Salt & Pepper: Cultural Cuisine

Salt & Pepper is situated in Philadelphia's popular Passyunk Square neighborhood. Over the years, this eatery has established quite a name for itself with elegantly simple dishes that are full of flavor, and always prepared with the freshest ingredients. The food offerings are deliciously eclectic, and draw inspiration from the world over.

For starters, try the outrageous fried plantains served alongside a chilled sardine and onion salad with habanero peppers, or go for the roasted beet and pineapple salad, or the potato gnocchi with porcini mushrooms, crisp prosciutto, and truffle oil — all get rave reviews from diners. If you need a recommendation for your entree, opt for the pan-seared salmon with horseradish mash, or if you're craving a mouth-watering burger, order the 10 ounce beef topped with cave-aged Gruyere cheese — it's phenomenal. To round out the menu, there are also excellent daily specials, all of which are as creative and delicious as the mainstays.

Come early, and enjoy a drink at the cozy bar — the well-mixed, innovative cocktails on offer here are such to please! The drink standouts are the Cucumber Pear Saketini as well as the Sparkling Ginger cocktail, among others. With attentive, friendly service, and reasonable prices, Salt & Pepper is well-worth a visit on your next night out!

Salt & Pepper
1623 E. Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 238-1920
http://www.yelp.com/biz/salt-and-pepper-philadelphia

Dive Into Devon Seafood

For a romantic evening out, a dinner at Devon Seafood on Rittenhouse Square will not disappoint. Known for top-notch seafood offerings as well as the luxurious interior, Devon Seafood is a feast for both the belly and the eyes. Step inside, and you’ll be greeted by an impressive bar, dark wood booths, and soaring tiled ceilings. Exuding an upscale 1940s vibe, you’ll feel right at home sipping your well-mixed $6.50 happy hour martini here.

For your meal, diners recommend the shrimp enchiladas, ahi tuna sushi rolls, as well as the crab cakes. For starters, the calamari is a favorite, and patrons just adore the fluffy, homemade buttermilk biscuits. If you’re a fan of fish, you’ll find some of the very best here. Their market fresh daily offerings include items such as swordfish, mahi-mahi, whole bronzini, seared halibut, and much, much more. If seafood isn’t your thing, you’ll also find extensive “land” offerings, such as center cut filet mignon and blackened chicken penne pasta. Covering all bases, Devon has several vegetarian and gluten-free offerings, and there is a robust wine list that pairs well with all the food on offer.

Devon serves both lunch and dinner daily, and is open Sunday-Tuesday 11am-10pm, Wednesday-Thursday 11am-11pm, and Friday-Saturday 11am-12am. Brunch is served from 11am-2pm on Sundays only. And, if you’re looking for a deal, stop by during happy hour. Devon offers drink specials Monday-Friday from 5-7pm, and appetizer specials Sunday-Friday 5-7pm and again from 9-11pm. Happy hour is offered at the bar only.

 

Devon Seafood

www.DevonSeafood.com

Rittenhouse Square

225 South 18th Street

Philadelphia, PA 19103

215-546-5940

Shake Shack Opens on 20th and Sansom!

If you walked by 20th and Sansom Street in Center City anytime in the past few months, you probably noticed a striking vertical garden on the corner opposite Capo Giro. Philadelphians in the know remembered that Shake Shack — restaurateur Danny Meyer's burger joint — was slated to open in the spring of 2012.

Well, it's spring and it's here: Philly's very own Shake Shack officially opened at 20th and Sansom yesterday, June 6th. The lines at this hotly anticipated new addition to Philly's dining scene were predictably long yet surprisingly efficient, helping Shake Shack fans quickly get a taste of the restaurant's burgers, floats, shakes, fries, and frozen custards.

Don't know Shake Shack? Originally opened in New York City in 2004, the 14-restaurant chain now spans as far as Dubai, bringing its special brand of burgers and shakes to appreciative diners. The new Philadelphia Shake Shake brings delicious comfort food within walking distance of apartments in Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, and Fairmount. It's just one more great reason for renters to call Philadelphia home!

Drinks with a View at XIX

For one of the best city views in town, head to XIX Restaurant & Bar at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. Tucked away on the 19th floor, both the bar and restaurant offer spectacular panoramic vistas of Philadelphia – and you’ll feel like you’re “in the know” just for finding the space! For a well-mixed cocktail, head to the bar – decorated with chic leather banquettes, sleek dark wood tables, comfortable chairs, and dimly lit to create an oh-so-perfect cocktail-sipping ambiance. If you enjoy eats with your sips, the bar also offers tasty small plates – such as gourmet flatbreads, lump crab cakes, and artisan cheese plates – all of which perfectly compliment your cocktail or glass of wine. For a real treat, indulge in one of their luscious signature cocktails. Would you care for a Sorrento Lemon Martini or a Basil Pomegranate Margarita? The specialty cocktails change seasonally to highlight the freshest ingredients, so if you find one you like, enjoy it while you can! Mondays through Fridays, stop by between 5 and 7pm to enjoy XIX’s happy hour where you can order up a $6 cocktail or $4 draft beer – truly reasonable prices for a chic center city watering hole!

Besides mixing up delicious drinks at the bar, the Café at XIX serves up a fabulous weekend brunch as well as a great (and reasonably priced) lunch. And, for a truly stunning dining experience, XIX Restaurant knows how to impress. The much sought after window tables offer unparalleled city views, and if you can peel your eyes away from the city, you’ll find yourself in one of the most breathtaking spaces in the city – vaulted ceilings arch upward, and oversized pearls hang from the center of the ceiling, descending over the raw bar. Known for serving up some of the best oysters, clams, mussels, and shrimp from the East Coast, the raw bar itself is a stunning art piece of ivory mosaic tiles.

Whether you’re in need of a happy hour drink to fight off the Tuesday night blues, or are looking for the quintessential romantic locale for a special date night, an evening at XIX will be a truly memorable one.

Visit their website or Facebook page for more information about events and specials.

 

XIX Restaurant

Website: www.NineteenRestaurant.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/XIX-NINETEEN/82322002055

Hyatt at the Bellevue, 19th floor

Broad and Walnut Streets

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Tria: Wine and Cheese and Beer – Oh My!

Like good food? And first-class wine and beer? We thought so. Tria, with 3 locations throughout Philly, serves up outstanding wine, beer, and small plates. With sleek, dark wood tables, comfortable seating, and knowledge – yet totally unpretentious – staff, Tria is the place to go for delicious sips and eats. Whether you head to Tria Café – with 2 locations in center city – or Tria Wine Room in University City, you will be exposed to the very best varietals, fermentations, and food from both local vendors and international sources.

All about passion without even a hint of pretension, Tria pours top-notch wine and beer in a blue jeans-casual setting. Their food menu changes frequently, always highlighting what is seasonal and fresh, which results in tapas offerings that are off-the-charts! While you enjoy a glass of Cabernet or a pint of ale, feast on Tria’s rosemary potato chips with truffle aioli or share a plate of pistachio herbed ricotta on grilled bread, drizzled with lavender honey.

In addition to their usual offerings, Tria keeps it fresh by hosting Happy Hour specials at both their Washington Square and University City locations. They also “teach” Sunday School each week where you can learn about not-so-common wines, beers, and cheeses. Or, if you’re ready to go the extra mile, you can even enroll in Tria’s Fermentation School where you can satisfy your academic curiosity while eating and drinking the coursework! Trust us, school has never been so fun – or delicious.

For more information about all of Tria’s offerings, check out their website, which is always kept up-to-date with their latest offerings and upcoming events: www.triacafe.com

TRIA CAFE

Rittenhouse Square
18th & Sansom Streets
215.972.8742

Washington Square West
12th & Spruce Streets
215.629.9200

TRIA WINE ROOM

University City
3131 Walnut Street
215.222.2422

Lucky Old Souls Burger Truck

Philadelphia has one of the best dining scenes in the country. The city's innovative culinary creations span cuisines from around the world at price points ranging from "very" to "not very" expensive. Sure, pricey places by restauranteurs like Stephen Starr and Jose Garces offer delightful dishes. But for Philadelphia apartment dwellers on renters' budgets, the city's got another not-so-hidden dining gem: the ever-increasing number of Philly food trucks.

Because they're comparatively inexpensive to get up and running (their owners don't have to rent space in chic neighborhoods like Rittenhouse Square or Northern Liberties), food trucks can bring wonderful, adventurous recipes to market in much less time than it'd take to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Along with trucks offering falafel, bulgogi, and tacos there are mobile kitchens making confections like macarons and cupcakes and trucks vending organic, locavore fare.

Among the latter is the Lucky Old Souls Burger Truck, which offers burgers, fries, and milkshakes made from carefully-chosen, locally-produced ingredients. The star of the menu is, of course, the burgers. They're grass-fed and come with the toppings of your choice. The LOS Burger comes with bacon, smoked cheddar, sauteed onions, and a special sauce. On weekends, the truck offers breakfast sandwiches including the Breakfast Burger, topped with fried eggs, bacon, habanero cheddar cheese, and blueberry jam. Yes, blueberry jam; yes, it's delicious.

Want to visit the Lucky Old Souls Burger Truck? Like LuckyOldSouls on Facebook or follow @LOSBurgerTruck on Twitter for the latest info about its locations and hours. As of this writing, it's open for business

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in Love Park at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard in Center City.
  • Wednesdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at 33rd Street and Arch Street on the campus of Drexel University near Powelton Village.
  • On the second and fourth Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Chestnut Hill Growers' Market located at Germantown Avenue and Winston Road.
  • Sundays from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at 43rd Street and Chester Avenue in West Philly's Clark Park.

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