Earlier last week, The Coffee House of Friends were invited to an early birthday party for Mel. Since her parents were coming to town they decided to treat us to dinner at Abbraccio – an Italian restaurant located in West Philadelphia. It was quite funny to read that the name Abbraccio, the Italian word for “hug” or “embrace,” was chosen to reflect the partners’ fondness for the neighborhood in which they have lived for more than 25 years and most of all because the name also ensures that Abbraccio will be found towards the beginning of the restaurant listings in the Yellow Pages. Talk about product placement. I ended up getting Vitello Scalloppine Marsala which was essentially sauteed veal with mushrooms in a marsala sauce. The ambience in the restaurant and the great company more than made up for the tad bit of extra salt in my dish.
Either way, at the end of the evening, Mel’s parents shared two poems about our group. A poem that each of them had written earlier in the morning. I’m not sure about you, but when was the last time one of your friend’s parents wrote a poem on your circle of friends?
Some things are as special as special can be
Joy and laughter, times of glee
Hours spent lounging by the sea
Road tripping, sightseeing, naps at three
Biking, hiking, picnicking under a tree
Sharing thoughts over a cup of tea.
All these are made sweeter by the sharing
With those whose hearts are full of caring.
And so as parents to a daughter much loved
It makes us very happy to see
Melody has found harmony of heart of soul
With friends as lovely as all of thee…
There lives in Philly
A groupage of peeps
Diverse as from land and sea
And together they chill
At every weeks’ end
Known lovingly as: The Coffee House of Friends.
And I as a Dad
Of one of these few
Whose heart and whose soul love the Lord
Am grateful and am proud
That my little girl tends
To gather with her Coffee House of Friends.
Thanks to Sean, I now have the tastiest recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole. The ingredients and instructions are listed below:
- 2 lbs of chopped sweet potatoes, boiled
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 oz. cream cheese
- 3 tablespoon oleo (I’m not even sure what this is. But I’m guessing it’s important enough to include)
- 4 tablespoon orange juice
- 5 tablespoon marshmallow cream
- 2 tablespoons milk
The Preparation Methodology:
- Grease dish
- Mix all ingredients together
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes in a covered bowl
- Remove from oven
- Place more marshmallows on top
- Place in oven until melted
I’m supposed to be on a diet and fully believe that anything tasty must be good for you. So earlier this weekend I had a chance to put this new diet concept to test by way of Capogiro – my new favorite restaurant for January. Capogiro otherwise known as makers of fine artisanal gelato and sorbetto serves a dish that is so smooth and creamy that if you have even one scoop of gelato you will probably never consider having a gelati again. Infact, gelato is supposed to contain half the fat and calories of ice-cream, so my whole diet concept just got an instant seal of approval based. I’m struggling to find words to describe how good the gelato was and even calling it perfect does not do justice. If you’re in Philadelphia make sure you stop by Capogiro. You will not be disappointed.
Capogiro Locations in Philadelphia
Restaurant week brought The Coffehouse of Friends back for a reunion at the Ristorante Panorama. The food was delicious and the restaurant definitely brought everyone the best deal for Restaurant Week Philadelphia. Located in Old City, the Italian restaurant has a wine collection that spanned a couple of pages in the menu. The food was simply delicious and I had the chance to savor potato gnocci (Pronounced nee-okkee and sold as Gnocchi al Forno con Salsiccia) snail (sold as Lumache in Gondola), quails (sold as Quaglia Ripiena) and poached pear (sold as Pera al Vino). There’s always a benefit to family meals. If you like Italian and have time during Restaurant Week Philadelphia then definitely add Ristorante Panorama to your list.
Lil and I decided to extend our restaurant week exploration by trying out a Moroccan restaurant in Philadelphia called Marrakesh. Located close to South Street, I was pretending to know the Philadelphia road network by trying to find street parking. Bad idea #1. After a half hour of trying I finally found a spot only to end up without change for the parking meter. So after buying a drink just to get change for the meter we finally made it to the restaurant a half hour past our reservation. Bad idea #2. Marrakesh is designed as a restaurant at someone’s home. So you actually have to knock on the door before being let in. How would you feel if a guest showed up late? The restaurant was busy but I was still looking forward to the supposed 7 course meal. 7! not 3 – not 4 but 7. Bad idea #3. Apparently for restaurant week Marrakesh had downsized the menu to a measly 4 course meal – something I found out only at the end of the supposed feast. The trio of salads was interesting – I couldn’t really tell what I was eating since the restaurant isn’t lit that well but there was definitely enough salt to give my doctor enough to talk about when we next meet. The second course was a dish called Bastilla which is essentially layers of chicken, eggs, crushed almonds all put together in a delicate pastry and finally topped with powdered sugar. The third course was lemon chicken – delicate and extremely tasty. Alas, thinking that I still had four more courses to go, I was so disappointed when the waiter brought out baklava and mint tea and subtly hinted at the bill and increasing line of waiting people. Overall, Marrakesh didn’t meet my expectations and I wish the waiters did a better job of explaining the various dishes but who wouldn’t go back to a restaurant just for the baklava?