|Enjoy an intimate Havana-style dinner at Cuba Libre|
Reading Terminal Market recently underwent a $3 million renovation, which saw more floor space added for vendors, the construction of the Rick Nichols room (named for the erstwhile Philadelphia Inquirer columnist) and a new, larger space for show kitchen La Cucina at the Market. A ribbon cutting will kick off a week of celebrations of the new spaces, and at noon, Bill Beck of Beck’s Cajun Cafe will cook up the world’s largest “train wreck,” a cheesesteak that also features andouille sausage, salami and creole mayonnaise. Head to 12th and Arch to join in the festivities and get your taste of this monster sandwich.
Last summer, former bond trader Dean Carlson launched Wyebrook Farm, and for a year has been providing sustainably raised beef, pork, poultry and produce to customers who stopped by his estate and market in Honey Brook, PA. Starting this week, farmer Dean will be bringing his bounty to the city, giving those who can’t make it out to the burbs a chance to try his high quality fare. Check out the weekly offerings on Wyebrook Farm’s website, place your order via e-mail by 3 PM on Mondays, and then head to Audrey Claire Taichman’s Cook in Rittenhouse on Tuesdays to pick up your goods. Farm to table, made easy.
Itching for a backyard BBQ, but too busy in the middle of the week? Head to Southwark in Queen Village from 6-9 PM for some seriously smoky good eats and drink, served outdoors (weather permitting). The $35 dinner includes three beers from Philadelphia Brewing Co., plus two meat dishes, three sides and a dessert. Food will come from Gene Guiffi (Cochon), whose Blue Belly BBQ is due to launch sometime soon at Sixth and Catherine - look for jerk chicken leggs, garlic and oregano sausage, pulled pork and much more. Hump day never sounded so sweet. Call to reserve your spot (215-238-1888).
In Cuba, a paladar is an intimate dinner often set up in a chef’s own house - a tradition that began as a homestyle alternative to the state-run restaurants for visiting tourists. Chef-partner Guillermo Pernot is bringing that family feeling to Old City’s Cuba Libre with a “pop-up paladar” featuring guest Alain Rivera Santana, chef at Havana’s Doctor Cafe. The rising star chef will prepare a four-course menu that includes merluza al escabeche (cod, lamb tongue and beet salad), grilled yellowfin tuna, chilled mango soup and more. Seatings for the $45 meal, served in the private dining room, take place at 6 and 8:30 PM, Tuesday-Thursday, and reservations are suggested (215-627-0666).
It’s the next-to-last Foie Friday, and if you haven’t had a chance to sample some of the rich offerings from chefs around town, we highly advise checking them out. Even if you have tasted some of the liver dishes, others await in tantalizing form. For example, last week Jason Cichonski treated Ela guests to $10 plates of lobster-foie gras panna cotta, Verdad’s Nicholas Farina spun up vanilla-scented foie gras cotton candy and Lucio Palazzo plated foie gras nachos at La Calaca Feliz. Keep up with this week’s menu additions on Twitter with the hashtag #foiefridays.
Working in food service often means working without medical benefits, and when calamity strikes, finding ways to pay health care bills can be extremely tough. Such is the case for Race Street Cafe bartender Aaron Weber, who recently underwent heart valve replacement surgery after a surprise diagnosis this spring. To help its employee through the hardship, the Old City tavern is hosting an afternoon fundraiser from noon-4 PM. $25 brings all the beer and hors d’oeuvres you desire, along with live music, and absolutely all proceeds go directly to Aaron. Here’s to a quick recovery (215-327-6181).
Philly Stake is a recurring, seasonal dinner held to raise funds for small, local projects that might not otherwise have the wherewithal to organize large events. This summer’s installation goes down in the flower-filled surroundings of Batram’s Garden in Fairmount Park. For just $20, you can enjoy locally sourced meal and know you’re providing microgrants to some of the creative and philanthropic talents in the community. Tickets are available online, reservations are required (215-625-9850, ext. 100).