Free water ice at Rita's, healthy 18th-century ale, Marshmallows book reception.
Is it possible--really possible--that the first day of spring is just around the corner? Pardon our doubt, but we feel like this has been the longest winter ever. So we're extra excited to welcome the vernal equinox with free water ice at Rita's on Thurs., March 20. More than 500 Rita's locations will be giving away free 10-ounce cups of their water ice (which they now refer to as Italian ice, since no one outside of Philly has any idea what water ice is) from noon until 9 p.m. Yeah, yeah, we know everyone loves to hate Rita's, but seriously, how can you complain about sugar water, especially when you're getting it for free? >> Thurs., March 20, noon-9pm. www.ritasice.com
Marshmallows. You eat them in s'mores. You eat them in sweet potato casserole at Thanksgiving. But an entire cocktail party made with marshmallows? Bold! Daring! Delicious? Find out April 6 at Alison at Blue Bell, when they host a marshmallow and wine pairing reception and launch party for Eileen Talanian's new cookbook Marshmallows: Homemade Gourmet Treats. Chef Alison Barshak will prepare not just the obvious sweets, but also savory items like grilled pineapple and bacon with ancho marshmallows and something involving "rosemary zinfandel fluff." The $45 price (excluding tax and tip) includes the food, beer and wine, along with a signed copy of Talanian's book. Tickets must be purchased in advance. >> Sun., April 6, 6pm. Alison at Blue Bell, 721 Skippack Pk., Blue Bell. 215.641.2660. www.alisonatbluebell.com
You probably spent Philly Beer Week drinking beer. You might find yourself a little worse for the wear. What to do? Drink more beer, of course. But you'll need a special beer that promises more than just a pleasant buzz and temporary amnesia. You need an ale that promises to restore vitality and soothe your soul. That would be the Viscount St. Alban's Ale of Health and Vigor, a recreation of an 18th-century brew that Dock Street Brewing Company whipped up according to a recipe found in a historic cookbook. We had an opportunity to sample this complex, herbaceous beer at the Brewer's Plate festival, and found it refreshing, a bit medicinal and intriguingly aromatic--probably because it's packed with herbs like chamomile and rosemary. We're no doctor, but we certainly felt restored after sampling a glass--restored enough to sample some more.
>> Dock Street Brewery, 701 S. 50th St. 215.726.2337. www.dockstreetbeer.com