Weekend Planner

Weekend Planner: Smoky Cheese, Rare Pasta, a Tequila Fundraiser and More Lehigh Valley

By Danya Henninger  |  March 7, 2014
Credit: Danya Henninger

We’ve already mentioned the Saturday-Sunday pair of big beer events this weekend (that’d be the Craft Beer Express and the Brewer’s Plate), so here are a few other ideas to add to your plate. Kevin Sbraga’s new joint continues to kill it, and there’s special pasta down in South Philly, and fancy wine pairings and an agave fundraiser in Rittenhouse. Plus, more Lehigh Valley love - that area is hot!

Eat This

Ricotta Cheese at The Fat Ham
The best part of Kevin Sbraga’s new West Philly ode to the South is that everything on the menu is more than it seems. In the case of this dish, the cheese is infused with smoky flavor and whipped to an ethereal texture, all the better to soak into the toothy slices of house-baked bread. The combo will linger in your imagination for quite a while ($7; 215-735-1914).

Rare Pasta at Le Virtu
Chef Joe Cicala has kicked off a “rare pasta” series at the East Passyunk Italian, and this weekend’s specialty is an Abruzzese cous cous called frascarell’. It’s made by splashing flour with a special straw brush. Watch a video of Cicala in action here, making it into soulful bowl of seafood stew (with John Dory fillet and tomato-clam brodetto) that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else ($28; 215-271-5626).

Do This

Italian Wine Dinner at Il Pittore
Chef Chris Painter’s wine dinners aren't for the faint of wallet (and at $200 per person, this one is no exception), but the quality of the food - and the perfection of the pairings - makes up for it. On Sunday, March 9, the Rittenhouse Italian will feature bottles from Piemonte’s tiny E. Pira & Figli during a five-course meal. Call for reservations (215-391-4900).

Tequila Fundraiser at Tequilas
Bartenders from Vernick, Emmanuelle and Franklin Mortgage will be joined by star drinkmakers from NYC and Houston for an evening of cocktailing at this Rittenhouse modern Mexican. All drinks will be $10, and all proceeds (including tips) will be donated to the Tequila Interchange Project, which advocates for traditional agave farmers in Mexico. Things get shaking at 9 PM (215-546-0181).

Read This

Common Market Delivers in Distributing Local
Cafeterias at hospitals and schools can’t have trucks from two dozen farmers dropping off food throughout the week, so how can they get in on the local meat and produce buzz? Common Market is how. For the Philadelphia Inquirer,  Virgina Smith has the story of the organization’s founding and subsequent success.

A Luscious Tour of Lehigh Valley Wine
Earlier this week, we gave you 10 reasons to drive to the Lehigh Valley, and one of them was Galen Glen winery. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan also chose to spotlight that vineyard (and others) in a piece on how the region’s wines are really coming along. Grapeheads should bookmark it along with our guide to plan your next trip.