By Bill Gelman
Two days down, 10 to go. We are talking about the sixth annual East Passyunk Restaurant Week, of course. The value-priced lunch and dinner menus — $15, $25 or $35 each — are being offered through Friday, March 9. Options range from Italian “red gravy” joints to Mexican street food to low key BYOBs, and this is just a small sampling. Select restaurants will further personalize the experience with drink pairings, add-on specials, dessert debuts, extended hours and day of operation, and other rewards to delight foodies from around the region — and the country.
Some may enjoy a culinary journey to Spain, more specifically Barcelona Wine Bar, 1709 E. Passyunk Ave., where chef Will Shaw is preparing an extensive array of Spanish-centric small plates paired with a red hot bar scene.
Ciro Lubrano Lavadera, the new chef at LaScala’s Birra, 1700 E. Passyunk Ave., is rolling out a menu featuring his take on house-made pastas, pizzas and Italian specialties.
ITV, 1615 E. Passyunk Ave., by Bravo’s “Top Chef” winner Nicholas Elmi is serving up a special dinner menu created exclusively for this event, including hay roasted poussin with confit leg, chestnut, grains, and grilled Icelandic cod with celery root, uni, jalapeño. An optional three-course beverage pairing for $20 is also available.
Chhaya Cafe, 1819 East Passyunk Ave., is joining the EPRW fold for the first time by offering dinner service. The comfort food menu will include a southern Sunday supper with family recipes and special creations by chef/owner Varnana Beuria and kitchen manager Anthony Oaddams.
“We’re excited to be participating in restaurant week this year and to be presenting a menu that showcases a cuisine that is different from anything else offered on the Avenue, but is compatible with our constant aspiration of serving simple, delicious, comfort food,” said Beuria.
Menus for all participating restaurants are available online, eastpassyunkrestaurantweek.com.
Valet parking for East Passyunk Restaurant Week is available Sunday and Tuesday through Saturday at the Singing Fountain and in between Broad and Mifflin streets starting at 5 p.m. Parking is $16. Diners can drop off their car at one location and pick it up at the other location.
The start of spring is just weeks away, and block party season typically follows. The team at Taproom on 19th, 2400 S. 19th St., is wasting little time with penciling in Saturday, April 7, for its Tappin’ The Trucks Brews n’ Bites Block Party. The Cow and the Curd, Foolish Waffles, OINK and MOO BBQ, Say Cheese Philadelphia and Crème Brolée are some of the food truck scheduled to be there. Victory Beer, Levante Brewing, Sly Fox Beer and Tonewood Brewing are a handful of the breweries that will be represented. Additional details will be announced in coming weeks. Visit facebook.com/events/1927706850596428.
Speaking of food, it’s almost time to announce the winners of the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. Like previous years, each of the 25 honorees will be profiled in our special Spring Guide hitting doorsteps on Wednesday, March 14.
Have restaurant news to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.