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A Full Plate

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Yes, Red Wine and Dark Chocolate Are Good for You

Plymouth Meeting Mall shoppers celebrate Healthy Heart Month. See more photos below.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, February is Healthy Heart Month. And while I’ve been busy downing fries from Elevation Burger in Wynnewood, chicken quesadillas, and fried pot stickers from the Keswick Tavern in Glenside, the Plymouth Meeting Mall folks have been gearing up for a monthlong celebration of healthy living. A special women-only event is Feb. 24, featuring dark chocolate and red wine tastings (both contain antioxidants that help prevent high blood pressure), free mini-massages, heart risk assessments, giveaways, consultations with cardiologists from Abington Memorial Hospital, and more. All you need to do is show up with a touch of red on your person and $8 ($10 for two people). 5-7 p.m. 500 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting. Visit shopplymouthmeetingmall.com. To register, call (215) 481-2204.
 

Making the Cut

In case you aren’t an ardent foodie-news follower but are a passionate eater, you’ll want to make reservations at Conshohocken’s Blackfish Restaurant a.s.a.p. Reason being, the already highly lauded chef/owner Chip Roman has made the semifinalists’ cut for the 2010 James Beard Foundation Awards as “Rising Star Chef of the Year.” David Gilberg of the Portuguese BYOB, Koo Zee Doo, also made the list. Winners will be announced March 22; the big gala award soirees will take place May 2-3. Trust us, if Roman nabs this coveted accolade, you’ll hear from us. And with any luck, I’ll get a reservation and the chance to take some drool-worthy photos. Blackfish: 119 Fayette St., Conshohocken; (610) 397-0888, blackfishrestaurant.com. Koo Zee Doo: 614 N. Second St., Philadelphia; (215) 923-8080, koozeedoo.com.
 

Philly Food and Flowers = Better Than Peanut Butter and Jelly

I know where I’m going next week for nourishment before all that talking, walking and craning at the Philadelphia International Flower Show. It’s called Bistro St. Tropez. Take a look at the menu below (talk about mouthwatering). 2400 Market St., Philadelphia; (215) 569-9269, bistrosttropez.com.

First Course
Ginger and cardamom-scented scarlet carrot soup with sheep’s milk cheese croutons and baby arugula leaves OR Salade de printemps with Boston bibb lettuce and radicchio salad, candied kumquats, roasted beets, radish, shaved fennel and tarragon vinaigrette

Main Course
Cherry wood-smoked Atlantic salmon with creamy sweet pea risotto OR Herb-roasted organic French chicken breast with lardoons artichoke gratinée, petit carrots, spring asparagus and pan jus

Dessert
Cherry Clafoutis with toasted almonds, crème fraîche and confectioner’s sugar
 

It’s a Tough Job, But Somebody’s Gotta Do It

Cuba Libre's Chef Robert Legget (left), the 2009 winner of the John DeBella Comfort Food Festival.On Feb. 25, yours truly will be a judge in the third annual John DeBella Comfort Food Festival, a fun event centered around good eats. Such hard work it’ll be tasting dishes from a dozen area restaurants, plus sipping on tequila and savoring dessert courtesy of Bryn Mawr’s Verdad Restaurant and Tequila Bar. The top contender will walk away with DeBella’s coveted “Golden Spoon Award,” and I will walk away with, well, a full belly and likely a giddy head. The event’s invitation only, so you’ll have to wait till next week for the post-happening scoop and photos. My tasting partners are food critic Beth D’Addono, who used to be a Main Line Today freelancer, and NBC 10 meteorologist Michelle Grossman—I will be in excellent company. Participating chefs are listed below. Stay tuned for news on the big winner and what, I’m sure, will be some interesting photos.

Chef Robert Legget (2009 winner), Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in Philadelphia
Chefs Daniel Stern and Steve Lamborn, MidAtlantic Restaurant & Tap Room in Philadelphia
Chef Justin Weathers, Cescaphé Atrium at the Curtis Center in Philadelphia
Chef Peter McAndrews, Modo Mio in Philadelphia
Chef Brian Duffy, Kildare’s Irish Pub
Chef Michele Mazza, Il Mulino New York at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City
Chef Terrance Clarke, Lucky Strike Lanes in Philadelphia
Chef Mark McKinney, Cantina Dos Segundos in Philadelphia
Chef David Katz, Mémé in Philadelphia
Chef David LaForce, Alma De Cuba in Philadelphia
Chef Michael Infarrari, Mia at Caesars Atlantic City
Chef Patrick Feury, Nectar in Berwyn
 

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