Long before everyone was offering meal deals in response to the troubled economy, the Center City District and Rittenhouse Row created the Center City District Restaurant Week, held this year from Jan. 23-30 with more restaurants than ever participating. The event allows area diners to sample some of the city’s best cuisine at just $35 for three sumptuous courses, not including tax, gratuity or alcohol. The annual event “also offers patrons a great value, requiring each establishment’s three-course menu to have a check value of $55 or more. Some participants have even added a fourth course, all for $35,” said R.J. White, publicist for the CCD.
Organizers also have considered parking for the event. According to White, the Philadelphia Parking Association and Philadelphia Parking Authority will offer parking for $9 or less at dozens of lots and garages in Center City. To obtain the discount, just present a voucher from a participating restaurant from 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Participating parking facilities will be identified with a Center City District Restaurant Week poster at their entrances.
White said the complete list of participating restaurants, with their complete menus and dinner offers, is available on the CCD’s Web site. Diners can also make their reservations online through OpenTable.com.
One of the highlights of the event each year is the Grand Prize Contest.
All diners at the end of their meal will receive an entry form for the contest, whose prize is dinner for a year: 52 $50 gift certificates at the participating restaurants. Individuals can also enter to win online at CenterCityPhila.org, or by picking up an entry form at 660 Chestnut St., 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For information, visit www.centercityphila.org/restaurantweek.
Kildare’s now Get Happy Pub
Dave Magrogan, founder/owner of restaurant group DMG that includes Kildare’s and Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House, has recently sold his only Philadelphia property, Kildare’s, 509-511 S. Second St., to Paul Lauriello, the former managing partner of Kildare’s in King of Prussia.
Lauriello and his wife Christine have already reopened the property as Get Happy Pub, and with an entirely new concept.
Lauriello said that comfort foods and a “Cheers”-style bar scene will attract neighborhood locals as well as tourists and others.
The husband-wife team are dividing the major roles in running the bar/restaurant, with Lauriello assuming the duties of general manager and bartender and Christine, a former caterer, serving as chef.
“This is a good move for us as a company and for Paul and his family,” said Magrogan. “As Kildare’s continues to grow, our locations will be near downtown colleges with a vibrant young professional, college and residential demographic.”
For more information, call (215) 509-5115.
Terrence Feury joins Fork
Co-owners Ellen Yin and Roberto Sella of Fork, 306 Market St., have appointed Terrence Feury to replace chef Thien Ngo upon his retirement on Feb. 1, after overseeing the kitchen and menu at the popular bar and restaurant in Old City for the past seven years.
Yin and Sella said they “are thrilled to be collaborating with Feury, and look forward to continuing to move the restaurant’s new concept with his fresh, ingredient-driven — but straightforward — interpretation of Fork’s New American cuisine. He will continue to support local farmers, as Chef Ngo did, and offer a seasonally changing menu.”
Feury possesses an impressive culinary résumé, including his executive-chef positions at Maia in Villanova, the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown and Philadelphia and Striped Bass. After graduation, he became well-known and respected for his expertise with seafood that he perfected in some of Manhattan’s top restaurants, including famed seafood destination Le Bernardin.
Feury added that he is also dedicated to producing “artisanal, handcrafted food items like pasta, bread, charcuterie and smoked fish.”
Said Yin, “His extensive knowledge of pairing food with wine and beer will be a tremendous asset to the dining experience at Fork.”
For information, call (215) 625-9425 or visit www.forkrestaurant.com.
Complimentary wine at Du Jour
Du Jour at the Symphony House, 440 S. Broad St., will continue to offer a special value: a complimentary bottle of red or white wine to dinner patrons who order two entrées after 7:30 p.m., throughout this month.
Owners Marty Grims and Maureen Ferguson said the special value is intended as “a thank-you to patrons and as an incentive to diners to come experience Du Jour’s creative comfort food during a traditionally slow month.”
Executive chef Mike McGovern will unveil a new menu of hearty winter dishes in conjunction with the promotion.
The Grims-Ferguson team owns and operates The Moshulu restaurant/ship; Daddy O, a boutique hotel and restaurant; and The Plantation, both in Long Beach Island, N.J., and The Inlet in Somers Point, N.J. In December, they opened Daddy O Boutique Hotel and Restaurant in Bay Harbor Village in Miami Beach.
For more information, call (610) 896-4556 or visit www.dujourmarket.com.
Mémé opens for Thursday lunch
Chef/owner David Katz of Mémé Restaurant, 2201 Spruce St., has announced the restaurant will be open for lunch on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. throughout this year.
“What is it that makes Thursday one of the best days of the week? Is it because Thursday has always been a great day for television? Think ‘Seinfeld’! How about ‘Friends’? Or maybe it’s because Thursday is the day after hump day ... the day before the last day of the school week, the day that we can start making plans for the weekend. For whatever reason, Thursday is one of the best days,” Katz said.
He added that he’ll be cooking up something delicious from his rustic New American menu, with a two-course lunch-special menu of choices at $17 per person, which will include soups, salads, pasta dishes, gourmet sandwiches and grilled fish.
For information, call (215) 735-4900 or visit www.memerestaurant.com.