Last year I got tickets for Valentine’s Day to the Foobooz Presents Philly Cooks tasting event at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. I’d never been to a tasting event before and let me tell you, Philadelphia Magazine really set the bar high. From the beautiful atmosphere, live band, open-bar with expertly crafted cocktails to the amazing sampling of food; I do not hesitate in saying this event is NOT to be missed and tickets are still available for this year’s event on February 16th!

The price tag may be more than you’re used to spending but, I believe this event was worth every penny. Complimentary coat check was also provided. Every guest was decked out in cocktail attire and it was an overall beautiful atmosphere with live music, copious amounts of beverages, and tastings from the top restaurants in Philadelphia. My night at Philly Cooks was truly memorable.

When we arrived the ballroom at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown was glowing with pink and orange lights on this cold winter night. The event had numerous stations set up with samplings of their unique dishes sometimes served by the head chef or owner of the restaurant, such as Chef Nicolas Elmi from Laurel.  Tables are group to showcase 3-4 restaurants and spread around the ballroom. Luckily we were given a map to the set-up upon arrival.

Tastings including  seafood, pizza, crostini, short ribs, beef tongue, soup, dumplings, charcuterie, and more. Each restaurant was really showcasing their best. The following restaurants are participating in the event this year. Those marked with * have been named on the Philadelphia Magazine Top 50 Restaurants in Philadelphia list.

A.Kitchen
Aldine*
Bing Bing Dim Sum*
Bistrot La Minette*
Brigantessa*
Bud & Marilyn’s*
Buena Onda
Butcher & Singer
Cheu Noodle Bar*
Coeur
El Vez
The Farm and Fisherman*
Fitler Dining Room*
The Good King Tavern*
Helm*
Heritage*
High Street on Market*
Hungry Pigeon
Indeblue
Jerry’s Bar
La Peg
Laurel*
Le Virtù*
Lo Spiedo
Marigold Kitchen*
Monsu
Morimoto
The Olde Bar
Palladino’s
Pub & Kitchen*
Russet*
Sbraga*
South*
Talula’s Garden*
Townsend*
Tredici
Twisted Tail
Urban Farmer
V Street*
Vedge*
Volvér*
Whetstone Tavern
Zeppoli*

For dessert lovers, there was also a large station featuring all the dessert options from chocolates, pastries, cookies, and ice cream. The event is open-bar and in 2015, Stella Artois and Crown Royal sponsored with their own exclusive bar. A pop-up speakeasy was also featured in a tented area in the center of the ballroom to showcase bartenders from Olde Bar, Franky Bradley’s, and Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. There were also an additional 2 bars with top shelf liquor, beer, and wine.

I thoroughly enjoyed trying the sampling from some of my favorite restaurants as well as those from the more coveted restaurants that take reservations a month in advance (which I consequently have yet to dine at). There wasn’t much of a line or wait for food or drinks until later in the night, so my suggestion would be to get to the event promptly. Be sure to dress to impress since photographers for Philadelphia Magazine photograph the event for their website and magazine.

After eating to our heart’s desire we cut loose on the dance floor and took some fun photographs in the photo booth. Lexus sponsored the 2015 event so my boyfriend also got to enjoy the small showroom and cars on display at the event. If you love food and are free, Tuesday February 16th 6:30-9:00 pm I would highly suggest you get tickets to Philly Cooks.

-Lea

o210

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