Icepack | March 19-26

If this is it, Icepack wants all the drama

Scientist
Until these dudes find a vaccine, Icepack will be delivering all of the city’s drama – remotely. | Image provided

So, how’s your apocalypse going?

It’s lame with so much stuff shuttered. Hell, at least the characters in Evelyn Waugh’s “Vile Bodies” got the chance to go out into the abyss fucking, boozing and wantonly carousing before the grand finale. 

What do we get with the coronavirus scare-fest? Take out at Cry Baby, roomy seating options at Vetri Cucina and Zahav. Not shabby. 

I’m typing this while in line for Fiorella’s take out right now. And yet, it’s not solely worth sailing soberly into the abyss over, right, unless those meals come with Mescal and mescaline. If this is the end, my friends – and I’m starting to hum like Jim Morrison and Peggy Lee, so watch out – let’s hope we can do it with some real drama. Put your thinking caps on, kids. I want some answers. Some scenarios.

Bibou gets it

Like you, I have been receiving dining-out warnings (“we’re closed”) and menu options since the start of Philly-COVID-19, and all have been thoughtful and thorough when it comes to maintaining health and well-being. Same with Bibou’s. 

But, speaking of my aforementioned plea for dedicated decadence in the face of despair, Bibou stated that it “will now only be offering a 4-course Bistronomic style menu with choices priced at $80. This menu will include some of our classics dishes, such as escargot, quenelle, and foie gras….We will keep you updated as to when we will switch back to our 7-course tasting menu.” 

Boo-ya, Bibou. THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. If you’re going to head into the abyss, LIVE IT UP. 

That’s an early wrap 

I was all psyched to tell you that Philly star alums such as Kevin Hart and Tina Fey had announced top-tier projects coming up sooner-than-later; 13th and Erie’s Hart’s next film, an action-crime comedy with “The Man from Toronto,” co-starring Woody Harrelson, and Upper Darby’s Fey return to the creative crew of co-writers and co-producers who co-made “30 Rock” with a new animated sci-fi comedy series set to stream on Netflix, “Mulligan.” 

ZOINK. In comes COVD-19 and shuts down the Hart film, and slows down “Mulligan” (now word on how animated films will move along, and live-action film production has all-but stopped cold). 

At least Hart has his new investment to look forward to – a $20 million co-venture with Jay-Z and friends in Hungry, a catering app for independent chefs that was initially launched in Philly and DC four years ago.  Adding insult to injury, Philly’s M. Night Shyamalan has put a hold on filming the second season of his Apple TV+ series “Servant” in his hometown. “Love this cast and crew. They’re Family. Sending them all home this evening,” Shyamalan announced via social media. “We’ll all be back together in Philadelphia very soon telling our dark little tale.”

Philly chef Jennifer Carroll prepares for her home “Top Chef All-Stars” party. | Image: Ilana Weber

Chef duel 

I know that you know that I know that you know that Spice Finch’s Jennifer Carroll is serving her best revenge cold and in a vichyssoise way on this, the upcoming season of the Bravo Network’s weekly series “Top Chef All-Stars” that starts on March 19. For those keeping score (and I know you are) Carroll debuted in season six of “Top Chef”  in 2009 and has re-joined the team on seasons 8 and 15, as well as on its spin-off program, “Top Chef Duels.” 

Anyway, she’s battling other one-time “Top Chef” contestants for culinary world domination, and, to go with that March “All-Stars” showing, Carroll was originally “going to be in LA for a big premiere party and the first-ever “Top Chef” Food & Wine Festival, but, that has all been canceled because of COVID-19,” said Carroll. “I will now be hosting a watch party from my home with my fiancé and my bunnies. And, I will not be letting my styling from Joey Clark, owner of Kin Boutique, go to waste either, I’m putting on that beautiful black sequins dress, and I will be interacting with my fans through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter while the show is on.” 

Look for the @ChefJenCarroll sign, and for her pop-up events at local eateries and private spots through her ever-popular Carroll Couture Cuisine floating meal site to resume soon. 

New Lil Uzi Vert music

I like surprises. And I like Philly’s Lil Uzi Vert. So imagine my surprise at his surprise – two surprises, actually – when two weeks ago, and after three years of starts, stops, Instagram fit pics, retirements, guest features, Heaven’s Gate Hale-Bopp lawsuits and $90,000 college tuition payoffs to those willing to finish school, Uzi decided to not only drop one version of his long-awaited “Eternal Atake” album, but two versions, the second one featuring 14 even brand newer songs with Future and Young Thug. I can’t wait to see what happens this Friday. For the record, “Eternal Atake” leaped straight into No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart, marking his second No. 1 and the biggest streaming week for an album since 2018. 

Gone too soon

If you came up in Philadelphia in the ‘90s, two sides of the social spectrum were in their fullest flower: the power ties, caricatures, three-martini lunches and wheeling-dealing dynamics of The Palm and – on a far more personal level – the indie music booking-promoting invention, and the warmth and camaraderie of Bryan Dilworth. Both passed this week – Dilworth too soon and too sadly. Pairing the death of a watering hole and a human being might seem crass, but hear me out. Each represented a signature of Philadelphia life that cannot be erased by time or dimmed in death. Both will be richly remembered by the many people who habited them and hung with them, long into the future. And there will be a future, so get over yourselves.

  • A.D. Amarosi's Headshot

    A.D. Amorosi is a Philadelphia-based journalist who, along with Philadelphia Weekly, writes for numerous local, national and international publications including Variety and the Philadelphia Inquirer.