- Neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square
- 2031 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
- Phone: 267-639-6644
- Website | Facebook | Twitter
- Cuisine: American
- Price: $$$
- Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
It was all fun and games when the James Beard Foundation announced Philadelphia’s semifinalists back in February. In previous years, only our industry’s biggest names ever made the cut, but for whatever reason, this year, they took notice of our city’s BYOBs, tiny bakeries, taquerias, and the women who make our scene so great.
A month later, the finalists were announced. That list was less surprising but still exciting. Our biggest deal restaurant group (CookNSolo) got a lot of attention: Michael Solomonov was up for Outstanding Chef, Zahav for Outstanding Service, and pastry chef Camille Cogswell for Rising Star Chef Of The Year. The Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category was a big one for Philly, too, with Vedge’s Rich Landau and Greg Vernick from Vernick Food & Drink still in the running. Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione was competing for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional and Stephen Starr capped the list as the lone Philly finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur.
Last night, the James Beard Foundation announced the 2017 awards recipients (chef and restaurant categories), and Philly won big.
Philadelphia gets a six page spread in Bon Appetit’s May issue on travel. Bon Appetit’s Editor in Chief himself, Adam Rapoport spends 32 hours in town with co-worker and former 12 Steps Down employee Amiel Stanek. The pair get local help from W/N W/N Coffee Bar co-founder Anthony Fulvio as they eat and drink their way through town.
On the high end, the crew hits Vernick Food and Drink, Zahav, Kensington Quarters and a.kitchen. But they also hit small spots like Stargazy, Philly Style Bagels, Tortilleria San Roman, South Philly Barbacoa and Café Diem.
It’s an impressive 32-hours of food and drink. And at six pages, is as many as any other city is allotted in the issue.
If it seems too soon for another 50 Best Restaurants issue, you’re right. For a long time, this list was something we put together every two years. But now that’s changing. Because it has to.
Philadelphia’s restaurant scene moves fast today—too fast for the kind of monolithic thinking that says a list of the best restaurants in this city could possibly stand, fundamentally unchanged, for two years. Fortunes rise and fall over weeks, not years. Opinions shift. Focus drifts. There was a time when a list of the best restaurants in Philly could have some breathing room—would be just as true (or nearly as true) six months or a year later as it was on the day it hit the stands. But today that sort of thinking seems as quaint as cedar-plank salmon or those bicycles with one big wheel in front—an artifact of another time.