Philly is a wine town.
Philly may already be known as the nation's best beer-drinking city, but perhaps a best wine-sipping city title is not far behind.
Two notable Philly wine bars have reeled in awards this month. Tria wine bar and cafe was named one of Bon Appetit magazine's "Hot 10" wine bars in the October 2008 issue. Tria's lively bar is packed nightly with cool kids and wine enthusiasts enjoying the creative wine list, craft beers and a tasty menu of artisanal cheeses and savory bites.
Sommelier William Eccleston and his team at Ristorante Panorama in Old City have received the 2008 Wine Hospitality of the Year honor from industry mag Sante. Panorama was recognized for its Italian trattoria-style cuisine and exemplary wine service. Il Bar, the restaurant's cozy wine bar, is known for its custom-built cruvinet, a lovely 120-bottle wine-dispensing system that allows you to sample by the glass till you drop. For smaller tastings, check out their Friday Night Flights every Friday from 6 to 8 p.m.
From Oct. 19 to Oct. 23 Philadelphia magazine and Rittenhouse Row present the first annual Wine Week on Rittenhouse Row. Events include a kick-off tasting party featuring wines from around the world and food from neighborhood restaurants including 10 Arts and Barclay Prime. All week those same restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe wine dinners and specially priced wines by the glass.
For Halloween pass on the five-pound bag of Snickers and do some posh candy shopping at Teuscher, the Swiss chocolate shop nestled in the Bellevue next to Williams-Sonoma's culinary wonderland. Teuscher's seasonal treats include solid chocolate in creepy but classy Halloween shapes and decadent pumpkin truffles filled with dark chocolate/pumpkin ganache. Talk about a killer combo.
For a new twist on Halloween fun, take your friends or kids out to dinner then scare the steak frites out of them. London Grill, neighbor to Eastern State Penitentiary, is offering a special Halloween menu that includes three courses of London's scrumptious seasonal dishes and admission to the Penitentiary's annual--and freakin' scary--haunted house.
Saturday the Reading Terminal Market brings the farm to the streets at its annual Harvest Festival. Enjoy seasonal foods, a pumpkin patch and live music. Take a hay ride past the Parking Authority. Just don't let the kids see you throw a rotten squash at the meter goblins.