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All’s Fare: Fond offers Bloody Marys and burgers for brunch

By Bill Gelman

Fond, 1537 S. 11th St., officially joined the local Sunday brunch scene last weekend. This is a first for the husband-and-wife team of chef Lee Styer and pastry chef Jessie Prawlucki, who opened the establishment in 2009. Besides the omelets, waffles and sandwiches, including a crab cake benedict, patrons can order scones and cinnamon buns, an endless Bloody Mary bar, mimosas and a variety of raw bar options. The popular 8-ounce burger with maple caramelized onions, blue cheese and crispy pork belly will be available for brunch, as well as the Sunday night bar menu. Brunch is served Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit fondphilly.com.

Sticking with the avenue scene, Le Virtù, 1927 E. Passyunk Ave., rolled out three new tasting menus that will be available Monday through Thursday. Call it an opportunity to explore the depths and diversity of the regional cuisine of Italy’s Abruzzo region. Assaggio di Pasta, or pasta tasting, includes half-portions of different pastas, including that night’s specialty pasta and all other pastas on the dinner menu, for $45. The Menu del Buongustaio, or gourmet menu, includes salumi or cheese starter, plus choice of any antipasto and pasta and dolce for $45. The Menu del Cenone, or feast menu, offers a salumi or cheese starter, plus choice of any antipasto and pasta and secondo and dolce for $55. The prices do not include tax or gratuity. The new offerings from owners Francis Cratil-Cretarola and Cathy Lee, along with chef Joseph Voller, are the latest effort in preserving the traditions and culture of their favorite Italian region, sourcing a variety of ingredients from Abruzzo’s lush mountains, hillsides and coastlines.

“Chef Voller has produced a new menu for a new year, embracing Abruzzese traditions, incorporating local ingredients, and putting his personal touch on our cuisine,” Cratil-Cretarola said. “We can honestly say that this is the best menu we’ve ever produced, a vibrant combination of authenticity and imagination. And we’d like to make it as accessible as possible to everyone.”
For more information, visit levirtu.com.

Popi’s, 3120 S. 20th St., will once again be holding children’s cooking classes with Peachie Feb. 11 and 18, noon to 1:30 p.m. They are geared for children ages 6 to 12. The cost is $35. To reserve a spot, call 215–755–7180 and ask for Kristen.

WIP’s Wing Bowl 26 at the Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., might be sold out, but the official Feb. 2 after party is not. Toll Man Joe’s, 26 E. Oregon Ave., is hosting the event. Call 215–644–8388 to book one of the packages.

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