Helm BYOB

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If you are nostalgic for those thrilling days of Philadelphia’s restaurant renaissance (which means you’re probably north of 60), take a trip to Helm in Kensington. (A new Helm just opened in South Philly.) Just as the Black Banana and Lickety Split pioneered storefront dining in the desolation of South …

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Haute Chocolate

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For most people, drinking hot chocolate is the liquid equivalent of eating a Hershey bar. It is pleasant and evocative of winter nostalgia for taking the chill off after a day spent building snowmen. However, hot chocolate or hot cocoa has lagged behind our chocolate confection consciousness, which has been …

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Tips For A Faster, Easier Holiday Feast

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This was written for Thanksgiving, but it applies equally well to any big holiday dinner. Thanksgiving dinner can be a maddening experience for many people, and it’s getting worse as fewer people cook with any regularity. (When I was food editor for the San Jose Mercury News, a reader called …

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Cranberries

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All About Them, Including Cooking Tips and Recipes The term “As American as apple pie” should probably be changed to “As American as cranberries” because cranberries are one of the three fruits native to North America (along with blueberries and Concord grapes.) As the Ocean Spray cranberry people say, “They …

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Mica BYOB

If you are looking for a restaurant with food that grabs you by the lapels and shouts “this is awesome!” Mica may not be your place. A good thing, actually. Yianni Arhontoulis, who has taken over the heralded Mica (sans liquor license) from previous owner Chip Roman, uses top notch, …

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Wine Recommendations – November 2016

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  Since the beginning of 2016, I’ve been writing restaurant reviews for BYO restaurants (meaning they don’t have liquor licenses) in the Philadelphia area. The only wines I recommend are those that can be found in Pennsylvania, one of three states that control the sale of wines and spirits in …

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