Food for Thought: Expanding Our Minds, Not Our Waistlines

PLUS: This week’s culinary events.

I happened across New York Times Magazine’s Food Issue (Oct. 11, 2008) while doing my Monday morning surf. Very disappointed that I didn’t snag a ‘hard copy,’ but I’m going to make some calls to see if I can get my hands on one, as this is good stuff. (If any of you have a copy you’d like to send my way, I would be thrilled, though I’m confident I’ll find one.)

More importantly, if any of you have already read this well-conceived manifesto, I would love to engage you in a conversation. Of course, I would have to play catch-up first. I did a quick online perusal, and all of the topics covered look to be very engaging. If I had my druthers this morning, I would be leafing through a copy in bed and reliving Sunday all over again.

Oh wait—I didn’t get to laze in bed then, either.

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Seriously, if you love food, Mother Nature and your health, this is worth your time. You’ll also get a kick out of some of the headlines and subheads, such as this one:

By William Safire
Helpin’s from the ’hood.

And I particularly enjoyed this one:

Flipping the Bird
By Christine Muhlke
For the restaurant owner Kenny Shopsin, it’s meals over manners.

For the real meat, though, go to New York Times Magazine.

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On the Menu This Week

Thursday, Oct. 16

Trattoria San Nicola resumes its popular wine dinner series at its Berwyn location (668 Lancaster Ave.). The kick-off dinner will feature the food and wine of Italy’s Abruzzo region, and will include dishes like goat cheese truffles with roasted peppers, and pan-seared halibut with artichoke hearts and saffron broth. Each course will be paired with a choice Abruzzian wine. The dinner is part of an ongoing series of wine dinners at Trattoria San Nicola, designed to explore the distinctive cuisine found in each of Italy’s 20 regions.

$65/person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are strongly recommended. Call (610) 296-3141. For complete menus and information about Trattoria San Nicola, visit

$urvive the $lumping Economy

Despite signs of a less dreary opening on Wall Street yesterday morning, you might want to keep these specials at Gypsy Saloon and Stella Blu in mind as you plan out your personal and professional rendezvous this week.

Monday: Monday Night Football in the bar – complimentary appetizers, $3 Heineken and Heineken Light bottles, and $2 Yuengling and Miller Lite drafts (during the game)
Tuesday: 1/2 off the entire wine list
Wednesday: $3.50 Sam Adams pints
Thursday: $6 martini specials and $3 Blue Moon pints from 9-11 p.m.; live music from 8:30 p.m.-midnight (in the bar only)
Friday:  $4 Frankaritas and $3 Amstel Light, Heineken Light and Corona Light from 10 p.m.-midnight (bar only)
Saturday: $4 Stella Artois drafts from 10 p.m.-midnight; live music by Steamboat Annie 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. (in the bar only)
Sunday: Sit at the bar (or nearby), and dig into Bella Luna Pizza Kitchen’s menu or Gypsy’s $5 bar menu for a casual Sunday supper 

Also: Check out Stella Blu‘s Star Bar Happy Hour specials, offered 5-7 p.m. Monday thru Friday (late-night specials are served Thursday and Friday from 10 p.m.- midnight): half-off Small Plates, $8 wine flights (your choice of three wines by the glass); $5 martinis and In-the-Restaurant-Biz Appreciation Nights (50 percent off for all restaurant workers Thursday and Friday from 10 p.m.-midnight).

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Gypsy Saloon, 128 Ford St., West Conshohocken; (610) 828-8494,
Stella Blu, 101 Ford St., West Conshohocken; (610) 825-7060,


If You’re Heading “Down the Shore” …

You might want to make a pit-stop at The Pier Shops at Caesars for their first Oktoberfest Beer Tasting this Friday, Oct. 17, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. (on the third level).

In the spirit of Oktoberfest, guests will be entertained by a lively polka band while sampling a global array of beers, including local breweries, unique craft beers and imported German beers.

The 30-plus assortments also include two authentic Oktoberfest beers from Germany, Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen and Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest. Plus, there are two pumpkin-infused beers, Wolaver’s organic Will Stevens’ Pumpkin Ale and Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Ale. The selection also includes various lagers and ales, such as Michelob Ultra: Tuscan Orange Grapefruit, Victory Festbier and Stoudts’ Oktober Fest, as well as other limited addition and specialty brews.

After the samplings, guests are invited to enjoy one complimentary beer at their Pier Shops restaurant of choice, including Phillips Seafood, Sonsie, Buddakan, The Continental, Game On!, Sonsie, Souzai and The Trinity Pub.

$25. For tickets, visit, call (800) 736-1420, or stop in at any retail locations, including The Pier Shops Service Station.

And Last, But Certainly Not Least

Terrazza (300 Cornerstone Drive) in Newtown Square presents the Palate & the Brush, a weekend of “art and culinary adventures” featuring cooking demonstrations by the region’s premier chefs and the works of acclaimed Brandywine Valley artists Jean Diver and Linda Clark. The exciting roster of chefs starts with Clark Gilbert, formerly of Taquet and now executive chef of Mio Pomodoro at the Jenkintown Train Station; Georges Perrier, whom we know needs no introduction; Antoine Amrani, chocolatier, formerly of Le Bec Fin; Francis Trzeciak, Birchrunville Store Café; Terence Feury of Villanova’s Maia; and Takao Iinuma, executive chef at Azie and former executive chef at Morimoto in Philadelphia. The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, Oct.18-19, from noon-5 p.m. Seating is limited.

For details, call (610) 325-1700 or visit

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