Valanni Restaurant Philadelphia: Belgian Family Brewers Beer Dinner TONIGHT 8/19 & last weeks event: Laura Burkhardt’s Bday Party in the new room

Since it opened its doors in September of 2000, Valanni’s has packed them in to eat their Mediterranian dishes. The writing was on the wall and when the oportunity came about, and the house next door came up for sale, George and Val Anni (get it Valanni) bought it and expanded their hot little restaurant into a much bigger space with alot to offer.

And what could be better than a fabulous beer dinner in August? Valanni is bringing in Bruce Wright, importer, former chef and Belgian Beer connoisseur for this event. Chef Evan Turney and Bruce Wright put together a brilliant menu of Belgian beer and food pairings, keeping in mind and taste the Valanni medi-latin cuisine. You don’t want to miss this one!
Seatings at 6p and 8p, and it’s $55/person. Reservations through Open Table or by calling Valanni direct, 215.790.9494 It was last Friday that we celebrated Miss Laura Burkhardt’s 2nd Annual Big Bash Birthday on 08/08/08; Here is Laura greeting Carrie Nork and Dino Minilli (Valanni says: to the right is the backroom bar in the new addition)

Valanni’s Party Room is where Keren Ini & James Zeleniak had Laura’s surprise birthday party. Jesse Archer, who was in town to judge Mr Gay Philadelphia 2008, stopped by Laura’s shindig, again this year, to celebrate and have a cocktail or two before he was off. Have you ever seen Carlotta without her trademark do? Well here she is in all her glory, and do tell she is as shy as ever. I asked her if he ever gets tired or bored doing her alter ego, but Michael Bryne (Carlotta Ttendent) tells me that she is his best friend, and a wild and crazy friend at that. Look for a few more adventures for Carlotta and Chumley coming soon, but things have never been the same since that dustup over Gay Bingo so many years ago, and Gay Bingo has never been the same since. Maybe someone could give Carlotta and Chumley another venue, another gig and unlike Lucy & Desi, Nicole & Tom or Sonny & Cher these two want to work together again soon and often and I want to see them crack up a new generation.
L-R James Zeleniak, Michael Bryne and Zelinda O’Hara (Valanni says: occupancy in the new party room 38 people for dinner, 50 people for cocktails)
Eddie & Jeff (Valanni says: comfortable white seats with crushed brown velvet-covered banquette along the wall) Banquettes line the walls in the rear of the dining room, candles burn on tables dining on entrées like roasted duck atop a sweet potato mash dotted with brandied cherries—is as varied as the decor of sophisticated black surfaces, hip exposed brick, comfortable bar stoolThe Where Magazine crew – Zelina O’Hara, Laura Burkhardt & Karen Gross; Karen Gross is accomplished singer and showmanship. She began writing songs at age 14. She has recorded a CD, Navigating, and has performed at several local music venues such as World Café Live, Grape Street Pub and John & Peter’s (New Hope) as well as at Lincoln Center in New York, the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg and Musikfest in Bethlehem. She has an upcoming gig at the Tin Angel and I will keep add it to the calendar when I get the dates. Check her out here:

Thom Cardwell, Laura Burkhardt and friends enjoyed some of Valanni’s Tapas including TRIO OF SPREADS
hummus, tirokafteri, babaganush, grilled pitaGRILLED
sundried tomato, fennel, olive ancho-spiced rub, crispy potatoesGRILLED BEEF KABOBS
chocolate-peanut mole, balsamic glazeWayne Edward’s Wayne Glassman (that’s a tongue twister), with Zelinda and David Wagman