On the to-do list this week: It’s a weird holiday. If it was normal year — with all the roasting and wrapping and baking and shopping and hosting — the holidays can so easily get the better of us. Not to downplay the fact that we’d all really like to hug our grandma right now, but ... maybe this is an excuse to simplify? This week, we’ve got places to order food, a shortcut for your shopping list, and a little drink recipe to boot. Happy holidays.
And remember: We’ve collected our best articles with our best Philly tips. They’re in one place here.
Stay healthy, stay safe, and, as much as possible, it’s still a good idea to stay home.
🏠 If I have COVID-19, is it OK to visit someone else who has it? by Grace Dickinson
🎥 How can I get an older relative to use video calling? by Nick Vadala
💉 Can my employer require that I get the vaccine? by Juliana Feliciano Reyes
😷 When I get the vaccine, will I still have to wear a mask? by Grace Dickinson
🤑 When will I get the next stimulus check? by Erin Arvedlund
» Ask us a question through Curious Philly: inquirer.com/askus
Stay safe, do stuff
Here is one highlight from our weekly events calendar:
🎥 The PFS Drive-In Presents Wonder Woman 1984 (Movie / in-person / drive-in) Sure, you could stream the highly-anticipated Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max, but the way-more-fun way to watch it is at the Philadelphia Film Society Drive-In screenings of the superhero flick at the Navy Yard during its opening weekend. ($7-$12, Dec. 25-27, filmadelphia.org, add to calendar)
If you decide that this is the season not to cook, we’re not judging you. Our food team has compiled where you can get some fancy eats, whether you’re in the mood for a roast, or you want to do it feast-of-the-seven-fishes style. The full list is long, but here are some picks to whet your holiday appetite:
Gran Caffe L’Aquila: Get the Seven Fishes (or just a few) delivered. The owner of this Italian restaurant channels his Naples upbringing in the Christmas Eve menu (which is also available on Dec. 26-27). Look forward to a traditional Neopolitan lasagna and sugo di Natale, a Christmas Day dish with wild boar meatballs, veal braciole, sausage and lamb in a slow-cooked tomato sauce. Order anytime for pickup or delivery up to Dec. 27. 1716 Chestnut St., 215-568-5600, grancaffelaquila.com
Rowhouse Grocery: The mission-driven community grocer is packing up trays of sliced holiday ham with pineapple and maraschino cherries, creamy scalloped potatoes, and green beans dressed in lemon-almond vinaigrette. Each item serves two and costs $15. There’s also a Christmas morning box with holiday babka, breakfast casserole, fresh fruit, and a pound of Càphê Roasters coffee. 1713 McKean St., 267-423-4249, rowhousegrocery.com
Fiore Fine Foods: The duo behind the Queen Village all-day destination has the holidays well-covered. For New Year’s, the menu for two starts with garlic focaccia, cacio e pepe fritters, smoked cabbage, roasted carrots, and a leek and tarragon lasagna; progresses to braised beef cheeks, wood-fired turbot, or Umbrian lentils; and finishes with New York cheesecake. Add on caviar or truffles for a real splurge. 757 S. Front St., 215-339-0509, fiore-finefoods.com
The Wayward: Nothing says New Year’s Eve like a seafood tower. Get one for takeout from Center City’s newest hotel restaurant. The tower (which you may have to stack yourself) includes a half-lobster, shrimp cocktail, Maine mussels, tuna Niçoise tartare, and a dozen oysters. Pair it with a French 75. Order by noon on Dec. 28 for New Year’s Eve. 1170 Ludlow St., 215-258-9430, thewayward.com
Miss Rachel’s Pantry: Rachel Klein’s vegan dinners — like her holiday lasagna layered with roasted seitan, rosemary stuffing, and gravy — sell out quick. Her New Year’s Eve offerings, for pickup and delivery by Dec. 30, include charcuterie boxes, DIY fondue kits, spanakopita bites, and other DIY canapés that will stay fresh till the next day. Look out for a New Year’s Day brunch, too (frittatas, baked French toast casserole). 1938 S. Chadwick St., 215-798-0053, missrachelspantry.com
Still have shopping to do? Don’t panic. We have everything you need in our last-minute gift guide, including the best books, foodie gifts, music, cocktail kits and more. Shop local, wrap it up nice, and spread some joy.
» READ MORE: The ultimate Philly holiday gift guide
We all need a little moment to celebrate, even in the absence of big holiday parties. So, here’s a fancy but easy-to-make eggnog-esque drink to toast the end of 2020. This is a mocktail, but if you want to add in your own booze to the mix, we won’t tell anyone. Cheers.
Pumpkin Spice Flip
1½ ounces brewed cinnamon-flavored black tea, cooled
1½ ounces canned pumpkin puree
¾ ounce unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
½ ounce maple syrup
Pinch kosher salt
Garnish: grated nutmeg, cinnamon stick
Fill a clear mug or rocks glass with crushed ice. Combine the ingredients in a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) for 1 minute. Add ice and shake for 10 seconds. Strain the cocktail into the glass. Liberally grate nutmeg over the surface of the cocktail, garnish with a cinnamon stick, and serve.
So, what’s open on Christmas Day in the region? It’s a tricky question at the best of times, but even tougher during COVID-19 restrictions. Here’s the skinny on what you can actually get done in the area on Dec. 25.
Grocery stores: Most are closed. But Acme Markets will be open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Pharmacies: Many CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens locations are open, but check yours before you go.
Retail: Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes, and malls will all be closed.
Transit: SEPTA and PATCO are both running on reduced schedules.
There is no: Mail and package delivery, trash pickup. And banks will be closed.
There are new restrictions in place in New Jersey and Philly. Having a hard time keeping track of what the latest rules are? We’ve got it all for you in some handy, easy-to-use guides: