Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November in Philly: Some Choice Food, Wine and Beer Events

Apparently the folks at Philadelphia’s SnackBar don’t believe in answering the phone, accepting on-line reservations or even utilizing an answering machine. After three days of calling – several weeks ago – in an effort to attain a reservation for this past Monday’s dinner with guest chef Shola Olunloyo, I finally gave up. When one of my fellow Philly food bloggers, HungryChic at Lavender Sky, wrote the other day to see if I’d be going, I thought I’d give it one last try – again, no answer, no messaging capability. Finally, after about 20 attempts, someone answered the phone. No surprise, the event was booked. If you missed it too, you can read about it after the fact on eGullet or at my chum PhilaDining’s blog.

If you’re planning ahead rather than ruing missed opportunities, there are a couple of other savory events in the pipeline. If there’s a theme involved, it would seem to be Monday, a notoriously off night for Philly restaurants, many of which simply close the doors for the evening.

  • Monday, November 19
    The Wines and Foods of Piedmont
    Osteria – 215-763-0920
    6:30 PM reception, 7:00 PM dinner. $150 per person, all inclusive.
    I hate to say it, but the wine line-up for the evening, with the exception of the Barbaresco “Sori Paitin” from Paitin di Pasquero-Elia (vintage unknown), looks to be rather pedestrian – a shame given the wealth of great wines from Piemonte. That said, the menu looks good, the food at Osteria is top notch, and the style of cooking pairs quite naturally with northern Italian wines. Reservations are limited to 30 seats.

  • Monday, November 26
    Bière à la Française
    Chick’s Café & Wine Bar – 215-625-3700
    7:00 PM. $30 in advance ($40 after November 21) plus tax and tip.
    Importer and all-around beer dude Dan Shelton will be on hand at Chick’s to present a guided tasting of French bière de garde. If your experience with French brews starts and stops with Kronenbourg 1664, which would be understandable, this sounds like a great opportunity to discover some of the secrets of the best northern French brasseries. Think French terroir – the Ardennes is too far north to grow wine – with a Belgian sensibility.

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