Friday, March 26, 2010


Octopus Alert…. Octopus Alert…. Octopus Alert….

Tinto, chef Jose Garces’ wine bar and restaurant just procured a 35 lb octopus from Alaska (see picture.) The giant cephalopod has been out of frigid waters for only 48 hours. Starting this evening at 5 pm, it will be available served Basque style.

Chef de cuisine Dave Conn will create a traditional Spanish Pulpo Gallego dish. The octopus will be poached in red wine vinegar, lemon and various aromatic spices, then sauteed and served with potato confit, smoked paprika and fiddlehead ferns (the first of the season).

Pictured L to R - Chefs Andrew Sabin, Dave Conn and Anthony Scuderi at Tinto

If there is any left over, you can look for a cured octopus dish starting Monday.

Tinto is located at 114 S. 20th Street - 215-665-9150 -

Radisson-Plaza Warwick Hotel Updates It's Look & Style

Philadelphian's fancy themselves a welcoming bunch and no matter how many new hotels open in the City, none compare to the history and majestic address at 1701 Locust Street Philadelphia, Pa. the Radisson-Plaza Warwick Hotel . Last week I attended their grand reopening of the 2nd floor cocktail room and hallway in which they updated the decor to a much more modern current style. I am very familiar with these rooms, as well as the food and grand ballroom as my sister was married at the Warwick a little over 4 years ago and I have attended more than a few parties in this storied hotel.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Plaza Warwick Hotel was originally constructed in 1926. This is what the hallway looked like before the renovation. (Shots from the day my sister signed her contract for the wedding reception 2005)and it's new updated look. (I'm standing in almost the same place but shooting to the right)With 301 handsomely appointed rooms, this historic yet modern downtown Philadelphia hotel is located just off the world-renowned Rittenhouse Square, the city's most prestigious residential, commercial and business district.

Dena Robbins and Julia Robbins
gone are the dark colors of the room, and mirrors. I can see what the Radisson-Warwick did was bring the room into the light. Although it is still magnificent and rich with history, it's not your grandmother's debutante dated room anymore.
April Ostach, Samantha Boyle, Angie Costa and Amy Murray
Sae-Hee - When I asked what restaurant he worked for, as the sushi was so good, he said the Radisson-Warwick. Sometimes I'm so clueless.
The GPTMC Crowd - Missy Logan, Katie Regenye, Eric Smith and Meredith Endlow. Note the new carpeting, less dizzying then the darker color from before. I've partied in this room before during more than a few victourious election parties my first one being Bill Clinton's win for president, Mayor Nutter, Sen. Larry Farnese and recently President Obama's win. And one losing campaign Sam Katz for Mayor. I remember when the Sam Katz campaign was so excited that they booked the Warwick before the Democrats. It was a big thing as the Warwick is considered lucky. Unfortunately for Sam that year it wasn't.
Grand Staircase with it's old chandelierand the new chandelier and updated staircase. Much more modern, colorful, current.Lynn and Bill Armstead
Rachel Branson, Simone McBean, Jasmin Senior, Sheila Corbett
Patricia Glancy, Jim Caouette, Gwendolyn Grey and Michael Glancy.
Joanne Cunningham, Director of Sales and Marketing and her team.
Cori Moskow, Gloss PR and her team

Lori Frankel, Gina Sole and Jim Riker
Ellie Friedman, Israeli Consul and Bob Kohn
Beginning Monday Tavern 17 will begin a New Happy Hour (you'll recall that when Gerard Butler was in town filming Law Abiding Citizen, he stopped into Tavern 17 three times to eat):
$1.00 slider; $2.00 Draft $3.00 Spring Fling $4.00 Wine $5.00 pound of Peel and Eat Shrimp

7 days a week – these five items from 5pm – 7pm

Five items priced from $1 - $5 each 7days a week nightly

Thursday, March 25, 2010


2011 Fairmount Park Closings

Ben Franklin Parkway & Eakin's Oval Closures for 2010 (Partial or Full Closures. I recomend you just skip driving in the area during these days. Take the Schuylkill Expressway or an alternative route)

5/10 Susan Komen Mother's Day Walk
6/7 Commerce Bank Bike Race
7/4 July 4th Celebration
9/20 Phila Distance Run
9/26 College Day
9/27 Puerto Rican Parade
10/18 AIDS Walk
11/22 Philadelphia Marathon
11/26 Thanksgiving Day Parade

Fairmount Park
2010 Kelly Drive Event Closures

1 Fairmount Park
2 2010 Kelly Drive Event Closures tentative

4 Day Event Closure Time
5 2nd Sunday of March Manny Flick Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
6 3rd Sunday of March Manny Flick Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
7 4th Sunday of March Manny Flick Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
8 1st Saturday of April Murphy Cup Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
9 2nd Sunday of April Manny Flick Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
10 3rd Sunday of April Manny Flick Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
11 4th Sunday of April Catholic League Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
12 1st Sunday of May City Championship Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
13 1st Thursday of May Dad Vail Partial 11:00 AM
14 1st Friday of May Dad Vail Partial To
15 2nd Saturday of May Dad Vail Partial 6:00 PM
16 2nd Sunday of May Dr White Regatta Partial 9 AM to 5 PM
17 2nd Thursday of May Stotesbury Regatta Partial 11:00 AM
18 2nd Friday of May Stotesbury Regatta Partial To
19 3rd Saturday of May Stotesbury Regatta Partial 6:00 PM
20 5th Saturday of May Oddyssey Half Marathon Full 7AM to 11 AM
21 1st Saturday of June International Dragon Boat Festival Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
22 1st Sunday of June US Pro Bike Race Full 7 AM to 3 PM
23 4th Sunday of June Philadelphia Triathlon Full 6 AM to 11 AM
24 1st Friday of July Independence Day Regatta Partial 11 AM to 5 PM
25 1st Saturday of July Independence Day Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
26 1st Sunday of July Independence Day Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
27 4th of July Welcome America Partial Lower 24 Hours
28 2nd Sunday of July Philadelphia Women's Triathlon Full 6 AM to 11 AM
29 1st Sunday of August Philadelphia She Rox Triathlon Full 6 AM to 11 AM
30 2nd Sunday of August Granfondo Bike Ride Full 6 AM to 11 AM
31 2nd Sunday of September Bike Philly Partial Lower 6 AM to 10 AM
32 3rd Sunday of September Philadelphia Distance Run Full 6 AM to 12 PM
33 1st Saturday of October Dragon Boat Regatta Partial 5 AM to 5 PM
34 2nd Saturday of October Navy Day Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
35 2nd Sunday of October Row For The Cure Partial 6 AM to 3 PM
36 3rd Sunday of October AIDS Walk Full 8 AM to 11 AM
37 5th Saturday of October Head of the Schuylkill Regatta Full 6 AM to 5 PM
38 5th Sunday of October Head of the Schuylkill Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
39 2nd Saturday of November Frostbite Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
40 2nd Sunday of November Braxton Cup Regatta Partial 6 AM to 5 PM
41 3rd Sunday of November Philadelphia Marathon Full 7 AM to 3 PM

43 Dad Vail, Stotesbury, and Independence regattas are multi-days closures - starting Thursday after AM rush hour

44 and remaining closed until Saturday around 6:00 PM.


46 Full closure means that the entire length of Kelly Drive - from Eakins Oval to Ridge Avenue / Lincoln

47 Drive - is closed.


49 Partial closure means that only a section of Kelly Drive is closed - generally from Fountain Green

50 Drive (south) to Strawberry Mansion Drive (north).

2010 M.L. King Drive Event Closures

1 Fairmount Park
2 2010 M.L. King Drive Event Closures tentative

4 Day Event Time
5 2nd Saturday of March Leprechaun Run 6 AM to 11 AM
6 3rd Saturday of March Walk for Water 6 AM to 11 AM
7 3rd Saturday of March Upenn/Drexel Cycling Tour De Philadelphia 6 AM to 2 PM
8 3rd Sunday of March Get Your Rear in Gear 6 AM to 11 AM
9 1st Saturday of April MLK Drive Seasonal Weekend Closure Begins 6 AM to 5 PM
10 2nd Saturday of April Walk Against Hunger 6 AM to 11 AM
11 3rd Saturday of April Run for Clean Air 6 AM to 11 AM
12 3rd Sunday of April Dash For Organ Donor Awareness 6 AM to 11 AM
13 3rd Sunday of April Penn Relays Distance Classic 20K & 5K 6 AM to 11 AM
14 4th Saturday of April Miles For Myeloma Walk 6 AM to 11 AM
15 4th Sunday of April March For Babies 6 AM to 11 AM
16 1st Saturday of May University City 5K Run 6 AM to 11 AM
17 1st Sunday of May MS Walk 6 AM to 11 AM
18 2nd Sunday of May Race for the Cure 6 AM to 11 AM
19 3rd Saturday of May RAPCS Bike & Hike @Black Road 6 AM to 11 AM
20 3rd Sunday of May Bar Assoc. 5 K Run/Walk 6 AM to 11 AM
21 4th Saturday of May CCFA Taking Steps 6 PM to 8 PM
22 5th Saturday of May Oddyssey Half Marathon 6 AM to 12 PM
23 1st Saturday of June US Pro Bike Race Time Trail 6 AM to 12 PM
24 1st Sunday of June US Pro Bike Race 6 AM to 3 PM
25 2nd Sunday of June Strides for Stroke Walk-a-thon 6 AM to 12 PM
26 3rd Saturday of June Easter Seal Walk 6 AM to 12 PM
27 3rd Sunday of June Run For Your Life 6 AM to 12 PM
28 4th Saturday of June Philadelphia Triathlon - Sprint 7 AM to 2 PM
29 4th Sunday of June Philadelphia Triathlon 7 AM to 2 PM
30 4th of July July 4th Celebration 6 AM to 12 Midnight
31 2nd Sunday of July Philadelphia Women's Triathlon 6 AM to 12 PM
32 1st Saturday of August Lymphomathon Walk 6 AM to 12 PM
33 1st Sunday of August Philadelphia She Rox Triathlon 6 AM to 12 PM
34 2nd Sunday of August Grand Fondo Bike Ride 6 AM to 12 PM
35 1st Saturday of September Race for Jobs Walk 6 AM to 12 PM
36 2nd Saturday of September Undy 5000 6 AM to 12 PM
37 2nd Sunday of September Bike Philly 8 AM to 1 PM
38 3rd Sunday of September Phila. Distance Run 6 AM to 12 PM
39 4th Saturday of September Run on the River 6 AM to 12 PM
40 4th Sunday of September The Parkway Run 6 AM to 12 PM
41 1st Saturday of October Step out for Diabetes 6 AM to 12 PM
42 1st Sunday of October Suicide Prevention Walk 6 AM to 12 PM
43 2nd Saturday of October MADD Walk 6 AM to 12 PM
44 2nd Sunday of October Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 6 AM to 12 PM
45 3rd Sunday of October AIDS Walk 6 AM to 3 PM
46 4th Saturday of October Domestic Violence Awareness Walk 6 AM to 12 PM
47 4th Saturday of October Light the Night 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM
48 4th Sunday of October JDF Walk To Cure Diabetes 6 AM to 12 PM
49 5th Saturday of October Biblio Dash 6 AM to 12 PM
50 1st Sunday of November Race For Hope 5K Run/Walk 9 AM to 12 PM
51 2nd Saturday of November Y12 K Walk/Run 9 AM to 12 PM
52 2nd Sunday of November Desmoid Tumor Run 9 AM to 12 PM
53 3rd Saturday of November Philadelphia Marathon 8K & Kids Run 9 AM to 12 PM
54 3rd Sunday of November Philadelphia Marathon 9 AM to 2 PM
55 4th Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day Parade 9 AM to 2 PM

57 The above special events are held on M.L. King Drive in addition to the Drive's normal closures for

58 recreation activities on Saturdays and Sundays 6 AM to 5 PM, lower portion of M.L. King Dr.

59 from Eakins Oval to Sweetbriar Dr. reopen to traffic at 12 Noon between April and October


CHIT CHAT PHILLY - A New Weekly Gossip Info Column

Sorry the blog entry is late today, plus if you are looking for your entry I am behind, no surprise. I've been out every night for the past 2 weeks, and will now be taking 2 weeks of not attending social events, I think. But I have a lot to catch up on and will be doing entries every day (& a special one on Easter), and as always if you want to hire me I will cover your event, and if you have a celebrity sighting I will go out and shoot that. Today is another series of shots I've taken from around town that include my thoughts. If you go to any of these places, just tell them you read it on PhillyChitChat. Thanks Parking Wars: When attending theater in the center city district, you no longer have to pay outrageous parking fees like this one at the Kimmel Center $22 or the one around the corner at 15th & Spruce $20
Take your car to The Symphony House where the Suzanne Roberts Theater is 480 South Broad Street (Broad & Lombard). ( It's only 2 blocks from the Kimmel Center at Broad & Spruce) PARKING is $12; I hate giving away my secret, but it irritates with these highway robbery parking prices.
If you are attending the Forrest or Walnut Street Theater there's an equally inexpensive parking garage on 11th Street between Walnut & Locust, owned by the same company and only $9 to park in the evening.

Absolute Abstract has great Philadelphia prints, and they are inexpensive. Store is on 13th Street between Chestnut & Walnut Streets
Ryann Richardson Miss Philadelphia hands over her crown this weekend to a new Miss Philadelphia. Ryann is sweet, attends Philadelphia University and has a great career in communications ahead of her.

Pageant: March 27th - Drexel University
Tickets: $25
Get your tickets by calling
the Philadelphia Theater Ticket Office at 215-735-1903

There's a guy at the Rocky Statue who will lend you boxing gloves and shoot your photo for a buck. Now that's a bargain. Oh and he has hand sanitizer for you to use in between glove wearings.
Open House 107 South 13th Street sells those cute Banner Bags I told you about a few weeks ago; they've been selling like hot cakes and were out when I stopped by, but I did see these other bags they sell. Canvas distinct Philly bags they designed themselves also $20. If you stop by tell them PhillyChitChat sent you. In fact if you stop at any of these places tell them you read it here, thanks. That way they'll let me come again and shoot things of interest.
Philadelphia Home Art Garden (PHAG) is closing. I was thrilled for them when they moved their cute sweet store from 12th Street to a gigantic store on Walnut, but wondered how they were going to do it. Then all hell broke loose and the economy tank. Look at what happened to Foster's in Old City a similar fate. Now they have moved back to a sweet spot 33 North 3rd Street. I hear PHAG is going to do all their business online which is great, but I would love it if they found a sweet spot in the neighborhood to open a boutique again. The two guys running it are super nice. 30% - 40% SALES right Now.
Meritage 500 South 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146-1302
(215) 985-1922

They have amazing deserts. This is the Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Bombe and it was amazing. Probably the most amazing dessert I ever had. Stop by for dinner and drinks, and get dessert or just stop by for dessert. So amazing, and for a few more dollars they do a wine pairing.
I enjoyed dinner there last week with Matt Vlahos and Jimmy Contreras. This is the very popular korean taco everyone is talking about. So very good.
Demi Moore retweeted something @anniemal said. If you are on twitter, you must follow @anniemal, so funny, raw and honest.
Not a fan of the design of the new Jewish Museum at 5th & Market. Looking forward to completion and Ingra Saffron's take on it. What is up with that muted orange?
Mission Grill at 19th & Arch Streets so funny. I love when I come across funny signs in the City.
Mike and I saw "How to Train Your Dragon" last week. We loved it, your kids will love it, and parents won't be bored. Mike says it's a cross between ET & Avatar. He's right. Your kid will want to own a dragon after seeing this 90 minute movie.
Oh I will be going on a diet again, I know I've said that, and I have gone to one too many eateries lately and chosen the not so Weight Watchers meal, but I'm heading back to the gym, and weight watchers and working on my speedo body. If Perez Hilton can do it, and he looks so good, I'm going to do it too. I have to.
Not a fan of this Sex and the City 2 poster. LAME. I'm thinking I might head to NYC to cover the red carpet premiere as I am such their fan.
Saw this advertisement in a local chester newspaper, wow.
I was at my friend Sue Fee's house the other day for her daughter's 4th Birthday. I forgot that on their kitchen window a celebrated artist friend did this rendition of a baby Sue on her kitchen window for Sue's 30th Bday party 10 years ago.
I went to Sampan again and had lamb chops for dinner, but I stress that their lunch is the best bargain in town. A complete lunch, sandwich, soda & drink for $7 - $9. They also have noodle dishes and salads for the same combination. 124 South 13th Street. Here's their advertisement in the new issue of WHERE Magazine "Flavors that Stick"
My favorite on the menu now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

500 DEGREES BURGER IS NOW OPENED - The First Day at 1504 Sansom Street

TUESDAY I didn't see the really super duper long line for opening day of 500 Degrees as I had to buy my Lady Gaga tickets for the 9/14/10 show and didn't arrive until 1PM, but when I did get there the line was impressive, and it had started to rain, but that didn't stop the folks from enjoying a few of the specials on opening day of 500 Degrees, (Five Hundred Degrees or that little symbol I can't find on my keyboard.)
The easy to order menu. 500ยบ is a joint love affair of Rob and his wife Maggie Wasserman (owners of Rouge on Rittenhouse Square), as well as their staff including Chef Matt Zagorski and his team who will be running the operation.
I like the yellow sign on the counter that says any pix taken today can be used for promotional purposes without pay or notification.
I'm hungry
Fresh buns and burgers ran out at 3:30PM, and I heard they had to close for an hour to get more delivered. All and all it was a successful first day.
Lookie here who I found. Krystina Kennedy of the newly formed Fat Kids Approve blog about food. Now seriously, she is not fat, I know fat, and she's not it, but anyway she writes a fun blog about food and she's got good taste and a keen sense of burgers. (I actually just radomly picked her and Moria Phillips out of the crowd to shoot too). Krystina (rt) told me that she's a big fan of the Rouge Burger, but found the 500 Degrees burger more manageable.
I love that they have counter seating as well as 2 community tables
My co-worker Sofia & her friend. They waited about 30 minutes in line at which point they gave up on their buy 1 get 1 free.Notice the signage has changed again and this is the final one, simple, perfect like their burgers. Thanks to the many foodie bloggers (Foobooz, MealTicket, GrubStreet Philly to name a few), Neff & Associates and Michael Klein the word got out and the opening was a huge success. I love great ideas, openings, burgers and I love how food has become the new celebrity in Philadelphia. Over 600 burger were sold yesterday. I hear there was a line all night long.
The only thing I was disappointed in was the bathroom, no mirror to do a teeth checking. Plus who wants to walk around with a milkshake mustache. So be forewarned, bring a little compact when you go to 500 Degrees. (I previously wrote about 500 degrees HERE when I did the taste testing a few weeks ago.)
Tonight (from Dan Gross' column last Thursday:

This job is harder than it looks

Atlanta Falcons veteran Aaron Beasley, comedian Tim Adams, Mixed Martial Arts fighter Julio Rosario and HughE Dillon of will join Your Humble Narrator as judges March 24 at Delilah's (100 Spring Garden) for the gentlemen's club's Entertainer of the Year 2010 contest. The event, which will award more than $12,000 in cash and prizes starts at 7 p.m. Admission at the door is $20.