All Eyes on Philly, Main Line Eats Get the Zagat Nod, and Other Morsels

Distrito visit still to come, but in the meantime, check out Jose Garces’ face-off on Iron Chef this Sunday, Aug. 17, at 9 p.m. His competition: barbecue king Bobby Flay.

In case you don’t know the drill, the chefs are given one hour to complete five dishes, which must each include the “secret” ingredient that is revealed to them at the beginning of the challenge. At the conclusion of the hour, the chefs present their dishes to a trio of judges who score each competitor on taste, presentation and originality. Only Garces and his PR peops know the outcome, but my money is on Garces. He’s inviting his closest friends and family over for a party on Sunday, so even if he loses, there’s sure to be lots of tequila and laughter flowing.

To keep the thrill alive, Garces will share the dishes he prepared on the show with diners at his restaurants for one week after the episode airs. Each restaurant will offer a special Iron Chef Menu comprised of the five dishes he created for the competition.

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Loosen the belts, and let the games begin!

Questionable Research
Since I’m still working off of my 2007 Zagat Philadelphia Guide, it’s no surprise that I missed the controversial—and first ever—World’s Top Restaurants guide also by Zagat, which included 21 Philadelphia-area restaurants. Along with the usual suspects, there were some pretty surprising—and questionable—acknowledgements. If you haven’t seen the book yet, here’s the Philly recap:

Le Bar Lyonnais
Birchrunville Store
Le Bec-Fin
Mainland Inn
Striped Bass (Closed)
Blue Sage
La Bonne Auberge
Swann Lounge
Alison at Blue Bell

Blackboard Specials
Culinary to-dos and deals for insatiable epicureans …

What a difference a wine glass makes: Join Morton’s The Steakhouse on Monday, Aug. 18, from 6-7:30 p.m. for its Riedel “Flow” Series—wine glasses paired with red and white wines. Featured wines include: Erath Pinot Noir, with fresh fruit aromas of cherry, raspberry and blueberry; Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Chardonnay, with fresh apple, ripe pear and spice aromas and flavors; Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Cabernet, with dense aromas of boysenberry and brown sugar spice, layers of fruit, and nicely integrated, yet very age-worthy, tannins; and Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Sauvignon Blanc, with flavors of white grapefruit and lime, and hints of fresh herbs. Food pairings include petite filet mignon sandwiches, chicken goujonettes, broiled sea scallops, and miniature key lime tarts. $65/person includes a take-home gift of four Riedel “Flow” Series wine glasses. Pavilion at King of Prussia Mall, 640 W. Dekalb Pike, Suite 1250, King of Prussia. For reservations, call (610) 491-1900.

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A taste of Spain: A tapas dinner will be held Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 7-9 p.m. at The Inn Keeper’s Kitchen, which is Dilworthtown Inn’s state-of-the-art culinary demonstration kitchen. For $75, guests will watch and interact with chef Olga Metsker as she prepares each dish for them. For reservations, call (610) 399-1390.

In season: steak and Sinatra: On Friday, Aug. 22, from 6:30-10:30 p.m., join The Prime Rib for “The Sounds of Sinatra” (no cover charge), a night of crooning by local South Philadelphian—and accomplished impersonator—Carlo Morelli ( Along with the soothing sounds of “old blue eyes,” you can enjoy The Prime Rib’s Hot August Nights deal, a $33 prix-fixe dinner (with choices) available all night every night in August. No jacket? No problem! The dress code is relaxed so you can be, too! (Men are not required to wear jackets throughout August). So take advantage of this romantic combination that will soothe both your ears and your wallet. 1701 Locust St., Philadelphia; (215) 772-1701,

Web Link of the Week
“Recall Leads Whole Foods to a Change” taken from Aug. 11.

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!