Web Original: Taste Daily: Critic’s Notebook: Philly vs. New York

I was recently compelled to take a short culinary vacation to Manhattan. New Yorkers may argue that their city is superior to ours in terms of restaurants and food (yes, this season of Top Chef was filmed in the Big Apple) but on my scorecard, Philly clearly comes out on top.

#1 

WE HAVE: Osteria, Marc Vetri’s fine dining pizzeria

THEY HAVE: Otto, Mario Batali’s fine dining pizzeria

WHO WINS: Philly

WHY: Even Mario says that Marc Vetri is the best Italian chef on the East Coast. Honorable mention for Otto’s wine list, but the Iron Chef doesn’t have to battle with the PLCB

#2 

WE HAVE: Capogiro, generally regarded as Philadelphia’s finest gelato

THEY HAVE: Il Laboratorio del Gelato, generally regarded as New York’s finest gelato

WHO WINS: Philly

WHY: Il Laboratorio lists some very interesting flavors on its site, but at the store last week there was nothing Capogiro couldn’t whip up in its sleep. Texture-wise, the two are on par, but for flavor, Capogiro trumps the too-sweet taste of Il Laboratorio

#3 

WE HAVE: Christos’ Falafel Cart, street food at 20th and Market

THEY HAVE: The Biryani Cart, street food in Midtown Manhattan (46th and 6th Avenue)

WHO WINS: New York

WHY: New York, I have to give it up for New York’s street food. The Biryani Cart’s Kati Roll boasts tender chunks of lamb dosed in a sweet-spicy sauce rolled into a soft Indian flatbread

#4 

WE HAVE: Parc, a fake French restaurant where you may see a celebrity

THEY HAVE: The Odeon, a fake French restaurant where you may see a celebrity

WHO WINS: Philly

WHY: Same distressed mirrors and yellow lights, but I saw world champion Phillie Pat Burrell at Parc and nobody of interest at Odeon

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