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Suburban Eats

Where to nosh outside the city limits. By Barry Eichner

Often times I take a very Homeric approach to life. It’s safer to deal with single truths rather than deal with all of life’s grey areas, right? Homer said, “I like my beer cold, TV loud and my homosexuals flaming.” Homer Simpson, that is. Similarly, I’ve always thought cities are filled with good restaurants and lots of gays – while the burbs are filled with straight people who take their kids to Applebee’s – not that there’s anything wrong with straight people or Applebee’s.

But guess what? The times, they are a-changing. While life is far from perfect, gays can get married and raise their adopted Vietnamese babies in the suburbs. And we can all enjoy amaze-balls suburban culinary options with my two daddies.

One of my favorite joints outside the city limits is Nectar, an Asian fusion restaurant in sleepy Berwyn. Nectar tops my list because it’s straight-up stupid good. This chic eatery looks like it crawled out of Tribeca and not the sometimes sedate Main Line. And as long as I can feel like I’m in a city, I don’t really care where I’m eating. I highly recommend the King Kong Roll – filet and lobster tail in a sushi roll. Yeah, I know, that’s no Applebee’s “two for $20″ appetizer, but we’re not in Applebee’s anymore, Dorothy. Read more here.

Catch the Big One at Linvilla

There are plenty of fish in the lake; Linvilla’s Orchard Lake to be exact. So if you consider yourself an avid angler, come out to Linvilla for their Expert Fishing Derby on Saturday, March 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Transportation to the pond begins at 8 a.m. The entry fee is $24.99 per fisherman.

The lake is filled with hundreds of rainbow trout, some up to 25 inches long! Reel in the biggest fish and you’ve got $250 in your pocket, plus there are more prizes for tagged ones. Prizes range from trophies to fishing gear to Linvilla’s famous pie. Your first catch is free and each additional one’s just $3.99 per pound.

Get your tackle box and pole, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. You can rent everything you need at Linvilla. Bait will also be available for purchase. No license is required so anyone can participate as long as they have a passion for fishing.  Weigh-off is at noon sharp, so remember: the early bird catches the fish and the prize too! Even if you are not participating you are invited to come to the pond at noon to see the big ones that didn’t get away!

After the derby stay and have lunch at the Linvilla Grill or stop by our Farm Market for some fresh produce and delicious baked goods. Yum!

Linvilla Orchards is located at 137 West Knowlton Road, Media, PA. For more information call 610-876-7116 or visit their website for more details.

The Nosh Guy Admires Nectar

Barry Eichner, aka …the “nosh guy”, did a review on Patrick Fury’s Nectar Restaurant on Foodrulez. He wrote:

Nectar rocked my world

Dear Foodiez,

I had my proverbial “city food snob” ass handed to me my Chef Patrick at Nectar in Berwyn!

See, I’ve been under the misguided idea that stellar food can only be found in hot, hip, urban hubs.


I’ve seen the light.Nectar is on Route 30 in Berwyn, PA.  If you’re in the city, it’s over the river and through the woods… or 76 west to 476 south, to 30 west.

You may think that a restaurant on the Main Line would be stodgy and stuffy.  Nah, not Nectar.  Looks like it belongs in Paris or New York City.  It’s hip, sophisticated and very sexy.

(Check out the full article at Foodrulez.com)

Flavors of Philadelphia, An Extraordinary Dining Experience

The American Liver Foundation’s 7th annual Flavors of Philadelphia will be the hottest ticket in town, Tuesday, April 5, 2011, as the city hails the culinary soirée of the year. Each of the chefs prepares their outstanding, gourmet three-course meal for their very own table of twelve lucky guests.

Flavors of Philadelphia patrons will be treated like royalty as they begin their culinary adventure with exquisite hors d’ oeuvres before sitting down for a personally prepared, specially designed menu, complete with wine pairings and live auction. The evening concludes with an over-the-top dessert reception.

Philadelphia foodies will have the opportunity to satisfy their taste buds and pick up some culinary tips as the chefs reveal their cooking secrets while preparing a meal that goes above and beyond the usual restaurant fare!

The proceeds from Flavors of Philadelphia support the critical activities of the ALF, including our nationwide research program, region-wide educational programming for patients, providers and the general public, and local and national advocacy initiatives.

Participating restaurants include: Blackfish, La Famiglia Ristorante, Le Castagne,  Panorama,  Penne,  Sole Food, Tavern 17 and more…

April 5th, 2011 (6:00pm – 9:30pm) – $250
Contact: Ivory Allison (Email)
Phone: 215-425-8080

Loews Hotel – Directions
1200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Restaurant Alba Cooks at The Beard House

We are excited to announce that Sean Weinberg from Restaurant Alba will be heading to New York to do a dinner at the famous James Beard House on Monday, April 11 at  7 p.m.  Sean will be preparing a traditional Piemontese menu paired with some of our favorite wines from the region.  This dinner “Savoring Northern Italy” is open to the public.   Wines were generously provided by Stan the Wine Man of Enoteca Diana. Call the Beard House for reservations:  212-627-2308

Hors d’oeuvres
Assorted Crostini: Piemontese-Style Beef Tartare,  Sheep’s Milk Ricotta with Honey & Sea Salt,
Fave Bean Puree: Served with Gabriela Mayr, Brut Riserva, 2005

First Course
Vitello Tonnato with Spring Vegetables
Picollo Ernesto, Gavi, 2008

Second Course
Pecorino Sformato with Pea, Pea Tendril, & Crispy Sweetbread Salad & Quail Egg
Poderi La Collina, Labra di Giada, Dolcetto di Dogliani,

Third Course
Rabbit Agnolotti del Plin, Rabbit Brodo, Parmigiano-Reggiano
San Biagio, Montersino, Barbaresco, 2005

Fourth Course
Barolo-Braised Short Ribs with Rustic Polenta Integrale & Spring Radishes
Giovanni Roggero, Barolo Riserva, 2004

Fifth Course
Selection of Peimontese Cheeses
Giovanni Roggero, Barolo Riserva, 2004

Hazelnut Cake with Mascsarpone Custard &
Apricot Jam

Cook, Crack and Eat is back at Phillips

Baltimore’s Phillips Seafood Restaurant is bringing back Cook, Crack & Eat, a series of seafood cooking classes. The classes present a great opportunity to meet and learn from one of Baltimore’s top toques. Join Chef Todd Weisz for a guaranteed afternoon of learning, laughing and lingering over a demonstration, some wine and a great meal with the chef. Here’s the schedule:

Crabology. Saturday, March 19. What is the difference between crab claw meat and jumbo lump crab meat? Enjoy a tasting of the various grades of crab meat with a glass of wine and a demonstration on how to make your own hors d’oeuvres.

Clam Bake for Two. Saturday, April 16. Learn how to shop for fresh seafood, select it and whip up an easy one-pot meal. Then, learn how to combine it all to create a clam bake that includes a whole Maine lobster, snow crab legs, shrimp, clams, mussels, potatoes and corn on the cob. We’ll supply all of the tips and some of the tools you’ll need. Sip on some wine and sample a clam bake with us in the restaurant before you head home prepared to share your new skills with friends and family. Yum!

The Freshest Catch. Saturday, May 7. Salmon. Barramundi. Flounder. Mahi-mahi. It’s all so good but how do you select it, clean it, grill it, or stuff it with crab? Learn all of this and more from one of America’s most proficient seafood experts. Enjoy lunch, wine, and discuss all the intricacies of a great meal with the chef. This is no fish tale!

The cost for one class is $50 and it includes the chef demo, wine, lunch, and a swag bag to go. All three classes are $125. Classes begin at 11:30, and space is limited, so register early.  Call the restaurant to register at 410.685.6600 or visit their website. Phillips Seafood is located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, 301 Light Street, Baltimore MD 21202.


Culinary Superstars in the Clouds

Three Philadelphia Chefs Rock a Weekend at Skytop Lodge
A Taste of Philadelphia Weekend in the Pocono’s April 8, 9 and 10

Fresh country air. Beautiful landscapes. Delicious food. Three of Philadelphia’s top toques are spending a weekend at Skytop Lodge in the Poconos and you’re invited too. The Taste of Philadelphia weekend offers a unique opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with these three chefs.

Chip Roman, chef/owner of Conshohocken’s Blackfish and Chestnut Hill’s Mica. Philly Mag named Blackfish tops in its list of Philly’s top restaurants (January 2011). In addition, Roman is a finalist in Food &Wine Magazine’s People’s Best New Chef award and he has been nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic region.

Patrick Feury, chef/owner of Nectar Restaurant in Berwyn, PA, presides over a kitchen that produces some of the most intriguing Asian fusion cuisine in the world. Patrick has worked in some amazing kitchens, including Peacock Alley in the Waldorf Astoria, Gertrude’s in Paris and he launched Suilan for Susanna Foo in the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa.

David Katz, chef/owner of Meme Restaurant has a knack for transforming the mundane into the memorable. “The flavors aren’t overly exotic. The compositions aren’t contrived. David’s food shows the value of focus, distilling a pair of good ideas on each plate into vivid flavors that put the spotlight on good ingredients,” said Craig LaBan in a Philadelphia Inquirer review of Meme.

In addition to luxurious spa treatments, lazy afternoons by the pool, adventure hikes through wooded trails, skeet shooting, golf and archery, guests can participate in cooking demonstrations and enjoy fabulous food.

Check in on Friday and enjoy a sumptuous dinner. After a bountiful breakfast, hike in the woods and sit back and enjoy the cooking demonstrations followed by afternoon tea. Then dress for dinner. Meet the chefs at an early evening cocktail soiree. And prepare for a memorable meal. Skytop isn’t just a mountain resort; it’s a nostalgic experience that generations of families have enjoyed since 1925.

If you love food and want to meet and interact with some of Philadelphia’s most notable chefs, book one of the package deals available for this weekend. Make your reservations now! For more information, log onto www.skytop.com or call 1-800-345-7759.