Sips and Eats: Philly’s best food and drink picks for Feb. 13-17

Featured Bars and Lounges

The Spotlight of the Week: Valentine’s Day Countdown

(Red Owl Tavern’s Murder Mystery)

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is a day away. Philly Influencer has been highlighting where to take your special someone on the beloved holiday for weeks. Here’s the final installment of places to frequent on this lovely day.

Bank and Bourbon: This Valentine’s Day, enjoy an evening at Bank & Bourbon with a special three-course menu prepared exclusively by Chef Joe Thomas Jr. Warm up with a Butternut Squash Soup or Raw Oysters, a classic aphrodisiac option for the special night. Then select seafood, steak or chicken options including Bank & Bourbon’s signature Roasted Lancaster Chicken or the Truffle Pappardelle. No meal is complete without dessert, guests can finish the meal with passion with the Passion Fruit Tart or a dessert selection. Can’t make it Thursday but still want to celebrate your loved one? Chef Joe Thomas Jr. will be featuring dinner specials throughout the entire weekend for diners to enjoy.

The Bourse: The Bourse is offering an anti-Valentine’s Day alternative for singles — Shred-Her (Him) at The Bourse. From 11 am to close on Valentine’s Day, guests can get closure by shredding a photo of an ex. Yes, The Bar by Bluebird Distilling will have a shredder on-site. Guests who shred a photo will receive a complimentary Clover Club cocktail, boasting Bluebird Distilling Juniperus Gin, lemon juice, egg white, and raspberry syrup. TAPS Fill Station will be serving up Schwarzbier, aka black beer, all night — $5 for 12 oz / $12 for 33 oz.

J. Alexander’s: This new contemporary American restaurant in King of Prussia, is celebrating Valentine’s Day by offering a complimentary Champagne pour to every couple who dines on Thursday, February 14th. Additionally, each couple will receive a complimentary red rose for the table. Guests can indulge in deluxe dishes such as the Filet Mignon with Béarnaise, Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Ahi Tuna Filet, Carolina Crab Cakes, and more.

Red Owl Tavern: Red Owl Tavern will be having a Murder Mystery Dinner on February 14th from 7-10 pm. Guests will enjoy an interactive performance right at the dinner table, accompanied by a three “corpse” meal with beer and wine pairings. Guests will sip, eat and sleuth during an all-around killer night in Red Owl Tavern’s romantic Shanghai Room. Tickets are $90/person and can be purchased online or by calling the restaurant at 215.923.2267.

Royal Boucherie: Royal Boucherie is celebrating Valentine’s Day with an Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder event. It will be an evening of absinthe, hors d’oeuvres and burlesque — on Wednesday, February 13 at 8 pm. For $25, guests will enjoy six performances by the fabulous Ginger Leigh, Violet Outburst and Hattie Harlowe, bites from acclaimed chef Nicholas Elmi, and an absinthe cocktail.

On Thursday, February 14th, Chef Nicholas Elmi is pulling out all the stops with his Valentine’s Day features, such as Lobster Poutine ($25), Boucherie Baked Oysters ($24), Monkfish Osso Bucco ($36), Jumbo Lump Crab Spaghetti ($38) and a Green Meadow Farm Ribeye for Two ($125). Bar Manager, Zeq Rudy, will be serving up French 52s ($12) all evening as well as specialty bottles of bubbly, including Malvira Rive Gauche ($68), Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve ($240)) and Meinkklang Frizzante Rose ($74).

(Square 1682)

Square 1682: Rittenhouse’s Modern American Kitchen + Cocktails, is treating couples to a deluxe 5-course Valentine’s Day prix-fixe menu, featuring Parmesan Gougères, Gnocchi and Meatballs, Roasted Monkfish, Pan Seared Hanger Steak, and more. Dessert includes Milk and a Giant Cookie or Strawberry Prosecco Sorbet. This specialty menu from Executive Chef Mack Horebe is $60/person and will be available exclusively on Valentine’s Day.

Ocean Prime: Ocean Prime is offering three deluxe features in addition to its regular dinner menu, including a Petite Filet Mignon with Lobster Gratin ($65) with gouda potato cake, chili sautéed spinach truffle demi; Roasted Sea Bass over Alaskan King Crab Gnocchi with Champagne Cream ($60) and a Marbled Blackberry Cheesecake ($13) for dessert. Guests can also enjoy regular dinner menu offerings, including prime seafood and steak such as the Twin Lobster Tails, Crab Cakes, Dutch Harbor King Crab Legs, Surf & Turf, 16 oz Ribeye, among the mix. Couples can toast to their love with a bottle of wine from Ocean Prime’s award-winning selection or cheers with a craft cocktail.

Sofitel Philadelphia: Liberté Lounge, one of Sofitel Philadelphia’s restaurants, will be hosting an evening of love. Chef has prepared a menu with the finest tastes of Paris. The dinner menu is pre-fixed and consists of dishes such as Hama Hama oysters, wild mushroom & foie gras feuillete, crispy duck breast, pan seared filet mignon, cheese platters, and a chocolate dessert. The dinner costs $60 per guest. An optional bottle of champagne will be offered at a special price of $45.

The Twisted Tail: Headhouse Square’s restaurant, bar and live music, invites loved ones to celebrate the holiday with a 4-course family-style prix-fixe menu. For $49/person, guests will enjoy Southern-inspired eats in one of the city’s premier restaurants and live music venues. Imbibers can also enjoy brown spirits from one of the most extensive selections in the city as well as seasonal specialty cocktails from Owner, George Reilly.

Urban Farmer: Philadelphia’s modern American “chic” steakhouse, invites couples to celebrate with deluxe à la carte Valentine’s Day features in addition to the regular dinner menu, including Oyster Velouté ($16), two shareable entrées, including a 36 oz. Painted Hills Farm Cowboy Cut Ribeye ($120) and 24 oz. Swordfish Chop ($38), as well as Grilled Lobster Tail ($25) and a Rum-Soaked Orange Chiffon Cake ($12). Imbibers can indulge in two specialty cocktails, including Date Night Flip ($14) with aged rum, dates, dry curaçao, walnut liqueur, orange and coffee zest; and Heartbreak Kid ($14) served with rye whiskey, maraschino liqueur, lemon and raspberry.

This Week in Cocktails: Art in the Age’s Cherry Bounce

( Art in the Age’s Sweet Lips cocktail made with Cherry Blossom liqueur)

Art in the Age Cherry Bounce is available while supplies last. The blend draws inspiration from First Lady Martha Washington’s journals, where the recipe for Cherry Bounce was first discovered as a tasty way to preserve the fresh fruit of harvest all year round and flavor a spirit. Art in the Age Cherry Bounce was distilled using a rye whiskey base and infused cherries directly in the barrel. Art in the Age Cherry Bounce makes the perfect last-minute Valentine’s Day gift, is a delicious component to craft cocktails, and can also be celebrated neat or on the rocks. This specialty spirit is extremely limited as just 200 bottles were created.

In honor of the Cherry Bounce release, Art in the Age is popping up at the Museum of the American Revolution and the Powel House for GEORGE WASHINGTON DRANK HERE: A Presidential History Crawl, Tuesday, February 19th, 6-9PM. Attendees will learn more about Washington and life in Philadelphia during the revolution, then head back to Art in the Age for the official after party and a President’s Day-inspired cocktail menu. The Facebook event can be found here.

Weekly Events

(Artist Bash at The Barnes Foundation)

Each week, Philly Influencer picks the best parties, events, and social gatherings the area has to offer.

Real Housewives Trivia at Punch Line Philly: Benefiting the PSPCA, Punch Line Philly will be hosting a Real Housewives trivia night this Wednesday at 7 pm. There will be a pre-party for the event starting at 5 pm. Come test your knowledge about the most talked about ladies on tv while enjoying some good drinks and laughs.

Sweetheart Skate: The Rothman Ice Rink and the Blue Cross RiverRink will be holding a Sweetheart Skates tonight. Come out to circle around the ice with your date. The Blue Cross RiverRink will have photo booths, chocolates, flowers, and more. Both venues will have food, beverages, and cocktails nearby.

Ex Files Story Slam: FringeArts will be hosting the 9th annual Ex Files Story Slam. There will be two shows tonight at 7 P.M. and 9:30 P.M. Come hear comedians and acts dish some hilarious stories of love, heartbreak, and the ups and downs of dating.

Silent V-Day Party at Luck Strike: This Thursday night there will be a Valentine’s Day-themed Silent Party at Lucky Strike. The incredible bowling entertainment venue will be bursting with colorful headphones playing the best music of your choice.

Big Philly Beerfest: The Pennsylvania Convention center will be the place to be this weekend. This Friday will be the Big Philly Beerfest. More than 125 local and national craft brewers will be there at this 5th annual event. There will be food trucks, live entertainment, and more.

Artist Bash: Take Me Home: The Barnes Foundation will be partying it up Saturday night. The theme and nuance of “home” will be explored through live performances at the sixth installment of Artist Bash. There will be drinks, great entertainment, live music, dancing, and more.

Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention: The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention runs from Friday, February 15th-Sunday, February 17th. There will be several skilled and talented tattoo artists, workshops, live music, food trucks, and more.

Doctor ZhivaGoGo Winter’s Ball and Dance Party: The self-proclaimed “most romantic party of the year,” is this Saturday night. The Trestle Inn will be transformed to a winter wonderland with ice sculptures & bar by Ice Sculpture Philly, a Valentine’s Cocktail Menu, complimentary VDKA 6100, disco dance Party w/ TSOT DJ Skeme Richards, and more. White attire is requested.

Fire and Ice Festival at City Tap House U-City: City Tap House University City will be hosting their Fire and Ice Festival this Sunday. There will be an ice sculpture showdown, a chili cookoff, shot luges, drinks specials, and more.

The Cellar Wine Tasting: Join The Rittenhouse Hotel this Sunday for a fun, yet informative afternoon of wine tasting in Philadelphia and indulge in over 50 wineries on display. Talk to some reps and sommeliers for some extra insider knowledge, and more.


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at

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