Arts

Sips and Eats: East Passyunk Restaurant Week, a soul food pop-up, and reopenings

Freebyrd Chicken at The Bourse 

East Passyunk Restaurant Week Returns

(East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District )

East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District is hosting restaurant week for its ninth year in a row with brand-new participating restaurants and expanded price points serving three-course prix fixe lunch and/or dinner available for limited indoor service, expanded outdoor seating, takeaway, and delivery starting on Monday, February 22 through Friday, March 5.

You can stop by the eclectic mix of new and trendy restaurants and top takeaway spots all with diverse flavors and fare. From Mediterranean to Italian to Chinese, patrons can expect special menus at price points ranging from $15 – $55.

“This year East Passyunk Restaurant Week has adapted to offer a variety of options whether you’re looking for something delicious indoors, outdoors, or at your door,” said EPABID Executive Director Adam Leiter. “So many of our neighborhood restaurants are working hard to keep bringing you the meals you love, but they need your support to make it through the winter.” 

This year locals can expect prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus from newcomers as well as returning favorites priced at $15, $25, $35, and for the first time — $55 for exclusive, elevated meals. Some of the participating restaurants include: 

  • Bing Bing Dim Sum (1648 E. Passyunk Avenue) – Popular non-traditional dim sum and Chinese dishes with a Jewish twist. 
  • Ember & Ash (1520 E. Passyunk Avenue) – A modern approach to a lost art of global peasant food with menu items cooked in a custom-built, wood-burning hearth.
  • Figs & Olives (1941 E. Passyunk Avenue) – Family-owned Mediterranean restaurant and cafe offering the finest in authentic Mediterranean cuisine seasoned according to home-style recipes and cooked to perfection.
  • The Palace of Indian (1533 S. 11th Street) – Authentic Indian home style cooking in an artistic space overlooking the famous Singing Fountain.
  • Redcrest Fried Chicken (1525 S. 11th Street) – The most delicious fried chicken, homemade sides, and out-of-this-world buttermilk biscuits you’ve ever eaten.

Click here for a full list of participants, menus, and participation details for each individual restaurant. Reservation information is available on the bottom of each menu page.

Valentine’s Day Deals

(Bank and Bourbon)

•  Fond: Fond, the acclaimed contemporary French restaurant on East Passyunk Avenue, is pulling out all the stops this Valentine’s Day with a bake shop pop-up and specialty menu items in addition to their street-side grill available for takeaway on Sunday, February 14.

This year, Fond is offering an elevated and delicious takeaway menu for Valentine’s Day available for pre-order now until Friday, February 12. The menu includes the following:

  • Shrimp Cocktail (six pieces) with yuzu cocktail sauce ($19)
  • Jumbo Lump Crab Salad with apple, white miso, and basil ($22)
  • Crab Cakes with smoked paprika aioli ($24)
  • White Bean and Sausage Soup ($9 / pint)
  • Beef Bourguignon($24 / quart)

As for dessert, Chef Jessie Prawlucki-Styer is hosting a bake shop pop-up with an assortment of decadent goodies such as:

  • Meyer Lemon Tart with blackberry glaze and brown butter crumble ($7)
  • Chocolate Layer Cake with dark chocolate buttercream, coconut, passionfruit curd, and milk chocolate crisp pearls ($7 slice / $38 whole cake)
  • Heart-shaped Sugar Cookies with vanilla bean raspberry icing ($4 each, 6 for $20)
  • Coconut Caramel Chocolate Truffles ($21)
  • Pâté de Fruit with strawberry-lemon, passionfruit, and cassis ($14)
  • Cocoa Nib – Hazelnut Brittle ($12)
  • Peanut Brittle ($9)
  • Olive Bread ($8)
  • Walnut Cardamom Buns with vanilla cream cheese icing ($5)

Guests can pre-order now through February 12 by emailing orders@fondphilly.com or by calling 215-551-5000 for pick-up from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 14. Limited quantities of bake sale and kitchen items will be available for walk-in purchase.

(Fond)

Additionally, Chef Lee Styer will grill street-side at 11th and Tasker on Sunday, February 14 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. with sausage sammies, house made soup, salads, burgers, cocktails to-go, and much more.

Bank and Bourbon: This Valentine’s Day weekend, enjoy an evening at Bank & Bourbon with a special three course menu prepared exclusively by Executive Chef Thomas Harkins, available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.

Guests can start with a Whipped Ricotta prepared with local honey, fresh thyme and grilled bread. Appetizer selection include Tuna Crudo, Parsnip Soup or a Gem Lettuce Winter Salad.  Entrée selection include Seared Sixty South SalmonGrilled Hanger Steak and Bank & Bourbon’s signature Seared Amish Chicken. No meal is complete without dessert, guests can finish the meal with a Chocolate Crunch Bar or Cheesecake.

Valentine’s Day at Bank & Bourbon is available for $59 per person exclusive of tax and fees and includes a complimentary glass of champagne upon arrival. To make the night extra special, guests can decide to stay the night in a newly renovated guestroom or suite starting at just $109 for the night.

For more information, click here and to book a reservation, click here.

Last-Minute Super Bowl Deals

(River Twice)

Sports fans are sure to score a touchdown with their “quaranteam” with the below Super Bowl packages from Freebyrd Chicken at The Bourse and East Passyunk Avenue restaurants, River Twice and Cantina Los Caballitos, Benny Casanova’s, and Shai.

• Benny Casanova’s: Benny Casanova’s, an homage to the pizzeria celebrity chef and television personality Franklin Becker worked at in high school, serves an exciting lineup of square pies and arancini rice balls. For the big game, the eatery is offering a buy two get the third pizza free with options such as Benny’s Famous, Pepperoni, Passyunk Ave (sweet sausage, hot peppers and broccoli rabe), The Baby Bella (cremini mushrooms and caramelized onions, Sfincione (breadcrumbs and anchovies), and the Melanzana which is perfect for eggplant lovers. Hero lovers will enjoy the newly added Meatball and Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches, perfect for a half-time snack. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online here.

• Cantina Los Caballitos: Cantina Los  Caballitos is offering Fiesta Boxes with nachos, tacos, wings, and empanadas – all of which can be made vegan – with a maximum of two boxes per order. Additionally, $16 margarita quarts, $10 growlers, and six-packs will be available.

• Freebyrd Chicken: Freebyrd Chicken at The Bourse Food Hall, known for their “damn good chicken”, is offering three different packages for Super Bowl Sunday. Sports fans can choose between the following:

  • Home Tailgate Bundle: 4 fried chicken sandwiches, 2 sides and 4 beers ($45)
  • Wings: 25 wings bone in or boneless ($22)
  • Dozen Little Chick Sandwiches: $40 — 12 mini fried chicken sandwiches

All orders must be placed by end of day on Friday, February 5 in this order form here. Orders can be picked up on Saturday or Sunday at Freebyrd Chicken at The Bourse Food Hall.

(Los Caballitos)

• River Twice: At River Twice, back for one day only is the muffuletta in whole form packed with Heavy Metal Sausage mortadella and capicola, housemade ham, provolone, olive and Jimmy Nardello relish, shredded cabbage and Sarcone’s Bakery seeded bread.

Shai: Why have guacamole and chips when you can enjoy creamy hummus and freshly baked pita? Shai is a hummusiya offering variations of hummus and other Mediterranean specialties. Perfect for feeding the family, the restaurant is offering a Super Bowl Party Package ($49.99) that serves four people and features a sampling of the menu like Hummus, golden brown Falafel, sliced spice rubbed and spit roasted Chicken Shawarma, Eggplant with flavored grilled onions, housemade pita and so much more. Orders can be placed online for takeout and delivery here.

Forsythia Reopens

(Forsythia)

Old City’s French bar and restaurant helmed by Chef Christopher Kearse, Forsythia, has officially reopened for business following with a brand-new food and beverage menu available for limited indoor service, as well as expansive, covered and heated outdoor seating, takeaway and complimentary delivery within one-mile of the acclaimed restaurant.

Chef Kearse and his team have developed an all-new Late-Winter Menu that includes six small plates featuring Escargot, Steamed Mussels, Philly Style Clam Chowder, Ham & Truffle Beignets, Whole Roasted Hen of the Woods, and Parisian Gnocchi with sweet sausage, leeks and ricotta salata, that are perfect soul-warming respites for a weary city.  Large Plates come in the way of Roasted Monkfish, an artfully presented Porchetta, Beef Short Rib, Crab Imperial Stuffed Trout — as well as Forsythia’s popular Burger Royale (previously only available at the bar). Sides include Honey Roasted Baby Sweet Potatoes and Salt Roasted Beets.

“We’re thrilled to be back in the kitchen doing what we love,” Kearse said. “In a way, this feels like our third opening (for indoor dining), first being August 23, 2019, then again last fall following the easing of restrictions, and now again at 25%. This time around, we’re going in deeper and making everything just a little more Forsythia.”

(Forsythia)

Forsythia is currently open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. for outdoor, limited indoor, and takeaway service. Service times and days will expand as the climate improves.

In addition, Forsythia is serving up a menu for two this Valentine’s Day available for takeaway and limited indoor dining. Click here for their Valentine’s Day programming.

Mom-Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up

(Chef Kevin Watters)

There’s an exciting new pop-up debuting next month at Chef Lee Styer’s The Dutch in South Philadelphia. The popular breakfast and lunch eatery with a focus on reinventing the Pennsylvania Dutch classics, is delving into the world of southern fare in honor of Black History Month with Mom Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up benefiting a local charity led by Philadelphia-based Chef Kevin Watters every Friday in February starting February 5.

West Philadelphia native Kevin Watters has been the Chef at The Dutch since April 2016, cranking out Dutch and Pennsylvania Dutch classics to locals and tourists at the bustling South Philadelphia café. For the month of February, Watters has crafted a soul food pop up as a nod to Black History Month, and has named the event “Mom Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up” in remembrance of his grandmother Lillian Lewis, who was 81 when she recently passed, and was known in her community as “everybody’s Mom-Mom”.

The takeaway meal consists of a platter with two sides, cornbread, and one meat, all for $35 per person. The southern offerings include the following:

Meat: (choose 1)
Buttermilk Fried Chicken
Braised Short Ribs with gravy

Sides: (choose 2)
Three Cheese Mac n Cheese
Collard Greens cooked with turkey butts
Black-eyed Peas
Layered Strawberry Shortcake (add on dessert +$5)

Watters and The Dutch are contributing 10% of sales to West Philadelphia based charity Mill Creek Farm. Founded in 2005, Mill Creek Farm is an educational urban farm led by people of color who are dedicated to improving local access to fresh, chemical-free produce at sustainably low cost for the local community and surrounding areas.

Orders can be placed on online here. Mom Mom’s Soul Food Pop-Up pick up will be from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. every Friday in February.


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

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