11/07/2012 04:52:00 PM

Eat This, Do This, Read This: Philly Weekend Planner, November 9-11

The election is over, Sandy is behind us (although more wintery weather is unfortunately on the way) - this weekend is prime for food and drink enjoyment. Check out some choice eats, fun events and bookmark a few articles to read as you leisurely sip your Saturday morning coffee... or mimosa. We won’t judge.

Eat This

Butternut Squash French Toast at Ela
Sunday brunch just recently launched at Ela, but the Queen Village dining room feels like it was made for weekend lounging, with soft sun cozily glinting off the exposed brick walls. It’s hard to choose from Jason Ciconski’s dozen sweet and savory midday dishes, but convince at least one in your party to go for the butternut squash french toast. Fluffy slices of thick, house-baked challah are crisped around the edges, and serve as a base for toppings of warm, slightly sweet squash purée and housemade ricotta cream. Instead of maple syrup, which would mute the delicate fall flavors, drag your bites through the drizzle of thick espresso syrup on the plate - but be forewarned you might be tempted to follow up with your tongue (267-687-8512).

Burnt Grains Pappardelle at Fork
Chef Eli Kulp recently transferred his culinary creativity from NYC’s Torrisi Italian Specialties to Ellen Yin’s Old City mainstay, and Philadelphia diners get to reap the rewards. His housemade pappardelle is nearly black, not from squid ink but instead from the burnt grains used to make the dough, and the result is a pasta that’s totally unique in flavor and texture. The thick noodles suck up the wild boar ragu with olives and preserved lemon so that each bite is an umami explosion, but one with a very light footprint - each mouthful seems to sublimate away. The smaller portion ($16) is perfect as a starter and the larger plate ($26) will satisfy as a light main course (215-625-9425).

Do This

PA Beerfest
A new beerfest has come to Philadelphia, and instead of being on the outskirts of town, this one is right in the middle. Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Saturday festival will feature tastes from over 100 breweries from around the country. Tickets are $40 and are still available (here) for Session 2 (7-10 PM; the early session is sold out already). Food will be available to buy on site, though organizers suggest you eat a full meal before heading over and drinking your fill of malty suds.

Tapas Tasting at Jamonera
The summer Sunday tasting menus at this Midtown Village hot spot were super successful, so the Spanish tapas bar is bringing it back. A slate of 10 different bites and dishes includes papas fritas, tuna crudo, Moorish chicken kebabs, duck sausage, cannelloni and much more, all made with Marcie Turney’s deft touch. The meal runs $40 per person, and reservations are encouraged (215-922-6061).

Read This

Freshly Minted: How Mint Became the Default Flavor of Dental Hygiene
Shopping for toothpaste is not a trivial activity for writer Sara Davis - she’s allergic to mint. In a piece for Table Matters, she looks at how this “cooling” flavor ended up in our mouthwash and in after-dinner treats around the world (hint: a lot of marketing hype may have been involved).

Why Fernet Is Fueling The Restaurant Industry, And Not As Bad Tasting As You Think
Are you a fan of Fernet Branca? In recent years, the bitter Italian aperitif has taken the industry by storm. Food Republic takes a quick look at the spirit’s history and reveals the source of its startling and unique flavor - it tastes like mint, but it actually comes from copious quantities of saffron.

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