M Restaurant: Happy Hour Review!

M Restaurant at Morris House is a picturesque escape from the city. It has a wonderful outdoor seating area, and the staff is very attentive and friendly. The drinks are top-notch and makes one feel like they are at an outdoor cafe in France.

A little history on M Restaurant at Morris House. It was designed and built by brothers William and John Reynolds. The Reynolds brothers ignored the new fashions in architecture at the time to build a pre-war Colonial style house on Potter’s Field, which is today known as Washington Square in center city. This was one of the original houses built post Revolutionary War in the summer of 1787.

The Morris Family

The Morris House takes its name from subsequent dwellers, the famous Morris family, who made it their family home for 120 years.

Over time, generations living here made slight changes but the architecture remained the same. There has been of course some restoration as well over the years. The building fascade today is the same as it was in 1787. The Morris House remains one of the finest examples of Colonial residential architecture in existence.  For additional information, you can either visit their wikipedia page or visit the establishment yourself!

Now, on to our visit. Both Eric and I love trying out new places, and we had heard enough great reviews to finally try them out ourselves. We went for happy hour, just after they opened for the day, and it was such a lovely day out that we sat outside in their courtyard. Now, for those of you that are coming to the city for happy hour, date night, or  for just a quick bite to eat, this is not the worst option in the world. Happy hour is from 4-6 pm, Tuesday-Sunday, they are closed on Monday’s.

They have a three for 15 dollar appetizer special. We decided to go with one order of brussel sprouts, one order of almond stuffed dates, one order of crab fritters, one order of fried oysters chicken salad, and two orders of chicken wings with two different sauces. The brussel sprouts were delicious. They had a nice char and were served with an herbed yogurt, pickled grapes and pine nuts. The almond stuffed dates were wrapped in house-made bacon and glazed in brown sugar. We thought it might be too sweet but they were perfect. The crab fritters were also delicious. They were served with a pickled red onion and lemon aioli. The fried oyster chicken salad was very good but they really could have split the two up and each would have been perfectly fine. The sauces that  were ordered with the chicken wings were the pomegranate molasses and wildflower-whiskey bbq. The pomegranate molasses was tasteful but subtle. The wings could have used a bit more but it was very good. The bbq sauce was delicious and was the one we both preferred.

For our drinks, I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Six Hats, which was delicious. It had a great balance of acidic tartness, and smooth butteriness. Eric ordered the Bartenders Choice, a pear-infused vodka drink that he and I could have downed all night if we hadn’t already had not one, but two events to go to! I also decided to try their combo of three oysters and a glass of sparkling wine. It was very good but one oyster still had a bit of grit on it. Otherwise, you didn’t taste any brine like you might with oysters.

M Restaurant gets top marks for ambiance, scenery and history. The outdoor courtyard was beautiful and on a prefect spring or summer day, it’s a perfect spot to sit and relax. They have many events going on including live jazz on Wednesday and Friday nights. Would we go back? Yes. The drinks were outstanding and the food was good. Maybe a couple of adjustments here and there, but otherwise, we enjoyed our visit.

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The Power Woman Experience!

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

Press Release:

The Power Woman Experience! by Onpoint Success

Saturday, June 23rd from 12-4 pm at Green Valley Country Club. Photographs and networking opportunities will be from 4-5pm.

201 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444

Description:

The Power Woman Experience is a unique story-sharing event for businesswomen and professionals in our region to learn, connect, collaborate and network with one another! This is a unique event because there will not be polished and rehearsed speeches that try to paint a perfect picture. Rather, you’ll enjoy more down-to-earth stories from real women who are blazing a trail in various communities. The primary purpose of this event is to highlight powerful women who have defied the odds, and risen above limitations and who have gone above and beyond to separate themselves from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

*Special Attractions*

Interactive Panel Sessions for Academia, Career and Business Advancement

Games

Dance and Drama Presentation

Door Prizes

In addition, a sumptuous four-course lunch will be provided to all that attend. The recommended dress code is Business Professional in colors of Blue/Orange if possible. No jeans allowed.

There are still Sponsorship packages available which include: Logo on marketing materials, backlinks to your website on Onpoint’s Blog, shoutout on all of Onpoint’s social media platforms.

If you would like to be one of the sponsors of this event in exchange for advertisement, kindly pick the sponsorship option. Thank you!!-VIP tickets are for attendees only. 

Ticket prices vary between $25-500 dollars. ( $25-Student only- Student I.D. Required and it only counts per one student) Please register via Eventbrite.

Onpoint Success:

Seun Akinlotan,

Organizer of Onpoint Success, Brand Strategist, Social entrepreneur, author and founder of Onpoint Success. I am passionate about helping women gain financial independence through entrepreneurship and I’m currently raising a new generation of women who are taking territories in the business world and building profitable brands online!

To get up close, visit http://www.seunakinlotan.com

 

Audrey’s Apartment Party: Drink Philly Style!

Imagine the perfect cocktail paired with your favorite character of a movie. Cosmopolitans with Carrie Bradshaw. Mint mojitos with Humphrey Bogart. A dirty gin martini with Jack McFarland. Or, the Golden Age old-fashioned with Holly Golightly at her apartment, in the midst of the crush of people that just showed up randomly. In the case of Drink Philly’s shin ding, having a cocktail with Holly Golightly is just what happened!

Drink Philly President and CEO, Adam Schmidt, decided to have a “Audrey’s Apartment Party” in the style of Audrey Hepburn’s iconic character at the Center for Architecture and Design this past Friday, May 11th, 2018. We both know Adam from a mutual friend and were delighted to learn that he decided to do this themed party after watching “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Everything from the cocktails to the costumes were a sight to see. There was also a live band and photographer Al B. For didn’t miss a moment as he roamed throughout the evening capturing the event.

New Liberty Distilling and Spirit Forward were on hand to captivate guest’s palates with drinks including, “The Golden Age”, “Princess Anne”, “Funny Face”, and “Love in the Afternoon”. Each drink conjured up memories of the olden days when a well-made, well thought out drink was just as important as the drink itself.

All the drink’s created were by Spirit Forwards head bartender and CEO, Dan Hamm. If you haven’t stopped by the restaurant he bartend’s at, do so immediately! He was the creator of “The Golden Age”, a Bloody Butcher Bourbon, cold brew coffee, Angostura bitters and orange zest old fashioned that was hands down the drink of the night. It was simple but complex and the flavors themselves were amazing! It was the perfect balance of smooth bourbon, spice from the orange zest and cold brew coffee, and bitterness from the Angostura. And the fact that I could drink it is a small miracle in itself since I don’t really like bourbon or plain whiskey. I much prefer rye whiskey.

My next favorite drink that Dan made was split between “Princess Anne” and “Funny Face”. “Princess Anne”, made personally by Dan Hamm, had Dreadnaught White rum, lime, cinnamon, and strawberry jam. “Funny Face” was a gin-based cocktail made with Concullin Gin, lemon, vanilla, carrot juice, and cardamom soda. Both drinks were spectacular and I could have had either for the rest of the night. “Love in the Afternoon” was delicious, but was too acidic for my taste. It reminded me of pink lemonade despite the ingredient list including Powderhorn Rye Vodka, hibiscus tea, blended citrus, rose hip, passion fruit, and orange zest.

Also on hand this evening was New Liberty Distillery PA Sales Manager, Jenny Hobbs. New Liberty is another place on our short list that we need to visit in the very near future. They were the supplier of the spirits and they were delicious. We got a chance to sample the Bloody Butcher Bourbon straight and it was amazing! It was so smooth and delicious, I could drink it straight or on the rocks. Well done New Liberty!

It was a fantastic evening and it was great to see everyone dressed up. I do believe that people really enjoy these types of themed parties. We’ve been to several Gatsby themed, roaring twenties themed and art deco themed parties and all of them have been a hit. People don’t dress in that period clothing anymore, which is a shame. The clothing, jewelry and styles are all so beautiful. So next time you see a themed event related to these time periods, dress up and go have some fun! We can’t wait to see what Adam Schmidt at Drink Philly comes up with next!

A Night of Jewels Part 2!

A couple of weeks ago, one of my favorite jewelry stores, Lagos, located in Rittenhouse Square, was promoting the last series performance by the Pennsylvania Ballet, Jewels. They were sponsoring the ballet preformance. Customers could meet and greet with ballerina, Yuka Iseda, and browse the wonderful selection of jewelry offered by Lagos. There was a contest as well and two lucky winners would receive free tickets to Jewels and be VIP guests of Lagos opening night. As luck would have it, I won the tickets!

Opening night of Jewels finally arrived and I couldn’t have been more excited. My fiancé and I arrived at the Academy of Music an hour or so before the performance and made our way to the Ormandy Room for prosecco and macarons. The Ormandy room used to be the dressing room of legendary conductor, Eugene Ormandy. It was beautiful and so elegant. There was a fireplace and on either side, there were bookcases filled with incredible memorabilia of the Pennsylvania Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra. There were old photographs, autographed conductor batons, autographed ballerina slippers and so forth.

Other VIP guests and members of the Lagos staff soon arrived as well. It was a very enjoyable meeting and talking with everyone. What a wonderful way to spend some time before the ballet. Soon it was time to make our way to our seats to enjoy the incredible performance. Jewels was only being preformed from May 10-13. I hope you were able to see it. It was wonderful! The dancing and costumes were simply breathtaking.

I want to thank Lagos again for hosting such an incredible evening. I can’t think of a more perfect sponsor for this ballet. I’ve said this before but please make sure you stop by their store and check out the incredible and beautiful jewelry they have on display. And please go to the ballet! The Pennsylvania Ballet is one of the best in the country. You won’t regret visiting either one!

The Super Bowl of Wine Tastings!

Every year during the first week of May, a wine lovers dream becomes a reality. For one glorious evening, Philadelphia Magazine’s Wine Festival presented by Lexus takes over Lincoln Financial Field. It truly is a wine lovers dream come true. When you step off the escalator and enter the enormous indoor concourse that houses the event, one cannot help but be in awe of the hundreds of wines available to taste. Yes, hundreds. Over 500 in fact. If you can sample all of them and still be standing at the end of the night, you deserve a medal.

Not only is there wine as far as the eye can see, but also food samplings from some of the best restaurants in the city. If you can survive the hundreds of wine samples and eat every single food item that you can get your hands on, then you will probably be put in the Guinness World Book of Records. As my fiancé likes to say, “if God came down and said to me, ‘this is your last day, how do you want heaven to look like?’ His response is always, ‘like this.'” This truly is the Super Bowl of wine tastings.

This wasn’t our first time at the festival but we always have the same problem. Where to begin! There is a larger and smaller section in the concourse where all the vineyards are set up. This year, we decided to start at the smaller one. And before I forget, make sure to purchase VIP tickets. You get several perks but the biggest one is an earlier entrance time. Once the general admission ticket holders enter the foray, the place gets very crowded. And, if you can eat a hearty lunch before going to the event, do so! You don’t want to come to this event on an empty stomach. Trust me.

There are so many wines to choose from, I really don’t know where to begin. You can try and sample all of them but I don’t recommend it. We like to try new wines or ones that sound interesting. Some of our highlights included, Joseph Phelps’ Insignia, which had aromas of blueberry, blackberry and chocolate and had a smooth finish. Bell Glos had a fantastic pinot noir from the Russian River Valley. The taste and finish were one of the best we’ve ever tasted. One of our favorites, Chateau Montelena Winery was there again. If you have never seen the movie, Bottle Shock, see it! It’s a fantastic movie about Chateau Montelena and how Napa Valley became a force to reckon with in the wine world. They had their world famous chardonnay, a cabernet savigenon and a riesling. All were fantastic.

Some other fantastic wines we tried were ones from Cusumano. They are from Sicily and their wines are amazing. Also on hand was Philadelphia’s famous wine connoisseur,  Marnie Old, representing a line of wines from John Legend. unfortunately, John wasn’t able to make it but Marnie was there. It’s always good to see her! The wines from John Legend were very good. Chateau D’Esclans was a new line of whites and rose wines that we tried and fell in love with.

All in all, it was yet again a fantastic night filled with good food and good wines. We also met a lot of nice people and hopefully made some new friends. And speaking of friends, we went with our amazing friend Randee, who made this night possible. Thank you Randee! As for the rest of you, mark you calendar’s for May of 2019. If you love wine, you can’t miss this event. Cheers!

The Cosmopolitan Club

It’s always fun to discover new places in the city. Thanks to a friend, we were introduced to a wonderful private women’s social club, the Cosmopolitian Club, tucked away on a quiet side street in center city. It was founded in 1928 by a group of women from Philadelphia and the surrounding area. The members are all women and they represent an array of ages, races, cultures, interests, skills, professions and affiliations. The members on hand this evening were all extremely nice and welcoming. They made you feel as if you were already a member.

The Cosmopolitan Club hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Luckily, you don’t have to be a member to attend many of them. Speaker series, special events and social activities are just some of the events they host. A beautiful Art Deco Steinway grand piano, once played by George Gershwin, is the main focal point on the first floor. Much of the architecture and design throughout the interior of the club is Art Deco and it is beautiful.

The second floor had two rooms. One with large windows overlooking the absolutely breathtaking courtyard and gardens of the Rittenhouse Guest House and The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. And a smaller room that had a view of Latimer Street. The interior of the entire club was just stunning.

We went last Friday evening for an artist exhibition of four very talented artists.
Unique ethnic jewelry from Adornments by Caroline Wichmann, botanical watercolors by Carol Ashton-Hergenhan and wearable arts from JennaKDesigns by Jenna Knouse were all featured on the first floor. Small oil paintings by Nancy Herman were featured on the second floor. All the artwork was incredible. This was a very talented group of women! Along with the artwork, there was a very nice selection of wine, cheese, vegetables, dips, mini quiches and wraps.

Our first visit to the Cosmopolitan Club was a most enjoyable one. The very friendly staff, incredible artwork to preview and purchase, and the decor and history surrounding the club made it an evening we will soon not forget. I plan on going back to the club to enjoy more of their events and hope to one day be able to become a member.

Oyster and wine pairing!

The subject of oysters is an interesting topic. People either like them, hate them or don’t trust eating them. If you dislike or don’t trust them them, it’s probably because they weren’t properly prepared. Oysters are a tricky. If you serve them raw or cooked, they have to be super fresh to begin with. Luckily, we’ve never had a bad batch of oysters. I hope that streak never ends!

Several weeks ago, we saw on Facebook that there was going to be a oyster and wine paring at Fork in Old City. We purchased our tickets and waited patiently. Last week, the day finally arrived. When we first got to the restaurant, we learned that the event was actually being held at High Street on Market. It’s right next door to Fork and it’s their sister restaurant. When we first walked in, we loved the decor of High Street. It was warm and cozy, yet rustic. The low lighting added to the cozy atmosphere.

We were greeted by a super friendly staff and given complimentary glass of sparkling wine. A very nice way to start the evening! There were also delicious passed hors d’oeuvres. The place filled up quickly and we found a table to begin the feast. The oysters were supplied by Sweet Amalia Oyster Farm in Cape May, New Jersey. They are a family operated farm that you can visit and lend them a helping hand if you are so inclined. Lisa Ragone Calvo from Sweet Amalia was on hand this evening as well to talk about the family business and give a brief talk about oysters. She was also more than happy to answer any questions.

So, on to the oysters! The first course was oysters on the half shell with a rhubarb mignonette. It was paired with a 2016 Pinnacle Ridge Brut Rose from the Lehigh Valley. Both were wonderful. You didn’t get a hint of the brininess that you could taste with raw oysters. These were delicious and the wine was a spot on pairing.

The second course was roasted oysters with green garlic butter, parmesan cheese and hot sauce. It was paired with a 2014 Greffiere, Macon-la-Roche-Vinuse Chardonnay from France. Again, both were outstanding. We couldn’t honestly decide if we like the first or second course better! The garlic butter tasted fantastic with the oysters, and the hot sauce gave it just the right amount of heat. The chardonnay paired so well and tempered any heat you got from the hot sauce.

The third course was a green circle chicken with oyster stuffing, spring onion, grilled ramps and oyster mushrooms. It was paired with a 2016 Feudo Di Santa Tresa, Terre, Siciliane Frappato. Once again, an outstanding dish. The chicken was juicy and tender, and the oyster stuffing was a perfect accompaniment. The spring onion and grilled ramps had a fantastic char on them. The wine was bold and a perfect paring with this dish. Our only disappointment was the temperature of the chicken. It was served to us lukewarm. I can understand the difficulty of serving the same dish to 40 or so guests at the same time but it just needed to be hotter. Otherwise, no complaints. Everything was delicious!

For the dessert course, we were served a wonderful tiramisu, but with a twist. It was made with espresso sabayon, madeleine cake, sesame cocoa nib chocolate and served with a side of coffee ice cream. Incredibly creative and delicious. Both the tiramisu and coffee ice cream were wonderful but I felt that they could have been served separately. The espresso of the tiramisu was enough of a coffee flavor that you really didn’t need a coffee ice cream. A different flavor ice cream would have worked very well but again, both were delicious.

This was such a wonderful event to attend. We met so many friendly people and got to dine at a fantastic restaurant. We learned a little more about oysters and how difficult it is to farm them. The farmers are at the mercy of the weather and have to adapt at a moments notice. I would encourage everyone to visit Sweet Amalia Oyster Farm and get your feet wet, literally. Spend some time there and help them out. You’ll learn quite a bit about oysters and really appreciate the folks that work hard to supply them to our restaurants and grocery stores. And please go try out High Street on Market. The food and service were excellent. We’ll definitely be back!