousse, pickled mussels with chorizo and apple, ham croquettes with romesco sauce, and more.
Pig-inspired cocktails further the theme, with options like the Desayuno, a combination of maple-aged whiskey with Carpano Antico vermouth and candied bacon, or the Carne Tremula with Tito’s vodka and chicharones, pickled carrot, and a horseradish crema.
After Friday’s swine fest, head back to Amada on March 10 for the annual Pig Out Dinner. For $55 per person ($75 with endless sangria), diners will take part in a three-course prix-fixe menu. From the spinach salad with figs, almonds, and bacon vinaigrette, to the grilled skewered chorizo sausage, to the all-you-can-eat roasted pig, Amada’s dinner will showcase pork as you’ve never seen it before. Seatings are available at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; reservations required by calling the restaurant at 215-625-2450. 217-219 Chestnut St., Old City
Photography by Jason Varney