Saturday, August 1, 2015

Blades of glory: Sabatino cookin' on Penn's Landing

In his new gig for Four Corners Management, feeding the skaters and cold-weather partiers at the new Waterfront Winterfest surrounding the RiverRink, Sabatino is taking a similar serious approach.

Blades of glory: Sabatino cookin' on Penn's Landing

0 comments

Chef George Sabatino concedes that he has no catering experience.

But he and his guys turned out a thousand-plus meals a day over the summer at Morgan's Pier, on the former site of Rock Lobster on the Delaware.

"I often found myself in awe of his ability to capture his signature knack for seasonality, wit, and deceptive complexity without seeming stuffy or overdone," wrote Craig LaBan in his review.

In his new gig for Four Corners Management, feeding the skaters and cold-weather partiers at the new Waterfront Winterfest surrounding the RiverRink on Penn's Landing, Sabatino is taking a similar approach.

More coverage
 
Hop Sing Laundromat is one of the best bars in the world*
 
SpOt Burgers to open a restaurant this fall
 
Taco cart Nora's adds a home on South St.
 
How clean is your favorite restaurant? Inspection reports

Easy does not do it for Sabatino.

No matter that there are no cooking facilities at Winterfest. He and his staff are using Morgan's Pier's kitchen, a few blocks away, and are trucking over the food. (Over previous winters, management stored the pier's sound system in the kitchen and called it a day.)

Sabatino designed a menu that could be reheated and served effortlessly but that still contains bells and whistles.

Take the pocket pies. It would be easy to simply buy 'em in bulk and dunk them into a deep fryer.

But Sabatino chose to turn a good portion of the kitchen into a pastry lab where chefs Joe Ranakoski and James McKenna whip up a filling of mashed sweet potato, ginger, kale braised in maple syrup, chili flake, and a cranberry-quince compote that they sandwich between their own dough.

Why?

"I wanted the taste of the holidays," Sabatino said.

No, George. Why go to all the trouble?

"Because this is my food."

Sabatino also offers smoked turkey legs that are brined for two days and then smoked in apple wood for an hour. He tops them with a scratch gravy. Not a good idea to skate while eating one of these.

His mashed potato fritters are made of cream cheese, butter, cream, and a blend of Idaho and heirloom potatoes from Three Springs Fruit Farm. They're deep-fried and served on a garlic aioli.

Also on the menu are fudge, chocolate-covered popcorn, caramel apples - all made in-house.

Winterfest runs through New Year's; it's free to get in.

Philly.com
0 comments
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
 
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein Philly.com
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter