10 arts – top chef all-stars premiere party

Last night I went to 10 Arts for the Top Chef All-Stars Premiere Party with my friend Jen of Married to a Meat-Eater. Chef Jen Carroll had a pretty awesome run in the sixth season, Top Chef: Las Vegas, and is competing again in All-Stars. To celebrate, 10 Arts played episodes of Top Chef: Las Vegas until the premiere of All-Stars (Season 8 ) at 10 pm. In addition to the viewing, Chef Jen offered a special five course tasting menu featuring some of the dishes she made in season 6.

first course

clam ceviche – tomato, jalapeno, cilantro, mint, basil – made during a quickfire challenge
second course

blue bay mussels – steamed mussels, pea tendrils, potato lemongrass emulsion – also made during a quickfire challenge
third course

halibut – poached halibut, braised endive, black peppercorn lobster-bourbon sauce – made during an elimination challenge based on personal vices

fourth course

snake river kobe skirt steak – grilled kobe beef, salad of fennel, asian pear and orange, tomato-cardamom broth – made during an elimination challenge with chef kevin gillespie
pasta dish jen ordered – don’t remember the name but it was ridiculously good
fifth course

s’mores – soft chocolate, pomegranate, toasted marshmallow, graham ice cream – childhood favorite dessert of chef jen
spice cake – ice cream, persimmons
petits fours
We were lucky enough to get invited by Chef Jen to take a look at the kitchen. It was very, very cool to be able to take a peek.

Drinkwise, I started off the night with a Ri-Pear cocktail (Anjou pears, Grey Goose La Poire, white cranberry juice) and eventually had two Chef Takes Manhattan’s, 10 Arts’s special of the night.

Chef Eric Ripert originally intended on attending but unfortunately had to cancel last minute. Also, I ran into Chef Kevin Sbraga, winner of this last season’s Top Chef: D.C. (Season 7).

I’ve only been here one other time for restaurant week and I didn’t feel that I got quite the experience. Tonight was absolutely terrific. I will surely be back, hopefully soon to try Pastry Chef Monica Glass’s Sucre dessert bar or the Five Bite Lunch.

Huge thanks to Chef Jen Carroll, Chef Monica Glass (thanks for the extra desserts!), our excellent waiter Keeton, and rest of the 10 Arts staff. The dinner was fantastic and definitely an experience to remember.

10 Arts Bistro & Lounge by Eric Ripert
The Ritz-Carlton
10 Avenue of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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amuse – fall menu tasting

Last night, I was lucky enough to attend a fall tasting at Amuse, a French brasserie at Le Meridien in Philadelphia.


champagne infused grape topped with aged balsamic & basil

“with love” cocktail – ketel one, passion fruit syrup, lime juice, ginger liquor, champagne, and raspberry

first course

buffalo mozzarella topped w/ heirloom tomatoes & basil

taylor bay scallops over pappardelle in a bouillabaisse w/ crostini, house made chorizo, corn, peas

pork shank ravioli w/ mushrooms & house made pancetta

second course

veal chop w/ a “fat cat” croquette, vegetable blanquette, peppered demi

ratatouille w/ red quinoa & tomato fondue

steak frites w/ bernaise aioli, tarragon pesto, ketchup

bouillabaisse – lobster, shrimp, mussels, pearl onions, potatoes

herb honey crusted chicken over root vegetables

third course

tarte tatin w/ vanilla ice cream & berries

chocolate pots du creme

mille feuille – puff pastry, chantilly cream, berries

Favorites: mozzarella & tomatoes, both bouillabaisse dishes (i had to resist all urges to finish the broth), steak frites, and the chocolate pots du creme

The meal was fantastic. Definitely worth coming back. Their bar bites menu is also very affordably priced – I’m going to have to check this place out after work one of these days…

Huge thanks to Chessia Kelley, Annie Heckenberger, Chef Dan Black, and the rest of the Amuse/Le Meridien staff!

Also, it was great to meet some other Philly food bloggers!

Amuse at Le Meridien
1421 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

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chifa: duck week

chifa duck

The moment I got the newsletter from Garces Restaurant Group regarding Duck Week at Chifa, Chef Jose Garces’s Peruvian/Cantonese restaurant, I knew I had to go. Duck is one of my favorite meats and what better opportunity for me to indulge! I’ve been here once before for Restaurant Week and had a great experience, so this one was sure to be something special.

manchego/yucca puffs w/ sriracha/guava butter

first course

solterito salad – edamame, long beans, tomatoes, queso fresco, toasted garlic dressing
marinated olives – yuzu-marinated peruvian olives, pickled white onions
duck ceviche – duck confit, cherry puree, foie gras torchon, brioche croutons

second course

mussels – white rum, coconut broth, thai basil, lemongrass, jalapeno
duck buns – roasted duck, hoisin glaze, pickled diakon & carrot, togarashi mayo
duck chicharron – crispy duck, green curry lentils, pickled ginger and napa cabbage, cracklins

third course

yu choy – ginger-soy glazed snap peas, chinese water spinach, enoki mushrooms, fennel
duck chaufa – wok fried rice, duck confit, soy glazed duck breast
chifa duck – served with hoisin, scallions & sichuan peppercorn crepes

dessert course

foie gras ice cream – pistachio cookie, caramel apple paint, cracklins, pink peppercorns
Those puffs that were brought out at the start were AMAZING. Absolutely delicious on their own and the spicy and sweet sriracha/guava butter set them over the edge!

I don’t love or hate mussels. I eat them, but I probably would never order them at a restaurant if it were to be my entree. Nothing quite reels me in about them. The broth of Chifa’s mussels though…oh boy. I’m pretty sure I took my spoon to it and finished it all. That could very well be the cause of my stomach ache the next day or so..that or the mass amount of food consumed.

The pork chicharron dish was great. It had a very homestyle, comfort food feel to it and was extremely flavorful. The ginger packed a punch!

I really enjoyed Chifa’s take on peking duck. It was served along with the traditional ingredients, hoisin, scallions, and a pancake/crepe to wrap it all up in. Chifa puts their own spin on it with the addition of sichuan pepper crepes. What a great idea that was! The crepes had a touch of sweet with a hint of sichuan peppercorn, which was great, since a lot of sichuan peppercorn can be extremely overwhelming. All together, it made for one delicious peking duck dish.

Everything was fantastic and if there’s to be another Duck Week in 2011, count me in for sure!

Huge thanks for hockey teammate/friend Samer for tagging along, glad you enjoyed the meal!

Chifa has a Weyerbacher beer dinner coming up on October 28, get to it!

707 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Chifa on Urbanspoon

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