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28 Hours in Philadelphia - Part 1


Moscow Mule and Champagne Cobbler

© Chris Quinlan
Moscow Mule and Champagne Cobbler at Apothecary Bar & Lounge

Some eating, drinking and sleeping highlights from a jam-packed 28 hours in Philly:

Friday, 5:30 p.m.: Apothecary Bar & Lounge
Had early cocktails at this laid-back lounge with serious mixologists. The Moscow Mule—with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, perfectly garnished with a lime wheel and a slice of fresh ginger—was refreshing, while their take on the Champagne Cobbler—a blend of Champagne, Creole curaçao, Fee’s lemon bitters and crushed ice—was fruity and delicate.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.: Chifa Restaurant
Headed to chef Jose Garces’s latest restaurant for a blend of Peruvian and Cantonese cuisine. The name comes from the phonetic pronunciation of the Chinese character that represents the shared cuisine. If fusion feels a bit early ’90s, Chifa is a modern take on it. I could have made an entire meal of the chewy yucca-flour-and-manchego-cheese buns served with house-made Sriracha butter. I also loved their take on breakfast, Desayuno, an arepa topped with braised oxtail, egg and panca (a Peruvian chile pepper) emulsion; the Hot Pot, glazed cod in a smoky broth with beech mushrooms and tofu; and the Pulpo, grilled Spanish octopus with a spicy chile-pepper puree and sweet and tangy purple olive escabeche.

Friday, 9:30 p.m.: Race Street Café
With Philly Beer Week in full swing, I headed to the Race Street Café to sample some fantastic Lagunitas beer—like Hairy Eyeball, Maximus and IPA—and to meet the brewer, Jeremy Marshall.

Saturday, 3ish a.m.: Ritz Carlton
Crawled into bed at the Ritz and was thrilled to be instantly swallowed up in the cocoon-like feather-top mattress and supersoft sheets for some much-needed sleep.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.