Raise a glass to fall.
Want to kick off the fall season with some schnitzel, spaetzle and beer? Check out the many Oktoberfest celebrations springing up all over town. This season three chefs with serious street cred are classing up the typical sausage and beer affair. Executive Chefs Patrick and Terence Feury of Maia (789 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova. 610.527.4888), a new Main Line restaurant and market, are teaming up with Victory Brewing Company for a monthlong Oktoberfest celebration. The kickoff event is on Oct. 1 and includes a $39 four-course menu and beer pairing. Items from a special menu will be offered a la carte throughout the month. I've heard there'll be goat cheese fritters. 'Nuff said.
Eat and drink for a cause at the 14th annual Sippin' by the River, an outdoor wine and beer tasting festival at Penn's Landing (Sun., Sept. 28, rain or shine). Enjoy samples from local breweries and vineyards along with cooking demos and tastings from local eateries including Chickie's and Pete's and Kildare's Irish Pub. Spring for the VIP tickets to attend the tutored wine and beer tasting in the exclusive VIP tent with wine personality John McNulty and beer expert Gary Monterosso.
Recent openings and up-and-comings: Patrons of the arts looking for a pre-theater nosh can stop by the new Du Jour Caf� at Symphony House (440 S. Broad St. 215.735.8010. www.dujourmarket.com). This casual cafe with an upscale menu will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A good spot to grab coffee or some cr�me brulee French toast and watch the pink-haired UArts students go by.
Phileo at Fourth and South is Philly's answer to Pinkberry, the celebrity-packed fro-yo spot in L.A. The celebs eat the tart frozen yogurt as diet food. Philadelphians eat it smothered in cookies and candy from the self-serve toppings bar.
Every Tuesday this month I've been enjoying the Sangria Happy Hour at Chick's Caf� and Wine Bar (614 S. Seventh St. 215.625.3700. www.chickscafe.com). I highly recommend spending 5 to 7 p.m. this last Tuesday of September downing (or delicately sipping) $5 sangria and nibbling on $5 prosciutto, fig and gorgonzola paninis.
Save the date: The second-annual Philly Beer Week will take place from Fri., March 6 through Sun., March 15, 2009. More than 100 events will include dinners, tastings and meet-and-greets. I'm looking forward to the Ladies Beer Tea, a twist on high tea--serving tea sandwiches and desserts paired with beers. Visit www.phillybeerweek.org.