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