by Margie Royal
The town of Media will kick of its first-ever Restaurant Week, Sunday, March 9 through Thursday, March 13. Enjoy a 3-5 course meal for $30 at: Ariano, Azie Restaurant, Court Diner, Desert Rose, Diego’s, D’Ignazio’s Towne House, Dos Gringos, Double Decker Pizza, Fellini Café, House, La Belle Epoque, La Na Thai French, Lotus Farm to Table, Margaret Kuo’s Media, Picasso, The Plumstead Inn, Shere-E-Punjab, Sligo, Spasso Italian Grill, Stephen’s on State and Temaki Sushi Bar.
The inspiration for and creation of Art in the Age’s four distinct spirits, ROOT, SNAP, Rhubarb Tea, and SAGE, was heavily influenced by the history and culture of Pennsylvania. Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College’s 7-9 p.m., Thursday, April 24 class, “Pennsylvania Spirits: When Botany and History Come Together” will welcome a representative from Art in the Age who will discuss the historical events and times that inspired each spirit and the botanicals that comprise them. Participants will also have the opportunity to sample cocktails made with each spirit following the presentation. Sign up quickly if you want to attend; the class is limited to 25. The registration fee is $40 for non-members and $30 for members. To register go to www.scott arboretum.org or call 610-328-8025.
Saturday, March 29 will be an evening of fashion, cocktails, hors d’ oeuvres, music and more all to raise awareness and funds for the Delaware County SPCA. The event, from 7-9 p.m. at the Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, includes cocktails, appetizers, beer, wine, signature drinks, a fashion show with both human and adopted or adoptable pets as models, a silent auction, a cash prize raffle and a deluxe goody bag. Tickets are $75. On March 30, a benefit luncheon will be held, noon to 3 p.m. at Kings Mills, 6000 Pennell Road, Media. The luncheon ($50) will also include a fashion show. To avoid the service fee and purchase a ticket over the phone, call Justina Calgiano at 610-566-1370 ext. 231 or e-mail email@example.com.
Now through March 30, Krispy Kreme has added two coffee-flavored doughnuts to its line-up. The Mocha Kreme Doughnut is topped with mocha icing, a milk chocolate swirl and decorated with milk chocolate icing. The Caramel Coffee Kreme Doughnut is topped with caramel and coffee flavored icing, a mocha drizzle and dollop of coffee Kreme.
Our recipe this week, in honor of the start of Lent, is Crab Cakes served with Tarragon aioli sauce. The recipe appears courtesy of Chef Nicholas Petti of Mendo Bistro in Fort Bragg, Texas.
Serves 4 to 6
2 egg yolks
3 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 dash Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup very hot water
2 cups olive oil
1/2 bunch tarragon, finely chopped
1 1/2 pounds Dungeness crab meat
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for outer coating
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 to 3/4 cup of the tarragon aioli
Oil for sauteing
For the aioli: Place the egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, salt and Tabasco in a food processor or blender, then blend. Pour in hot water, and process for 15 seconds. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil until a mayonnaise consistency is reached. Stir in chopped tarragon.
Combine the crab, panko and green onions. Add 1/2 cup aioli and test mixture to see how well it holds together. If needed, add additional aioli. Do not overwork ingredients. Cakes should be loose and just barely hold together. Form into cakes about 3 inches in diameter. Set crab cakes on a bed of panko.
In a medium saute pan set over medium-high heat, heat the oil until just smoking. Place cakes, panko-side down, in pan. Saute until golden. Carefully turn over. Lower heat to medium, then saute until heated through. Serve with additional aioli.
Dining news and recipes are welcome. Send to mroyal@ delconewsnetwork.com.
Starting today, March 3 2014, our flagship boutique in Old City will be open 7 days a week. The new hours are: Monday through Satruday 11am – 7pm, and Sundays 12pm-6pm. Come down and say hello!
Sharing is to be encouraged. The name of the game is to try as many combinations as you can without getting too… tipsy. This is why we share. It’s fun tasting concoctions that you never would have thought of conjuring up.
Never underestimate the power of having extra ice handy. I didn’t think this through and ended up running back and forth from the fridge in the kitchen to the dining room table many times. It’s not a far trek but it’s also not conducive to party-time conversation. Yelling into the other room over the buzz and clatter of falling ice cubes falling into a glass vase is not a good look for anyone. Have plenty for the glasses as well as the shaker.
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
The famous Philadelphia Flower Show starts this weekend (and runs March 1-9). To celebrate, Art in the Age has crafted two Flower Show-inspired signature cocktails that they’ll be serving at the show on March 2 (look for them in the Grand Hall from 4-6pm). Art in the Age incorporated their organic liquors into a delicious blackberry lemonade and a lavender cup.
Bartram’s Blackberry Lemonade
Directions: In rocks glass, muddle blackberries, a few basil leaves, and RHUBARB. Add ice and top with sparkling lemonade. Stir to combine.
SAGE Lavender Cup
Directions: Fill a tall glass with ice. Add SAGE and lavender honey syrup. Top with club soda, stir, and garnish with lemon
*To make Lavender Honey Syrup: Combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of honey, and 3 sprigs of lavender in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until combined. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 25 minutes. Remove lavender and store syrup in a glass bottle. Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
If you can’t make it to to the show to sample these libations on the 2nd, some local restaurants are also serving the signature libations: Revolution House, Jones, andSmokin’ Betty’s. And if you can’t make it there, whip them up at home!
Cheers to a very happy weekend!
Images and recipes via Art in the Age
This week we got in a fresh batch of Drifter backpacks, and we are in hiking heaven. They come in two styles: Drifter Urban Hiker, $95 (in Red and Navy) and the Drifter Tear Drop Bag, $90 (in Black and Royal Blue). We took them on a little jaunt through the woods this week, and managed to walk away frostbite free! Plus, it fits a bottle (or two) of ROOT perfectly.
Last night, we got to introduce Of Mercer, the amazingly chic work-wear brand, to the D.C. scene. We (and a bevy of stylish attendees) spent the evening at Urban Chic in Georgetown, shopping the online-only collection in person. From perfectly structured dresses to cool, modern jewelry and belts, these duds are tailor-made for Washington’s professional set.
In addition to enjoying tasty food and drinks, guests got to try out a lip-gloss bar by Nival Salon — we saw so many gorgeous pouts during the night! Among the attendees were some of the DMV’s chicest bloggers: E ofDistrict of Chic, Meaghan of District Sparkle, Cheralee of Miss Lyle Style, Tammy of A Loyal Love, Lindsay of 2nd & L, and Alina of The Hyperbalist.
If you couldn’t make it last night, don’t fret: You still have two more opportunities to check out Of Mercer in person. Tonight and tomorrow, the brand will make appearances at the Capitol Hill Hotel and the AKA White House, respectively. If you’ve already got plans, you can always shop the collection online from the comfort of your couch.
Click through for the best snaps of our lovely evening with the love ladies of Urban Chic and Of Mercer.
Hall, who happens to live on the mountain, started the wild fragrance company Juniper Ridge out of his kitchen back in 1998. Juniper Ridge distills colognes and perfumes from real plants, bark, moss, mushrooms, and tree trimmings Hall finds hiking the backcountry.
Accompanied by Jeff from Cold Splinters, Isla who works at SF’s The Bold Italic and her friend Maggie, we collected wild botanicals for a super special small batch cocktail syrup collaboration that completely captures the smell and flavor of the mountain.
Since our hike, we’ve been mixing up some amazing cocktails with the Mount Tam syrup (makes us wish we were still on the mountain), and can’t wait to serve it up with Art in the Age at their Fellow Barber pop-up!
Redwood Martinis and Desert Sage cocktails anyone?
What would you consider foraging gold?
For me, the beauty of foraging isn’t about finding rarities, it’s about immersing yourself in nature and engaging your animal senses in the beauty that’s all around you. There is endless beauty in the most common of plants — a redwood forest, oak woodlands, sage chaparral, a square foot of wet earth right beneath your feet, overflowing with life and ten thousand species of little critters that we’ll never know about.
I do find rare flowers from time to time, and when I do, I just sit down next to them and try to drink in every detail, because they’re only out for a second and then they’re gone. I would never harvest a rare plant. I only work with plants that are utterly abundant and aren’t being impacted in any way by the harvesting. Rarities are just that, and they need to be admired for their beauty and left alone.
Do you ever have foraging fake out, as in things that look good but are really poisonous?
The simple answer to that question is no. If you’re paying attention and learn your plants there is no way you could ever make a mistake and eat something poisonous. You’d have to be unbelievably careless to mistake a poisonous plant for an edible one.
We’re animals and until about the last two seconds of our evolutionary history, we depended on wild plants for our day-to-day survival. Do you think our bodies have forgotten how to interact with the natural world? Of course not. We all have this incredible capacity, even if it is laying dormant, to understand subtle differences between plants based on smell, visual differences, intuition … It’s like we have this superpower just sitting quietly inside of us, waiting to be exercised. And it always feels good to exercise those primal muscles deep inside of us. So tap into that Pleistocene part of yourself — hit the trail and for god’s sake, don’t treat nature as a museum. This is your heritage as a human and an animal — you’re not separate from nature, you’re part of it, so dig into it! Crush pine needles beneath your nose, brew up wild herb teas, crawl around on the forest floor on a wet day, and just smell all that’s there to be smelled. Every inch smells different.
Is there a foraging etiquette?
If you’re a forager you have a moral responsibility to take care of the places you harvest from. If you’re really paying attention and digging into the place, this really doesn’t feel like a responsibility because it will come naturally, born out of the love you have for the place. I’m always weeding out the invasive plants, making space for native grasses and coastal prairie. When I trim plants, I usually do it grazing style—take a little bit from the top of the plant so it can keep growing, and I watch my harvesting spots carefully, like a garden, to make sure I’m not having a negative impact on either the plants or the place.