The best ice cream to pick up right now

The approach of summer puts us in an ice cream mood. This week, we’re sharing a dozen local favorites, plus recipes from Juneteenth, a word on a new Philly-tipped seltzer, and a look at dozens of new restaurants (and I’m going to reveal a secret on a new fruit spot. Greek sea).

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– Michael Klein

No city has claimed the title of America’s Ice Cream Capital. It is high time that Philadelphia did. Contributor Regan Stephens delivers the Cold, Hard Facts: 12 Terrific Stores, with two more on the way.

Suppressed consumer demand, cheaper rents and the sight of the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel – coupled with the usual optimism – is shaping up to be a restaurant boom in mid-2021 in the Philadelphia area. Some sixty projects on the radar include a cover of South Street Dobbs’ music bar, a pizzeria by chef Jose Garces, a Mexican-themed nightclub by Stephen Starr, and an “grown-up” version of the Center City Middle Child lunch.

It’s been a long time since our man Craig LaBan and other food critics have issued constructive reviews of a dining experience. When is it fair, ethical, or even necessary for a critic to resume his function as a consumer journalist? Craig shares his thoughts.

And what will the “normal” in Philadelphia restaurants look like? On the one hand, these plastic barriers are falling.

The pandemic is teaching restaurateurs to think differently. For some, that means adding special events to their repertoire. Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook from Zahav and Robert and Ben Bynum from South enter the event world with their own event venues. Amid all this optimism, I also spoke to seasoned caterer Joe Volpe from Cescaphe, who explains how bad it is for his industry in 2020.

Here is more on Lilah, the place of the events of Cook and Solomonov. It will include a location of Goldie, their falafel store.

Although White Claw and Truly dominate the hard salt market, Philadelphia has a local manufacturer with big ambitions: Two Robbers, run from the Bok Building by twin brothers Vikram and Vivek Nayar. Colleague Jenn Ladd said with $ 6 million in investor funding, Two Robbers could see a booming future. Another novelty in the beverage industry is Osena, an enriched coconut water, invented by two Wharton graduates.

June 19 is June 19, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States and focusing on the history and contributions of black Americans. It was named a holiday in Philadelphia in 2020. Red foods have become a symbol of the blood and resilience of slaves, and collaborator Tiffani Rozier shares three recipes, including red peppers, red beans, tomatoes and strawberries. , to honor this tradition.

Meanwhile, three black-owned food companies are in the spotlight at the ongoing Philadelphia Flower Show. Sweet Nina’s, KakeMi Cakes and Jillian Bakes share a sales tent, courtesy of the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises at the Enterprise Center.

It’s Black Restaurant Week in Philadelphia, and Craig talks about his favorite restaurants that celebrate the flavors of African American, African and Caribbean cuisine.

Briefly noted

New Jersey Shore Brunch Option: Sabrina’s Coffee supports the Lot at Tomatoes food truck in Margate every Saturday and Sunday this summer, starting this weekend at 8 a.m., sold out, first come, first served. Brunch classics and Sabrina fan favorites will be available to eat in and take out.

Wawa kisses its Delcohood, writes my colleague Stéphanie Farr. The convenience store chain is organizing a Easttown mare Day on Thursday June 10 at the opening of its new location at 418 W. Baltimore Pike in Upper Darby. The 100 customers attending the 8:00 am opening will receive free coffee and a limited edition Wawa Delco shirt. In addition, from June 10 to 17, the chain’s 42 Delco stores – and only Delco stores – will also offer a limited edition Easttown mare spicy cheese steak.

Closures: Superior Pasta, which sold fresh pasta and prepared meals from the Italian market, has closed. Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat the location at 21st and South Street is done; the original from Northern Liberties is not affected. And June 30 will be the end of the line for Trolley car coffee in East Falls.

How greek is West Chester Opa Tavern? It offers not one but two preparations of grilled octopus. There’s that off-menu Greek style (pictured above), finished with olive oil, red vinegar, and raw onions. The menu version is served over hummus with pickled onions. Don’t miss the addicting lightly fried Opa chips (eggplant and zucchini) with tzatziki. There is a fully stocked bar with homemade syrups. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Indoor-outdoor seating. (And the secret: Savvas Navrosidis, who owns this along with Kostas Botos, also owns several restaurants in the Fairmount area of ​​Philly. Across from his Fare restaurant is the old Hickory Lane, at the corner of Corinthian Street and Fairmount Avenue. . It is about to open in a few weeks as Pierbar, an open-air bar and restaurant specializing only in Greek seafood.)

FiorellaMarc Vetri’s bustling pasta bar at 817 Christian St. in South Philly was barely a month old when the world closed in 2020. After months of take out and alfresco dining, IThe interior is again open for seating mainly at the counter of the former butcher’s shop, whose stoves are overseen by Matt Rodrigue. It’s a particularly succulent lamb brodo tortellini with green garbanzo, one of seven pastas on a recent menu that included a soft-shell crab antipasto on hollandaise and horseradish and scallop crudo. Among the desserts there is an intensely minty mint ice cream with dark chocolate and mascarpone, and a butterscotch budino with Belgian waffles and strawberry jams. Italian wines, cocktails, beers. Interior Exterior. Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The tasting menus disappeared in March 2020. With the return of meals inside, Greg Vernick, Ryan Mulholland and the team at Food and drinks They provide a comfortable, dimly lit experience Thursday through Saturday next to Vernick wine, the bottle store next door. Chef Robert Newcomb’s $ 135 six-course menu changes nightly. Recent offerings include tuna and eel on a hot bun with kabayaki, scallion and radish; king crab coated in filo pastry then fried and served with plain mustard; turbot and white asparagus; lamb with green tomato and hollandaise sauce; and – more tortellini, as indicated above. This was filled with liver and served with a mushroom consomme.

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