Sticks and Stones, chocolate beats the Valentine's blues.
"It is not an Italian gastropub," says owner Nicholas Miglino of Sticks & Stones, his forthcoming resto-bar at 1909 E. Passyunk Ave. What is it then exactly, Mr. Miglino? He can't say for sure, citing thin-crust pizza, nachos, lamb burgers, roasted organic chicken and a turkey-and-stuffing sandwich that he "can't freaking wait to make" as items that might or might not appear on his menu. He also delivers a lengthy dissertation on the sins of the modern steak sandwich. You can rest assured the one Miglino serves will involve a crusty French baguette and thinly sliced quality meat minus the gristle. The closest we get to a concise description is: "It will be a little bit of Asian, a little bit of Mexican and a little bit old-school South Philly." Which sounds very much like new-school South Philly to us. Exciting! Despite the rambling, one thing's for sure: Miglino, the former owner of Felicia's (the long- running high-end Italian restaurant at 11th and Ellsworth) is deeply passionate about this new spot. It will be open for lunch, dinner and late night, and most exciting, reasonably priced. (Miglino swears none of the items will "be even close to $20.") The opening date? It all depends on how quickly PLCB moves things along, but he's guessing the second week of April. >> Sticks and Stones, 1909 E. Passyunk Ave.
With Valentine's Day and all of its prix-fixe glory overshadowing everything else this week, what's an eater to do? Why not just eat chocolate all week and watch other people get married instead? That way you're not a hater--after all, chocolate is an integral part of the Valentine's Day drama--but you're not fully participating in the foolishness either. On Feb. 14 we suggest heading first to the Naked Chocolate Caf�, which is free of reservations and full of chocolate in both its liquid and solid forms. You could even take home a nine-piece box of their signature housemade chocolates packed inside a box made entirely of chocolate and decorated with either dainty hearts or Paul Smith-style preppy stripes for $21.95. Afterward, you can wander over to the center court in Reading Terminal Market, where judge Jeffrey Mineheart (get it?) will marry six couples at noon. If the whole thing makes you weepy, lonely or just plain grumpy, you can stuff your sorrows to death with the plethora of foodstuffs available in the market. >> Naked Chocolate Caf�, 1317 Walnut St. 215.735.7310. www.nakedchocolatecafe.com; Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Filbert sts. 215.922.2317. www.readingterminalmarket.org