Center City Restaurant Week Preview, Wheelhouse sports collectibles | FYI Philly

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Sunday, January 22, 2023
Center City Restaurant Week, Wheelhouse fan collectibles | FYI Philly
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FYI Philly shows you what's on the menu for Restaurant Week in Center City, a new brunch spot from a Jose Garces alum and more.

Sakartvelo brings authentic Georgian cuisine to Philly

When Sakartvelo co-owners Imeda Londaridze and David Lekishvili met 15 years ago at the US Embassy in Georgia, they did not know they would have a chance meeting six months later in Philadelphia.

They have been business partners ever since, and have enjoyed great success with the bakery they opened in the Northeast called Georgian Bread.

Their latest venture is named after the translation for the name of their home country of Georgia, and the location in Center City is a unique new offering of this cuisine.

Traditional dishes like the boat-shaped bread filled with cheese and an egg join other national dishes on the menu, as well as wines from Georgia -- served in a setting decorated with nationally-themed artifacts like wine flasks and traditional Georgian outfits.

Sakartvelo | Facebook | Instagram

705 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

267-319-1631

hours 11am - 9pm daily

On Point Bistro owner-chef keeps focus on food and family

Chef Juan Lopez Fernandez began a longstanding working relationship with Iron Chef Jose Garces when he was just 18 years old and new to Philadelphia from Mexico.

Chef Juan proceeded to build an impressive career in fine dining over the next 20 years.

But when it was time to open his own spot, he chose to limit offerings to breakfast, lunch and brunch so that he could spend quality time with his growing family. Now, Chef Juan is a chef-in-residence with the Garces program at Volver in the Kimmel Center.

Through February 12, Chef Juan's dinner creations will be on the menu there, which he says a great opportunity to return to his fine dining roots while keeping his dayside cooking - and family time - going strong as well.

On Point Bistro | Instagram | Facebook

1200 Point Breeze Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19146

267-639-3318

open daily

Avenues Café connects Mt. Airy community, Native American neighbors

Avenues Café on Germantown Avenue is serving up what the owner calls "Delicious coffee with a side of community."

Owner Lee Locklear opened Avenues in 2021, combining his project management skills and his passion for social entrepreneurship.

Locklear says he also intended for Avenues to be a welcoming space for Philadelphia's Native American population.

"I'm Native American and African American, and over half of my staff is also Native American," says Locklear. "It's a very underrepresented community, and we found a way to connect with them."

Locklear uses the café to promote a number of local vendors, and an entire section of the café is dedicated to Native American artwork.

He also sells plants that he grows himself.

"I personally grew up on a farm in North Carolina, so growing plants and having a green space is kind of my way to connect back with nature," says Locklear.

Avenues hosts a variety of creative workshops throughout the year. There's everything from poetry to pottery.

All proceeds from workshop tickets go to the Native American Housing Alliance.

As far as coffee and teas go, Avenues offers a traditional Italian espresso menu. Breakfast and lunch are served all day every day.

Avenues Café | Facebook | Instagram

7201 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Wheelhouse! is a 1-stop shop for sports cards, memorabilia, fan gear

Wheelhouse is a one-stop shop for sports memorabilia.

The store has a collection of high-priced collectibles such as signed jerseys, balls and framed pictures.

There is fan gear for Philadelphia sports fans, but the biggest attraction is the collection of sports cards.

You can find rare rookie cards, super sets and beginner kits for those just getting started.

The shop is a collaboration between partners Charles Kappe, Jon Spadaford and Jon's wife, Joy.

They opened nearly two years ago and moved to the current location in September 2022.

The owners credit the pandemic for a resurgence in the industry and interest in collecting cards.

The space has become an after-school hangout for local students who collect, trade, buy, sell and grade cards.

Every Friday there is a raffle where they give away store credit, signed memorabilia and sports cards.

Wheelhouse | Instagram

106 E Lancaster Ave, Wayne, PA 19087

Nearly 90 restaurants participating in Center City Restaurant Week

This is the 20th year for Center City Restaurant Week, a chance for restaurants to showcase their best dishes and for diners to get great deals on minimum 3-course meals.

Dinner is $40, lunch is $25, and there are 88 restaurants to choose from, the most since before the pandemic.

There are newcomers like Pearl & Mary's, an oyster bar in Midtown with everything from shrimp toast and steamed snapper to pecan upside-down cake.

Pizza and pasta fans can head across the street to Prunella's, opened last spring, serving elevated pies and dishes like spicy caesar salad and whipped ricotta sourdough topped with caramelized honey.

You can also discover longtime gems.

Jasmine Rice opened in 2011 on South 16th Street, a husband and wife-owned spot serving traditional Thai. For restaurant week they're offering a 3-course lunch of green curry with shrimp, papaya salad and crispy spring rolls.

Dinner is a bonus four courses with options like drunken duck and Siamese salmon.

D'Angelo's opened at 20th and Rittenhouse Square Streets in February of 1990. Tony D'Angelo is the chef. His brother, Sal, works the front of the house, and they are known for old-fashioned Italian fine dining with generations of family recipes on the menu like the braciolettini their mother used to make for Sunday dinner.

David Suro was just 22 when he opened Tequila's Restaurant and Bar in 1986.

They'll be serving up some of their most popular dishes for restaurant week like the tortilla soup and the surf and turf, an 8-ounce ribeye steak on a bed of chorizo sauce with jumbo shrimp, Mexican rice and black beans.

Suro says it's one of the best deals for restaurant week because that dish alone costs nearly $40. There is homemade pastel tres leches if you can save room for dessert.

Center City District also has a contest to win dinner once a month for a year from participating Restaurant Week restaurants. Parking in Center City is discounted to $9 at participating facilities.

Center City District Restaurant Week | Facebook

January 15-28, 2023

Pearl & Mary's Oyster Bar | Facebook | Instagram

114 S 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107

215-330-6786

Prunella | Instagram

112 S 13th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19107

215-631-8058

Jasmine Rice Thai Restaurant | Facebook | Instagram

306 S 16th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102

215-546-0818

D'Angelo's Ristorante Italiano |Facebook

256 S 20th Street (20th & Rittenhouse Square Street) Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

Tequila's Restaurant & Bar | Facebook | Instagram

1602 Locust Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102

215-546-0181

The Chandlery offers great candles, candle-making classes

Standford Ponson calls his candle shop a scent studio, and it's filled with often non-traditional fragrances like camp fire, peach and persimmon, and lilac and yuzu.

He is self-taught, a skill he acquired while studying to be an advanced sommelier.

He bought candle oils to train his nose and then learned how to turn those oils into candles.

When friends wanted to buy them, he turned it into a business and opened the South Street shop in the first year of the pandemic, creating a space for his creations along with those of other artisans.

You'll find gorgeous cocktail infusion kits, locally crafted cutting boards, local teas and coffee and candles from other makers he's consulted with.

For Ponson, the shop is a side hustle. He is a full-time lawyer by trade.

He holds candle-making classes in the evenings, teaching students the art of mixing and matching scents and helping them create their own custom candles.

The Chandlery by Old City Canning Co. | Facebook | Instagram

1533 South Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19146

267-629-5568

Walnut Street Theatre kicks off 2023 with 'Last of the Red Hot Lovers'

The Walnut Street Theatre is continuing its 214th season with Neil Simon's, 'Last of the Red Hot Lovers.'

The play focuses on Barney Cashman, a man in his mid-40s, who is married to his high school sweetheart.

Cashman has led a nice life, but "he's ready for a little more excitement.

The play covers Cashman's decision to try and have an affair with three different women.

'Last of the Red Hot Lovers' runs January 10 through February 5, 2023.

'Last of the Red Hot Lovers' | Tickets | Facebook

Walnut Street Theatre

825 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

215-574-3550

SHOW EXTRAS

Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar is a new concept in Fishtown, with homemade pasta and local wine from Chester County's Wayvine Winery.

Chef Alex Beninato has a background in fine dining but says pasta is his true passion.

His dishes include crab ravioli, pappardelle with a lamb ragu, and charcoal-roasted beet ravioli.

Everything is housemade, including the focaccia served as a personal loaf with stracciatella cheese

Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar | Instagram

2302 E Norris St, Philadelphia, Pa. 19125

Broadway is known for musicals, but "A Soldier's Play" takes the stage in late January.

The story is set in segregated Black barracks in the South in World War ll, and it's a murder-mystery.

Philadelphia-born playwright Charles Fuller won a Pulitzer for the work, and if you don't already know the story, the ending may surprise you.

"A Soldier's Play" *

Jan 24-Feb 5, 2025