- Neighborhood: University City
- 3131 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 00000
- Website | Facebook | Twitter
- Cuisine: Southern
- Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
In just a few days Kevin Sbraga will open the doors at The Fat Ham–his new Southern-inspired spot in the former Tria wine bar space at 3131 Walnut Street. Obviously, there will be pork in abundance, but you can also expect inventive veggies as well as dishes and flavors that pull from all over the South. Here’s our first peek at the opening night menu.
Michael Klein has the story on some major chef shuffling that’s been happening around town. Aaron Gottesman, who until recently you could spot whipping up lamb dishes behind the counter at the Reading Terminal’s Border Spring Farms is moving on to Kevin Sbraga’s Fat Ham. Gottesman was a participant in Foobooz’s first ever Open Stove night at Cook. Back then he was planning on working in Jen Carroll’s Concrete Blonde kitchen.
Last night we stopped by a little preview at The Fat Ham, Kevin Sbraga’s upcoming, casual, Southern-inspired spot in the former Tria Wine Room space at the Left Bank building. While the space itself still has a way to go before the projected November opening, the inspiration for the food is definitely there. Creamed corn with chive oil, grilled shrimp with pepper sauce, and the definite star: country ham fritters with buttermilk ranch dipping sauce. Imagine the delectable crunch of Noord’s bitterballen, but with a molten center of béchamel and cubed Virginia ham. Also: buttermilk ranch dipping sauce.
Rather than trying to avoid offering increasingly cliched upscale comfort food, Sbraga is embracing it. There will be fried chicken on this menu, to be sure, but there will also be dishes like boiled peanut hummus and plenty more inspired by the two week research trip that Sbraga and his team made to some of the greatest places for Southern eating. From Atlanta to Charleston and New Orleans to Nashville, they drove and ate and collected ideas, paying visits to lauded restaurants and homespun eateries alike.
If the suckling pig (with pickles, honey mustard and white bread) at last night’s event was any indication, Sbraga knows when something is worth going back for another taste.