We can’t believe it, either, but this year, Frog Commissary is celebrating its 45th anniversary. We’re proud of our history as a long-running family-owned business in Philadelphia, and we’ve included some fond visual flashbacks in this issue. We’re especially proud that our flagship restaurants, Frog and The Commissary, were founded to provide a gathering place over food and a means to connect with other people and build community.
Many Philadelphians over the years came to Steve’s restaurants because they believed in that ethos, and in its earliest days, Frog and The Commissary were also a meeting place for political organizers such as Choice, a pioneering women’s reproductive rights group (this in the year Roe v. Wade was being decided), and for those dedicated to civic engagement, including the Center City Proprietors group of business owners who were once known as The Commissary Seven. I was there, too, with my friends and colleagues, talking about my own dreams and goals for Philadelphia’s performing arts scene, long before I knew that this company would eventually become my second career.
Growing up in a household where, thanks to my father, our nightly dinners were devoted to talking about current events, I learned that being an informed citizen begins with the simple act of conversation around the dinner table. And current events is still my 89-year-old mother’s abiding interest. I firmly believe that education, and understanding our collective history is the only way to develop and improve our civil society, and it begins at home. We hope that during this holiday season you will continue to talk to your partners, your kids, your friends and relatives—however charged those dialogues might be—about what is really going on outside of our homes. Celebrate these moments with your loved ones, by all means, but also invite the world to your table.
In this issue, we’ve got some great tips for entertaining, starting with the addition of retro foods, including a classic Frog recipe for pumpkin mousse. Add some all-purpose holiday wine (hint: it can be sweet or dry) and a to-go pie, and you have the makings of a wonderful spread. We’ll also tell you about our latest dining adventures in Dublin, the magical Vikings exhibition gala, including the divine short ribs our chef John Peralta cooked up for the occasion, and more about what you can expect this season at The Franklin Institute.
Best wishes for a magical and meaningful holiday season.