Bars, brunches and braising will get you through the winter.
As the winter months roll in, follow a strict regimen of the three Bs: bars, brunches and braising.
Two new bars in Center City offer distinctly different cold-weather remedies. For a classy scene and hand-crafted cocktails, slide into Bar 210 inside Lacroix at the Rittenhouse. This chic space with a view of the park is the perfect place to pick up a Strawberry Blonde or a Bisexual Bourbon, two of 210's signature cocktails. Try all of Chef Matthew Levin's brilliant bar snacks including barbecued rib dumplings and handmade potato chips. Clink glasses with demure bar flies and watch the cold world go by.
For comfort food and a cozy pub atmosphere, hunker down at Pub & Kitchen (see our review at philadelphiaweekly.com), which--with its delicious cheddar burgers, crispy fish and chips, dark beers, plasma TVs and $3 snack menu--is sure to be your winter go-to restaubar thanks to Chef Jonathan MacDonald. The menu is seasonal, so check back for new items as the weather changes.
For a stick-to-your ribs brunch that'll send you happily into hibernation, try Marigold Kitchen's new brunch menu. Marigold's chef, Erin O'Shea, says, "Southern food is comfort food." She serves coddled eggs with Virginia ham over warm cornbread and an okra and cheddar frittata. Brunch items are $9 to $12. Marigold also offers a $30 Sunday-dinner special featuring three courses of Southern goodness. Dishes here are affordable, filling and delicious.
While the farm stands pack it in for the season, Reading Terminal Market stays open all year. Make some stay-at-home dinner plans and shop at the market for a lovely hunk of meat to stew in wine for hours, such as a succulent braised lamb shank. While you're there, stop by the La Cucina cooking school and sign up to get some rustic Italian cooking lessons from Marc Vetri on Nov. 15.
You may still be recovering from a Halloween hangover, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner. For folks who like to put the Thanksgiving meal in the hands of a trained professional, make reservations now at one of many Philly restaurants offering an abundant holiday spread. Go to opentable.com and philadelphia.citysearch.com for listings.