Philadelphia Sport and Social Club places athletically minded individuals into leagues, offering six levels of play, from recreational to fiercely competitive. Sports range from men's indoor basketball to outdoor favorites such as coed soccer and coed hockey, played with bladeless skates on the dry, frictional equivalent of ice—a floor. Meeting at several facilities throughout Philadelphia, most sports' seasons consist of 6–10 games and one round of single-elimination playoffs, culminating in prizes for the victors, such as long-sleeve T-shirts and, for kickball champions, a pageant of apologies from former playground bullies.
Mixology Wine Institute's oenophilic classes teach aspiring mixologists and mixonomists how to craft a diverse roster of libations while regaling students with the rich history and social function of the cocktail. The seasoned staff—which includes a resident sommelier and beer experts—dispense thoughtful nuggets of drink-dispensing wisdom, such as ways to add flair to a bartending routine, various wine-and-food pairings, and how to win a cocktail-sword duel. Each session takes place in the institute's well-equipped classroom, which simulates a real bar setting with working soda guns, sinks, and a full catalog of liquors. Pupils leave classes with the knowledge necessary to help bargoers make informed drink decisions.
Flying Carpet Café & Bar blends international tastes into delightful sandwiches and tapas accompanied by organic tea. The cozy café stocks 14 varieties of organic loose-leaf tea in flavors such as amaretto spice, which defrosts tongues frozen from hands-free ice-sculpting contests. Twosomes opting for the sampler platter can dip fresh olives, feta cheese, falafel, and spinach pie into meticulously crafted baba gannouj and hummus. Region-representative sandwiches dish out delicious geography lessons in forms such as the Norwegian wrap, whose pita coddles cream cheese and smoked salmon together with capers and onions, or the Parisian, which bears roast beef, grilled onions, spinach, and brie, much like an actual Parisian going through customs. Epicurean duos can match their delicately paired eats with the ear-tickling sounds of live jazz on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Cichetteria 19, one of the first Venetian eateries and osterie (pubs) to unfurl its tasty sails in Philadelphia, allows diners to imbibe their minds and mouths with a medley of meal options, a list of authentic, regional wines, and an atmosphere akin to homeland camaraderie. The menu consists of cichetti (small dishes), which are designed to contrast one another while complementing a grapey quaff. Available individually ($5), in a trio ($12), or as a family of five ($19), cichetti options include roasted shrimp with caper berries, flash-fried calamari in tomato sauce, house-made toasted bread, prosciutto and melon, and more. The remainder of the menu is occupied with fresh pizza selections such as the white Bassano, topped with gorgonzola, fig, prosciutto, and arugula ($15), and a range of prearranged plates, including lemon risotto ($21). To top off any meal, gracious guests can slide forks through rich tiramisu infused with sweet satiability and Italian grandmother hugs ($7).
Sound Excursions describes their carefully curated group experiences as "field trips for adults." It's easy to see why: every outing takes groups to a new realm of Washington, whether it's the frothy shores of Puget Sound, inland forests and mountains, or tables at Seattle's thriving restaurants. The events held at these diverse locations range from culinary workshops on topics such as sushi-making and moonshine-tasting, to adventurous excursions with whitewater rafting or kayaking, to laid-back themed party cruises. For many outings, luxury transportation is provided.
Run by Anna Maria Florio, the daughter of Italian immigrants, La Cucina at the Market imparts vital culinary arts to its students in intimate, informative classes. Students plunge their hands into the world of handmade pasta in Making Handmade Pasta: Easy as 1, 2, 3, which runs through the art and science of noodle and sauce. In classes of up to 15 people, pupils knead, roll, and slice pasta dough to infuse homemade Italian entrees with a personal touch. Nascent noodle artists acquire the art of lengthy fettuccine and broad pappardelle, and afterward pastacrafters will be able to construct an edible sculpture of a penguin in formalwear using bowtie-mimicking farfalle.