- Neighborhood: South Jersey
- 618 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ
- Phone: 856-854-2670
- Website | Facebook | Twitter
- Cuisine: Italian
- Alcohol: BYOB
- Price: $$
- Accepts Credit Cards: Yes
Everything that could be said about the Sicilian genius coming from behind the line at Zeppoli has already been said. In addition to winning three stars in 2011 from our then-critic Trey Popp, Joey Baldino’s Collingswood BYOB landed on each of our 50 Best Restaurants issues ever since it was old enough to make the list. Bon Appetit gave it a Best New Restaurant nod in 2012, Time Out named it one of the best Italian restaurants in the country in 2015, and some of our biggest chefs, like Nick Elmi (in an interview with First We Feast) and Joe Beddia (mentioned in his new book), are on the record saying that Zeppoli is one of their favorite restaurants in the region.
In 2014, Baldino started hosting these summertime Sicilian barbecues on the restaurant’s backyard patio. Family-style feasts for $75 a head included items like giant plates of grilled octopus, homemade pasta, seafood salads, and whole lambs (pictured above). It was a coveted affair as they only happened once a week and only in the summer months. Every year, they’d announce on Facebook that they were taking reservations for the barbecue, and every year they’d sell out just like any typical restaurant event would.
Except this year. Things went a little differently this year.
You see, Baldino is the third-generation owner and president of Filippo Palizzi Club, a 30-seat private Italian social club tucked away inside a South Philly row home near 12th and Reed Streets. Instead of keeping its club members to close friends and family (the way it’s worked for the past 98 years), he’s opted to, instead, turn it into a members-only restaurant, open to the anybody willing to pony up the measly, one-time $20 membership fee.
And everyone wanted a piece of the action, so much so that, yesterday, PayPal had to temporarily shut down the membership servicing site.
You know Zeppoli. It’s Joey Baldino’s ode to Sicilian cuisine, a BYOB tucked away in Collingswood, N.J. behind some of the most honest, straightforward Italian cookery this region has — and will ever — see. Baldino’s done well for himself in Jersey, over time turning his charming 35-seater into a destination restaurant for Philadelphians and those beyond.
And now, he’s got something new in the works: a quasi-private restaurant/social club called Filippo Palizzi Club opening this Friday, February 10, just off East Passyunk Avenue.