Arts

Sips and Eats: National Hot Toddy Day, new bottle shop, and sidewalk takeovers

Fond // Photo courtesy of Punch Media

National Hot Toddy Day

The chilly months are thrust upon us and what better way to stay warm and cozy while supporting local businesses than sipping on a classic cocktail — a steaming Hot Toddy! Monday, January 11 is National Hot Toddy Day, and there are several Philadelphia restaurants offering their take on the hot libation for imbibers dining outdoors or to-go. 

(Art in the Age Tea Blossom Toddy // Photo courtesy of Quaker City Mercantile )

• Art in the Age: Art in the Age, Old City’s one-of-a-kind tasting room, home bar supply and bottle shop, is offerings guests an aromatic Tea Blossom Toddy featuring a blooming tea flower. Made with Kinsey Rye Whiskey, Jasmine Infused Maple Syrup, grapefruit and rosemary bitters, and garnished with an expressed grapefruit peel, this steamy brew is now available at the Art in the Age bar to enjoy in the outdoor seating area during opening hours of Wednesday to Sunday from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

• East Passyunk Ave: East Passyunk Avenue, home to over 150 independently owned businesses in South Philadelphia, has a slew of restaurants and bars offering the classic winter cocktail available for outdoor dining and on the go. Cantina Los  Caballitos has crafted a Tequila Toddy made up of Corralejo Añejo, Grand Marnier, lemon, orange juice, agave, and cinnamon sticks ($12). Down the road at Pub on  Passyuk  East (POPE) guests can sip on their Rum Hot Toddy consisting of Goslings dark rum, lemon, sage ginger honey, and clove ($10). Lastly, Manatawny Still Works offers a twist on the traditional Hot Toddy with their Hot Spiked Cider composed of honey whiskey, lemon, cinnamon, and star anise ($13).

• MilkBoy: MilkBoy, The Philadelphia-born brand that includes a legendary recording studio in Northern Liberties and bar-and-restaurant concepts MilkBoy Philly and MilkBoy South Street, has transformed their 4th and South location into a roofed and heated streetery dubbed ‘Rock Salt’ fit with hot cocktails including a Rock ‘n’ Rye Toddy with Rock and Rye, honey, lemon, and clove ($13). In honor of National Hot Toddy Day, MilkBoy South Street is offering half off Toddies priced at just $6 all week long for imbibers to enjoy.

• Red Owl Tavern: Old City’s Red Owl Tavern, right across the street from Independence Hall and just a stone’s throw from area attractions, is celebrating National Hot Toddy Day all week long. Fortunately, Red Owl’s steamy offer coincides with the re-opening of museums and cultural institutions. Folks looking to warm up with a toasty spiked beverage should hit up Red Owl Tavern, now offering a week-long  Hot Toddy Special, with all hot toddies available for just $5 from  Monday, January 11 through Friday, January 15. Imbibers are encouraged to stop by Red Owl Tavern, adjacent to Hotel Monaco, to warm up with a steaming Toddy before or after making their way to the Museum of the American Revolution, or one of the many other historic sites nearby.

• Rex1516: Rex 1516, Philadelphia’s go-to for elevated Southern cuisine, is combating the winter weather with their take on the classic libation with Bonfire at the Orchard composed of Cruzan dark rum, Laird’s bonded apple brandy, St. George pear brandy, cinnamon-clove compound butter, raw cane sugar, and garnished with nutmeg ($12).

• Urban Farmer: The folks at Urban FarmerLogan Square’s modern American steakhouse, have their signature Toddy on the menu that is sure to keep imbibers warm and cozy during the chilly months ahead. The Farm Toddy is made up of bourbon, Allspice Dram, honey, lemon, and chamomile ($15).

Cake & Joe

(Cake & Joe)

Sarah Qi and Trista Tang opened Cake & Joe, Philly’s Newest Dessert and Coffee Shop, in Pennsport with a 50 Cake Giveaway on Friday, December 18.  Living near Beijing, Sarah Qi and Trista Tang were the best of friends who met in high school and stayed super close after graduating. Roughly 12 years later, and with both of them now living in the Philadelphia area after moving to the States for college, the two are not only still best friends, but now you can add business partners to their relationship.

(Cake & Joe)

The new gourmet dessert café and weekend brunchery is located at 1401 E. Moyamensing Avenue in Philadelphia’s Pennsport neighborhood. Qi will oversee day-to-day operations, while Tang, who learned how to bake from a French teacher, will manage the baking.

(Cake & Joe)

“This is a very stressful time to open a business, but we are very excited and very optimistic that the neighborhood will support us from the start,” said Qi. “I’m so happy to be able to work with my best friend and start this new business together, especially because even our spouses are business partners and close friends. It’s been a long road since we planned on opening, but we know that we are very ready for this journey.”

(Cake & Joe)

Cake & Joe is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with weekend brunch service launching in early 2021. At full capacity, there are 48 seats inside, and another 24 outside wrapping around the building. Qi said the brunch menu will be less traditional and more modern, but will still feature a variety of breakfast sandwiches, Benedicts, and other favorites. The shop offers  La Colombe coffee and gourmet hot chocolate, and will feature draft cold brew, a number of grab-and-go items and afternoon tea service. The single-serve cakes are priced at $7 and $8 apiece, and feature creations such as Coffee Mousse; Passion Chocolate; Almond Caramel; Strawberry Mousse; Green Tea; Chocolate Blood Orange, and more. Tang said the plan is to wholesale cakes to local cafés and other businesses, and that catering for special events and weddings will be available. The gourmet cake offerings include a number of elegant, modern and even whimsical designs, many filled with mousse and seasonal compositions.

“I love baking and it’s a dream to open this shop with Sarah,” said Tang. “We hope Philadelphia will enjoy our desserts, which we put an incredible amount of time and effort in to create.”

Evil Genius Shops in Northern Liberties and Rittenhouse

(Photo courtesy of Evil Genius Beer Company)

Evil Genius Kwik-E Beer Pop-up Shops have been at 702 N. 2nd Street and 1602 Spruce Street since the holiday season started. The Fishtown-based brewery expanded to their first ever brick-and-mortar locations beyond The Lab at 1727 Front Street, with these new beer shop concepts. Evil Genius Kwik-E Beer Pop-up Shops will now represent a new direction that Evil Genius is exploring for future pop-up and retail opportunities.

The concept was developed to bring Evil Genius into new places in an all new way, and to ensure that Evil Genius can continue to keep employees employed and working through the pandemic – especially as indoor dining has closed at The Lab and cold weather will affect the outdoor Evil Genius Beer Garden.

(Photo courtesy of Evil Genius Beer Company)

“With current restrictions in place, Evil Genius Beer Company needed new ways to pivot and expand our footprint without indoor dining and with cold weather impeding our outdoor activities,” said co-owner Trevor Hayward. “The new Evil Genius Kwik-E Beer Pop-up concepts give us the opportunity to retain as many jobs as possible for our front of house staff and bring our product to all new places in new ways. With roots in Fishtown, the brewery is excited to expand to Center City’s Rittenhouse neighborhood and to Northern Liberties. These will be long term through the early to late winter – and we can’t wait to meet everyone that comes to visit us!”

Try any of these fun brews and more:

 Brunch so Hard: Orange and Mango IPA – Created in partnership with Miller High Life – Orange and Mango IPA that is inspired by the Champagne of Beers, playing on the boozy brunch favorite, the Mimosa, and carving out its own niche as the new Mimosa of Beers.

Stacy’s Mom: Citra IPA – American IPA dry-hopped exclusively with Citra hops. Soft on the palate with extremely low bitterness, this is a great example of a new-school American IPA.

Fly Like an Eagle: Oat IPA – We took last season’s recipe and revamped it, making this beer even more crushable. We used the same American 2-row barley, British oats, and house ale yeast to make a beer with a slightly lower ABV and even more dry hops- Idaho 7 and Azacca to be exact. Now you’ve got the ultimate tailgate beer.

Konami Code: Double IPA – Double IPA hopped exclusively with Amarillo and built off a German spelt malt base.

Might do a workout class today, might eat a whole pizza. It’s called balance sweetie, look it up: American Pilsner –  German Pilsner with a hoppy American twist. Hopped exclusively with Hallertau Blanc for a fragrant elderflower character with notes of gooseberry, lemongrass, and grapefruit.

(Photo courtesy of Evil Genius Beer Company)

There is no end date for either shop, but they will be here at least through January 2021.

South Philadelphia Street-Side Takeover: The Dutch at Fond

(The Dutch)

Chef Lee Styer’s The Dutch and Fond are joining forces this winter for a weekly street-side pop up consisting of brunch bites and cocktails by day, and cheesesteaks, sausage sammies, and a bevy of libations by night . the pop-up began on Wednesday January 6.

The Dutch, Pennsport’s popular breakfast and lunch café with a focus on Dutch and Pennsylvania Dutch classics, will operate on 11th and Tasker outside of Fond, the acclaimed contemporary French restaurant on East Avenue, on Wednesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Chef Kevin Watters, chef of The Dutch since 2016, will man the grill with delicious offerings including the following:

  • Chicken Quesadillas with cheddar cheese, chicken, peppers, and onions ($9)
  • Breakfast Sandwiches with two eggs, meat, and cheese ($8)
  • Reubens with corned beef, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, sauerkraut on marble rye ($10)
  • Side of potatoes ($5)
  • A selection of beverages will be available to go including Mimosas ($9), Bloody Marys ($9/virgin $5), Orange Juice ($4), and Coffee ($3).

(Fond Brie en Croûte)

Starting at 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, Chef Styer will take over with a stellar menu of cheesesteaks, sausage sammies, Brie en Croûte, homemade soups, and much more. Cigar City Brewing beers, Spiked Mulled Cider, Hot Cider, and cocktails to-go will be available for sipping alongside Fond’s fire pits.

The Dutch will operate during opening hours of 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for takeaway and outdoor dining (weather permitting). Fond will continue their street-side pop up on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. with a rotating menu of eats and libations.

a.bar+bottles opens in Rittenhouse Square

(a.bar+bottles)

Renowned Rittenhouse cocktail bar, a.bar, transitioned into a bottle shop selling natural wines from the best producers in the world alongside cocktail kits, to-go cocktails, ciders, beer and bar accessories and it will now be operating under the name a.bar+bottles.

Located at the City’s most bustling corner at 18th & Walnut in the ground floor of AKA Rittenhouse Square, the new bottle shop boasts over 150 different labels and is home to some rare gems available to the public at some very accessible prices. Some of these exceptional finds include bottles from Hirotake Ooka (Domaine de la Grande Colline), Frank Cornelissen, Paolo Bea, Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey, and many more.

(a.bar+bottles)

“a.bar+bottles is Rittenhouse and Center City’s newest, most definitive shop for natural and organic wine,” explains a.bar’s Beverage Director and Sommelier, Frank Kinyon. “You’ll have no issue finding a great bottle of wine in this well-curated, extensive selection. In addition to wine, we are offering guests cocktails and cocktail kits from a.bar’s famed beverage program. Expect to also see additional goodies from Chef Eli Collins, Chris Curtin of Éclat Chocolate, as well as fresh baked breads from High Street Philly,” Kinyon notes.

(a.bar+bottles)

In addition to the stellar wine selection, a.bar’s food offerings will be transitioning as well. Formerly beloved for high-end bar snacks like burgers, oysters, and tartare, Chef Eli Collins has developed a charcuterie program, especially for the new a.bar+bottles. Pâtés, sausages, and more — house-made by Collins himself – will be packaged and available for purchase to accompany bottle selections. Other edible offerings include loaves of High Street Philly’s fresh bread, Eclat’s award-winning artisanal chocolates, and bags of Rival Bros. coffee. The bottle shop will also carry some retail items including branded blankets, a selection of bitters, bartending gear and a small library of the team’s favorite books.

(a.bar+bottles)

With the creation of a.bar+bottles, a.kitchen will be taking a new approach to its acclaimed wine list. Moving forward, the restaurant’s entire wine inventory will be available to-go via the wine shop. Customers dining in the restaurant are welcome to purchase bottles from the shop at their accessible prices with an additional $30 flat corkage fee. This change is an effort to make great wines more accessible to the public and encourage dining at a.kitchen during these difficult times.

A.bar+ bottles will be open seven days a week from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and it’s located at 1737 Walnut Street.

You can view it’s inventory here.


You can follow Candis McLean on Twitter (@CandisRMcLean) and e-mail her at candis.mclean@gmail.com.

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