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What’s New in Local Dining

The Watermelon Greek Salad at Northern Liberties' Speck

This season, new hot-spots are springing up everywhere across the city. Expect farm-to-table joints, international delicacies, local ingredients and fresh, juicy cocktails at worst—terrible right? At best, expect to have your locavore socks knocked off—fresh entrees, drinks and desserts created by the area’s finest chefs will be to-die-for.

Spring has already sprung in a few locations.The Farm and Fisherman is blossoming in Center City. The ethically conscious BYOB uses the freshest produce, meat, poultry and seafood. Tasty entrees incorporate locally grown ingredients—Pennsylvania lamb sirloin and New Jersey croaker among the most scrumptious.

Fresh additions have been born in the suburbs, too. The Farmer’s Daughter is a sexy addition to Blue Bell, offering regional cheese platters and locally-infused cocktails. Exec Chef Corey Fair creates dishes in the “Modern Farm Cooking” style, which ultimately results in “sumptuous, deep, pure flavors.”

Some more casual additions join the region with “order at the counter” options. Sweetgreen in Ardmore is a big hit in the little town. So big, in fact, that a new West Philly location will open in the Radian Building in April. The chain uses local ingredients to build fresh wraps, salads and tart frozen yogurt.

Freshii is a chain with a similar mantra: healthy, environmentally-sustainable ingredients served up quicker than a March thunderstorm rolls in. The new location will be in the Ritz-Carlton in Penn Square.

Jose Garces is also opening a fast-service joint in Center City this spring. Frohman’s Wursthaus will be a beer and brat join, complete with a takeout window. However, it’s Garces, nationally-recognized Top Chef, so this isn’t going to be a sloppy ball-park-esque experience; German cuisine will be homemade and beverages will be local crafts. Our guess is the takeout line wrap around the block.

Speck Food and Wine Bar will be serving an à la carte menu with specialties like poached egg on brioche with truffle fondue, rendering the classic “egg sandwich” totally bland in comparison.

Also, keep your eyes peeled. As the weather warms up, so will the restaurant scene. Stephen Starr will be opening a collaboration restaurant with Aimee Olexy (Talula’s Table) in Washington Square and a German-style beer garden in Fishtown. The al-fresco BYOB, Avalon’s Pasta Bistro,of famed Chef John Brandt-Lee will open in Downingtown in spring, serving homemade pasta and top-notch antipasti platters. The Grainery, a restaurant/bar featuring the rarest craft beers and Victorian-style cocktails, will also come to Center City in the upcoming months.

We’re quite pleased with the locavore spots popping up everywhere—be sure to visit and sample some of the freshest, most delicious fare Philly has to share.

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