In this month’s edition: The new locale of a cult sandwich shop. // Photo Courtesy Middle Child Clubhouse

Resy LineupPhiladelphia

The Resy Lineup: Seasonal Cocktails, Rare Wines, and a 10-Pound Crab Feast

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Welcome to Philadelphia’s Resy Lineup, your regular dose of recommendations on what to eat, drink, and see — updated on a monthly basis.

This month, we’re enjoying a taste of Sicily through rare Frappato wines at Bloomsday, finding comfort in A Mano’s handmade pasta, and splurging on a three-course Norwegian King Crab meal at Dim Sum House by Jane G’s.

 

November

The Restaurant Rec

Seems hard to believe, but Middle Child has gotten even better. The new clubhouse location in Fishtown has the nostalgic, playful feel of the classic sandwich shop in Center City, but upgraded to a whole new level. Indeed, come dinnertime, the restaurant transforms into a grown-up clubhouse with a casually upscale menu. Think a Toad in a Hole made with locally baked sourdough bread from Mighty Bread Co., with a fried egg, tuna conserva, and broccoli rabe kimchi.

 

The Drink Proposal

The drink program at The Farm & Fisherman Tavern in Cherry Hill, NJ is one of the most unique in the region. Leveraging foraged ingredients, “ugly” produce, and local goods, mixologist Danny Childs has developed a seasonal cocktail menu, with drinks like the Crabapple Punch, made with Laird’s Applejack, mulled spicebush, crab apple cider, lemon oleo-saccharum, Plantation Xaymaca rum, and Batavia Arrack, which gives the drink subtle notes of anise. Pro tip: The menu changes with the seasons, so every visit promises something new.

 

The Event Invite

A $250 Sicilian-inspired feast featuring rare wines. On Wednesday, Dec. 1, Headhouse Square’s perfect all-day café will offer a variety of Frappato wines from Arianna and Giusto Occhipinti of COS Winery in Sicily, whom you might’ve seen on Stanley Tucci’s show, Searching For Italy.

 

The Weekend Pairing

Nothing beats walking through Fairmount Park on a fall day. Taking in the crisp air and warm sun while enjoying views of the Schuylkill River is a perfect way to spend the afternoon. So, after you watch the sun sink behind the city skyline, follow that up the only way you can: With a visit to A Mano for their handmade pasta and seasonal Italian fare. Bonus if you end the day on a sweet note with the tiramisu.

 

The Splurge

With a leg span of just over five feet, the Norwegian King crab is a massive crustacean that yields upwards of 10 pounds of buttery, sweet, and salty meat. At Dim Sum House by Jane G’s, you and your table can share this crab feast, which is prepared in three different ways. First, there’s the creamy egg custard with the essence of crab served in the crab’s body. Then come steamed crab knuckles served with a ginger and scallion broth. And lastly, the legs and claws are battered and fried with a pork stir fry and spicy sauce.

Note: The meal is for groups of six or more and you have to order your Norwegian King crab at least 48 hours in advance.

October

The Restaurant Rec

New on the scene is Starr Restaurants’ latest concept, LMNO, a spot best described as an immersive experience. The hybrid lounge, bookstore, art gallery, and venue is also a restaurant that explores Baja Mexico’s coastal-driven cuisine. Order a round of beer battered Baja fish tacos or order La Sirena Gorda for the table, a crowd-pleasing and bountiful seafood cocktail featuring shrimp, octopus, clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, kampachi with clamato, tomato, and avocado with a bit of spicy chiltepin. Know this: Every night at LMNO is a party.

 

The Drink Proposal

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is known for their wood-fired meats, pastas and pizzas, but their cocktail menu is a sleeper hit. Get the Vibe Check, a citrusy, sharp, and subtly herbaceous cocktail of gin, Montenegro, and Santa Maria Al Monte amaro with lemon, honey, and sage. Or, get your one-way ticket to a tropical getaway with the Kiwi Herman, made with a coconut oil washed mezcal, sweet kiwi, turmeric, almond, and a bit of lime. There’s also the Show & Chanterelle, an ambitious cocktail centered around an earthy chanterelle mushroom infused gin. Pro tip: Do reserve seats in the bar room to fully immerse yourself in their cocktail culture.

 

The Event Invite

Book your tickets for an evening with chef Joncarl Lachman at Stina Pizzeria. As part of their Guest Chef Series, Stina has invited Noord’s owner and chef, Lachman, to share his Dutch soul food cooking through a prefix dinner, with an available beer pairing courtesy of the nearby ARS Brewery. Best yet, 20% of the sales for the evening’s event goes to the William Way LGBT Center, which provides a safe place for the LGBTQIA+ community to connect through arts and culture. Tickets over here.

 

The Weekend Pairing

Shows are back on at Union Transfer! Before rocking out with your favorite bands, head to The Institute Craft Bar & Kitchen for a pre-show meal and drink. Start off with a plate of tinga chicken nachos layered with braised chicken, black beans, a spicy pico de gallo, and sour cream garnished with cilantro, jalapeño, and green onions. For an entrée, nothing beats the classic Institute burger drenched in their tangy Institute sauce.

 

From The Tipline

Kalaya recently launched their art residency program! The exhibitions will feature the works of local artists, which will be displayed inside the restaurant as well as within the outdoor diners structures for diners to enjoy. The series is being kicked off with local contemporary artist Tiff Urquhart, who painted the tropical flower mural across the walls of Kalaya’s streetery. Take a peek.

September

The Restaurant Rec

Suraya, because it’s an immersive affair that excites all of the senses. The smell of aromatic Middle Eastern spices, the feel of the soft, billowing pita pulled straight from the oven, the pungent anise flavor of the arak, and the beautiful Beirut-inspired tile accents throughout the restaurant all come together to create a memorable Lebanese meal. The $70 Taste of Suraya tasting is the best way to maximize experience, but don’t skip the kwarma, a slow roasted lamb seasoned with Baharat and served with a dill yogurt sauce and cucumber salad.

 

The Drink Proposal

Whiskey lovers know that patience is a virtue: Part science, part art, whiskey is a craft that takes a lot of time, but the wait is worth it. Enter Four Humours Distilling, which has perfected the process of aging, developing balanced whiskeys that are smooth but have strong flavor profiles. And their cocktail menu presents a full range of flavors — on the sweeter end, the Velvet Remedy blends rye with strawberry and basil, while the classic old fashioned, made with bourbon and a mellow, house made sorghum syrup, makes for smooth yet bitter drink.

 

The Event Invite

The Amex Gold Pop-Up Diner is coming to Philadelphia September 17 to 19, and if you love the upscale Italian cuisine from Osteria, you’ll love the homestyle diner eats they’ll be dishing out during the event. Don’t miss the classic mama’s meatballs swimming in a tomato sauce with parmigiano, and a chicken parmigiana with mozzarella, tomato and rigatoni, among others. Tickets over here.

 

The Weekend Pairing

Good food and good laughs are the equation for a good time. Start your night at Rosy’s Taco Bar for a loaded plate of nachos covered in all the classic fixings (including chihuahua and Monterey jack cheeses), plus juicy al pastor tacos. Then, head to the Helium Comedy Club a couple of blocks away, where comedians from around the country bring some of their best jokes and experimental material.

 

From The Tipline

This just in: For dinner Thursday through Saturday, River Twice will be moving to a seven-course tasting menu only that gives diners a tour what’s in season. Expect dishes that push the boundaries of fresh, local ingredients, like a PA trout with maple vinegar and trout roe, or a Vermont quail served with figs and peanut miso.

Bonus: The restaurant just launched its new Wine Bar concept on September 12, where an à la carte menu features lighter fare served alongside natural wines (available only for walk in on Sundays). Pro tip: Sundays is also the day to drop by River Twice for the delicious off-menu Mother Rucker burger.

August

The Restaurant Rec

La Chinesca, because it serves some of the city’s most unique dishes. Inspired by the cuisine that emerged from Mexico’s northern Baja peninsula where Chinese laborers lived during the early 1900’s, La Chinesca’s menu features items like a shrimp egg roll with aguachile sauce, shrimp and black bean tostada with scallions and shrimp oil, and birria tacos with Chihuahua cheese. It’s perfect for a late summer happy hour, especially if you’re a fan of tequilas and mezcals.

 

The Drink Proposal

Juno is an oasis off of Spring Garden Street where classy cocktails, pitchers of margarita, hoppy craft beers, and top shelf spirits never seem to run dry. Channel some island vibes with A Lime in a Coconut, a coconut rum cocktail with sweet and citrusy pineapple and lime juices, or indulge in the Killer Bee Sting, a mezcal and tequila drink with a sweet banana liqueur that brings balance to the hot honey syrup.

 

The Splurge

If you try an omakase only once in your life, you need to do it at Hiroki. Every bite of the 20-course meal is intentionally created by chef Fujiyama in tribute to his hometown of Kyoto, Japan. You can also add a sake pairing to your meal, which includes six beverages that’ll take your meal to the next level.

 

The Weekend Pairing

Dinner and a movie but make it West Philly! Kick off your weekend with a Friday night Mediterranean meal at Renata’s Kitchen. When you’re finished nibbling on your mezze of hummus and baba ganoush, mosey a few blocks over to Clark Park for a movie night organized by the University City District — showtime starts at 8 p.m. every Friday night in August. If you’re more of a morning bird, stop by Renata’s for brunch (Pro tip: Get the pancakes) and visit Clark Park for their Saturday morning farmers market.

July

The Restaurant Rec

Rittenhouse Square is known for its intimate restaurants, alfresco dining, and exciting menus — all three of which you can experience at Branzino. For a rich taste of the sea, the smoked calamari and crab puttanesca clung perfectly to thick strands of squid ink tonnarelli is the move. But you could also look beyond their one-of-a-kind pastas and delectable seafood dishes, for Branzino is known for their braised meat: Don’t miss out on the succulent duck breast served with braised radicchio and a sweet pear mostarda. Book here.

 

The Drink Proposal

For the beer lover who wants to explore a multitude of styles of craft brews, check out City Tap House in Logan Square. From Philadelphia to Salzburg, Austria, their selection of beers on tap is worldwide, and if you don’t see anything you like on the draft menu, do delve into their fantastic bottles and cans as well.

 

The Splurge

For a seafood dining experience like no other, head to Little Fish, a small Queen Village spot with an inventive menu helmed by chef Alexander Yoon. Kick off your meal with the sourdough toast topped with raw scallops and cremini with a touch of heat from a flavorful chili oil, and follow that up with a bluefin tuna tataki served alongside a rich and silky foie gras, savory miso, almonds, and sweet cherries.

 

The Weekend Pairing

South Street is lined with some of the city’s quirkiest thrift shops and consignment stores, making it the perfect place to shop for unique clothes and home goods. But before you hit the stores, grab some light brunch bites and a glass of natural wine at Bloomsday Cafe. You can’t go wrong with the avocado toast hit with a sweet sherry reduction and savory chive oil, but the tinned fish selection is exciting and worth exploring. Go with a classic tin of sardines or try the conservas trio which includes mussels in a pickled sauce, spiced calamari, and a grilled tuna loin in olive oil.

 

The Event Invite

Queen & Rook has become an epicenter of tabletop games in Philadelphia: Not only do they have a huge library of games to play, they’re also hosting their Board Game Adventure Summer Camp. Enroll your kids in the program where they’ll learn how to design board games and, of course, play them. Meanwhile, you’ll be able to munch on vegan and vegetarian bites at the café with your own game on the side.

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