A first look at the elegant interior of Jennifer and George Sabatino‘s first solo project at 1901 Chestnut (in the space that formerly housed Noche). Aldine isn’t open yet. They’re still waiting on some inspections and are tinkering with the menus. But the way things are looking right now, they’re aiming to open maybe by this weekend, but certainly by next week.
That said, the opening will also be a kind of half-soft event, with the kitchen only doing a la carte service. Originally, Sabatino wanted to launch with two tasting menus–Omnivore and Herbivore–but now they’re planning on sticking with a la carte through their soft-opening period.
Oh, and the portraits of the couple’s dogs you’ll find hung on the walls? Those are by noted dog portraitist (and food shooter) Neil Santos.
Show me the photos already
Okay, so it’s still not much. But considering how long we’ve all been waiting for Aldine–George Sabatino‘s much-delayed, often sidetracked follow-up to the award-winning work he did at Stateside–something is better than nothing.
Sabatino posted this snap of the Aldine dining room, with all the tables and chairs in place, to his Instagram feed yesterday. Tables and chairs are a good sign. That means all the major renovation work has been done. All the big equipment is in place. And, in related news, the Foobooz Mobile Party Unit ran in to George’s wife Jennifer on the street last week while we were skulking around the neighborhood looking for been and octopus, and she said that the actual, official, no-bullshit opening of Aldine was “Close,” so, you know… There’s that, too.
Last year’s chef at Morgan’s Pier, George Sabatino will be cooking tonight at the Garage in South Philadelphia. Sabatino, who is working on his own restaurant, Aldine, will be in the Garage’s food cart from 6 p.m. till 10 p.m.
Check out what other chefs will be “indacart” in the days and weeks ahead on the Garage’s web site.
Last night the ramen-lovers at Cheu Noodle Bar had to satisfy their umami cravings with some lesser take out option, because the only menu on the table was George Sabatino‘s (executed along with Cheu’s Ben Puchowitz and paired with cocktails by George’s wife, Jennifer Sabatino) for a sold-out, one-night-only pop-up to showcase the kind of dishes we can expect to see at Aldine – the Sabatino’s first restaurant, set to open in early June in the former NoChe space. Guests filled every seat for each of four on-the-hour seatings, and the food reflected Team Sabatino’s earthy flavors and modern techniques, as well as a yearning for spring ingredients to arrive in Philly.
Check out the photos
George Sabatino has been a busy guy since leaving Stateside way back when. He did Morgan’s Pier. He did Winterfest. And all the while, he’s been working on opening up his own place–Aldine, which will be going into the second-floor space at 19th and Chestnut that was formerly home to Noche.
And things at Aldine must be coming along nicely because we just got word that Sabatino (and his wife and partner, Jen) are going to be doing a one-night-only menu test / pop-up dinner at Cheu Noodle Bar on Monday, March 24.
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Open Stove XXII was on Monday night, and like most of our Open Stove events, the guests got drunk. Not just because of the beer and wine, but because of the shots of Jameson tossed both into the food and down the throats of the patrons and chefs. It was a crazy night of Irish kitchen shenanigans, all in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day. Because we’re well into March, aren’t we? And it just seemed like the right time to start celebrating.
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I somehow managed to not eat at Stateside until this year—totally missing its (admittedly brief) reign as the restaurant this magazine once called the best in Philly. Unfortunately, those glory days under chef George Sabatino are long gone. He left a year ago this month, and Stateside is now just another dimly lit bar with a big whiskey list and slow service. If you go, the poussin with burnt-honey-glazed cornbread and the octopus with chickpeas and fennel are worthy dishes. But with Noord, Fond, Laurel and Will just down the street? Maybe wait for Sabatino to get his next restaurant, Aldine, up and running in Rittenhouse.
First appeared in the March, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
It’s been a long time since anyone has called Chestnut Street hot. But the span from 19th Street to 22nd Street on Chestnut is poised to transform that side of Center City.
In just a couple of months Noche will become George Sabatino’s solo project, Aldine. That restaurant will serve as a gateway to the stretch. Also on the drawing board for the 1900 block is Hill Country Barbecue which would replace the recently vacated liquor store at 1913 Chestnut Street. On the other end of the block, Jane G’s sleek look welcomes pedestrians from 20th Street’s already booming stretch, that features Village Whiskey, Tinto, Capogiro and Shake Shack.
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Photo by Neal Santos
City Paper’s Caroline Russock reverses roles on local chefs in her “Turning the Tables” series. This week she cooks dinner for George Sabatino and his wife, Jennifer. Russock pulls off citrus-and-herb-roasted pork shoulder and much more. She also gets some good details on Sabatino’s upcoming restaurant, Aldine.
The plan is to offer herbivore and omnivore tasting menus at $55, along with a small a la carte menu and beverage pairings both boozy and non-alcoholic. The set menus will be a series of small bites interspersed with larger plates. He shares a sample menu that he recently demonstrated for investors in New York with elegant and intriguing combinations — spot prawns with fennel and oyster tartare and coconut, granola and white chocolate.
For more on Aldine and dinner at Caroline’s, hop on over to City Paper.
I invited chef George and Jennifer Sabatino for dinner at my place [City Paper]