Behind the Line is Foobooz’s weekly interview series with the people who make up Philadelphia’s dynamic bar and restaurant scene. Click here for the full archive.
This week’s special Best of Philly-edition of Behind the Line brings us to Nick Elmi, who went from winning Bravo’s Top Chef to having one of the hardest tables to get in Philly: Passyunk Avenue’s Laurel, which we recently named the 2nd best restaurant in Philadelphia. His South Philly bar followup ITV just won Best of Philly for its caviar service. And we can’t wait for his soon-to-open Old City spot. Here, we talk about all that and more. Read more »
Cocoa-cured foie gras at Laurel | Photography by Jason Varney and Samuel Markey
Yesterday, we were pleased to announce the return of something we haven’t seen in a little while–a collaboration dinner between the teams at Will and Jaxon. It was interesting to us because it has seemed like the collaboration dinner has been a fading trend lately, something overwhelmed or forgotten under the summer’s glut of food events, tasting menus, bar takeovers and whiskey, wine or beer dinners.
And that’s fine. These kind of things? They come and go. But collaborations are almost always exciting because unlike some special event menu or pairing (where, generally, the same crew is working in the same kitchen they always do, with all their influences and biases intact), the collaboration introduces a chaos element into things: The arrival of a whole new chef (or a whole new crew) with their own ideas about what food is supposed to look and taste like.
So one collaboration dinner? That’s good news. But two is (we hope) starting to look like the return of a trend. And the one that’s coming up at Laurel looks like it could be a good one.
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Outdoor garden at Little Nonna’s | Photo by Jason Varney
The Center City District now counts 412 outdoor dining cafes in just Philadelphia’s downtown area. Many a sidewalk has been turned over to eating al fresco. But if you’re looking to dine in the sunshine without the crowds, out of earshot of the SEPTA bus and away from the peering eyes of passersby, you’ve come to the right place. Here, our picks for the 12 best hidden outdoor dining spots in Philadelphia.
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