Dishes 182-186: Grilled Pizza at Chloe, 2nd and Arch
Mozzarella in pastella at La Famiglia Ristorante, Front St. between Market and Chestnut
Square sushi and seafood udon at Zento, 2nd and Chestnut
Crudo at Positano Coast, Walnut between 2nd and 3rd
Thanks to all the donors, attendees, restaurant owners, and the wonderful ladies at Philabundance—the night was a fantastic success, and we are already planning another!
The party began with nametags, bumper stickers, and grilled pizza at Chloe, courtesy of the magnificent owner Mary Ann Ferrie—who may have smacked me when I admitted I had never visited before despite spending a lot of time in Old City. One bite of pizza loaded up with bacon and dried figs—sweet, smoky, savory, chewy, crisp—it was perfectly clear why this dish deserves a spot at the top of the list.
Then we strolled to La Famiglia while Shira, our guest-host from Philabundance, walked backwards and described Philabundance’s programs and how the money from each ticket would be put to use. At a cost of about $0.30 a meal, each $25 ticket delivered more than 75 meals to the hungry, in the form of senior food-assistance programs, food pantries, and making fresh fruits and veggies available to those who need it most.
Gino and Giuseppe, the lovely gents of La Famiglia, had a table reminiscent of the Last Supper set up for us. Knowing the limited time we had for each stop, they quickly passed around generous individual servings of the smoky fried mozzarella in pastella, drizzled with a zigzag of pesto.
Then it was off to Zento, where our group took up half of the tiny restaurant. We shuffled around, rearranging seats to ensure that everyone sat next to different new friends at each location. As we noshed on square sushi, with ribbons of sweet running through the core, and slurped on udon noodles, one guest described her mother’s perpetual quest to set her daughter up with a nice man from the neighborhood. “You know Linda Richman from Coffee Talk. That’s her. –runs her fingers along the knuckles of each hand—Rings. Rings. –pulls on both ears—Earrings. – holds her hands in a large halo around her head—HAIR. And she keeps my high school yearbook picture on her desk, to show men that come into the office. Oh, my God. Sometimes I look at her, and I’m like, Oh my God, that’s me in 25 years.” Haha.
One more short walk, and our last stop was Positano Coast for crudo and late happy hour specials. Guests clustered around the bar in twos and threes—new twos and threes from the pairs they arrived in—and tasted spoons heavy with raw tuna and diced onions. When the crowd loosened up and began to put on their jackets, I looked at my watch. Almost 9:30. Not too bad for a Wednesday night.