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February 5, 2014

Tonight Picks: Root For Local Chef Nicholas Elmi On The Top Chef Season Finale, Chinese New Year Dinner Specials, Great Voyages Lecture Series At The Penn Museum And More

This evening, restaurants across the city celebrate the Chinese New Year with special menu additions and prix-fixe options, including Sampan in Midtown Village. (Photo by E. Mencher for Visit Philadelphia)

Tonight, local chef Nicholas Elmi of the relatively-new Laurel BYOB on East Passyunk Avenue cooks up a storm on national television in hopes of taking home the title of Top Chef. Cheer on the Philly chef as he aims to bring home the gold — the show is slated to begin at 10 p.m.

Also this evening, a number of restaurants are ready to dish out menu additions designed specially for the Chinese New Year. Head to Sampan or Buddakan for a filling meal while celebrating the Year of the Horse. Fill up on inventive dumplings, sharable plates, desserts and more.

The Penn Museum brings Robert Ballard, the oceanographer who discovered The Titanic, to the spotlight as part of its monthly Great Voyages: Travels, Triumphs, and Tragedies lecture series. Listen to Ballard discuss his more than 50-year career and some of his most notable discoveries.

Our top picks for tonight, below.

Chef Nicholas Elmi of Laurel BYOB on Top Chef Finale: Watch chef Nicholas Elmi of Laurel BYOB in East Passyunk on the final round of the Top Chef New Orleans cooking competition tonight on Bravo. Cheer on the hometown chef as he hopes to bring home the top Top Chef honors. The show is slated to begin at 10 p.m. Watch from the comfort of your own couch, or head to The Gaslight in Old City for a viewing party — featuring drink discounts — beginning at 8 p.m. Go Nick!

When: Wednesday, February 5, 10 p.m.
Where: Bravo Television Network
Cost: Free

Sampan’s Year of the Horse Prix-Fixe Special: Sampan celebrates the Year of the Horse with a special prix-fixe menu running through February 14. In addition to its regular menu, enjoy sharable menu additions created specially for the Lunar New Year celebrations. With several plates included in each course of the prix-fixe menu, diners will have the chance to sample a nice variety of dishes including pork and shrimp dumplings, baby octopus satay with pickled cauliflower, tea-smoked chicken with Sichuan cucumbers, long noodles with oyster sauce, and steamed custard with ginger, caramel and vanilla.

When: Wednesday, February 5
Where: Sampan, 124 S. 13th Street
Cost: $55

Chinese New Year Specials at Buddakan: Buddakan serves up a $14 trio of varied dumplings (your pick!) — including crab and lobster dumplings and General Tso’s dumplings — in addition to a number of Lunar New Year specials. Can’t make it tonight? No need to fear, the Chinese New Year menu ends on Sunday, February 9.

When: Wednesday, February 5
Where: Buddakan, 325 Chestnut Street
Cost: Pay as you go

Great Voyages: Travels, Triumphs, and Tragedies at the Penn Museum: On the first Wednesday of the month, the Penn Museum hosts its Great Voyages: Travels, Triumphs, and Tragedies lecture series, each month focusing on a different major voyage drawn from thousands of years of human history. Tonight, hear from Robert Ballard, the oceanographer who discovered The Titanic. Learn about his more than 50-year career and some of discoveries he has made. The program is slated to begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are available online.

When: Wednesday, February 5, 6-7:30 p.m.
Where: The Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Cost: $5 for general public, $2 Penn Museum members, $10 at the door, free for students

Pay-What-You-Wish Wednesday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Get over the mid-week hump with art, crafts, yoga, film and more at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s recurring pay-what-you-wish Wednesday event. From 5 to 8:45 p.m., pay whatever price you’d like to explore the galleries of the main building and take part in evening activities.

When: Wednesday, February 5, 5-8:45 p.m.
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Pay what you wish

More picks for tonight, below.

Pho For Dinner: Combat the less-than-ideal weather outside and slurp up a giant, soul-warming bowl of pho this evening. From Washington Avenue in South Philly to Chinatown and beyond, pho is seriously perfect for these cold temps. Click here for our guide to some of the region’s best pho.

When: Wednesday, February 5
Where: Various locations
Cost: Pay as you go

Whiskey Flights at The Mildred: Beginning tonight, The Mildred introduces recurring whiskey flight and pairing menus on Wednesday evenings. Expect menu items like sunchoke pierogies and duck wing confit complete with a variety of whiskeys. Stop by tonight for whiskey and a slew of appropriate food pairings.

When: Wednesday, February 5
Where: The Mildred, 824 S. 8th Street
Cost: Pay as you go

Unknown Japan at PhilaMOCA: PhilaMOCA continues its biannual Unknown Japan film series tonight with a screening of Seisaku’s Wife. Presented by Cinedelphia.com and Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, the free series spotlights rare Japanese films on Wednesday evenings through March 5 at 7:30 p.m.

When: Wednesday, February 5, 7:30 p.m.
Where: PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th Street
Cost: Free

The Bronzed Bee Grand Opening Party: Welcome The Bronzed Bee, a waxing and tanning salon, to the Graduate Hospital neighborhood at its grand opening party from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy champagne, wine, cupcakes and a visit from the Smak Parlour fashion truck. Stroll the new space and be sure to make an appointment for your next brow wax! Tip: Arrive early, the first 30 guests will be greeted with goodie bags.

When: Wednesday, February 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: The Bronzed Bee, 406 S. 20th Street
Cost: Free

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