Alex Capasso Sets Sights on Rittenhouse

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Over the summer chef Alex Capasso transformed his Blackbird Dining Establishment into Benny’s Burger Joint, a much more casual operation for Haddon Avenue in Collingswood. At the time he promised to bring the food from Blackbird to Philadelphia stating, “Collingswood has been great to me over the years”, says Capasso, ” but I think Blackbird would be best suited in a more urban setting”.

Now according to Michael Klein, Capasso has that urban setting. Capasso is taking over the former C19 at 267 S 19th Street. Look for the still unnamed restaurant to open in January.

Blackbird Is Moving to Philadelphia, New Concept for Collingswood

blackbird_dining_establishment

In an email today, chef Alex Capasso told his customers that he is moving Blackbird Dining Establishment from Collingswood to Philadelphia. Capasso says “Collingswood has been great to me over the years but I think Blackbird would be best suited in a more urban setting”.

Capasso isn’t leaving Collingswood entirely. Benny’s Burger Joint will take over 714 Haddon Avenue and the spaces formerly occupied by Blackbird and Capasso’s other restaurant, West Side Gravy. Benny’s Burger Joint aims to open in late July.

No opening timeframe or location has been revealed for Blackbird on the Philadelphia side of the Delaware. And of course there is that pesky other Blackbird in Philadelphia. The vegan pizzeria.

Blackbird Dining Establishment [Official Site]

Anniversary Deal at Blackbird

Blackbird Dining Establishment in Collingswood is offering a very affordable deal for their four-year anniversary. Now through the end of the month you can get four courses for just $20.11.

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Quick Bites: What We Missed in the Last Week

The former ¡Cuba! in Chestnut Hill will house Chip Roman’s next restaurant. Lacroix alum Jason Cichonski will be in the kitchen. [The Insider]

In Craig LaBan’s weekend review he drops the scoop that the Fork & Barrel team is looking to open a Center City gastropub this spring. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Modo Mio/Paesano’s Peter McAndrew has settled on Monsú for the name of his new Sicilian restaurant at 9th and Christian. He’s aiming to open by January 21st. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Christopher Lee, the former Striped Bass front-man is coming back to Philadelphia and is looking for a spot for his seafood concept. [Meal Ticket]

Alex Capasso’s Blackbird Dining Establishment in Collingswood is moving in with its sibling, West Side Gravy on Haddon Avenue. Blackbird won’t stay empty long though as IndeBlue, Collingswood’s tasty Indian restaurant is moving across the street  to the bigger space. [The Insider]

Rick’s Steaks is leaving the Shops at the Bellevue. Where next hasn’t been reveled.  [The Insider]

Steak Deal at Blackbird

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Beginning today, Blackbird Dining Establishment in Collingswood will be offering a Special Steak Night every Thursday. Get a rib eye, a fresh salad and a choice of two sides for just $18.95 per person.

Tonight dinner comes with a fresh spinach salad and choice of any two of the following sides:

  • Pommes puree
  • Blackbird mac & cheese
  • Creamy herb risotto
  • Buttery English peas
  • Sauteed baby spinach
  • Jersey asparagus

Plus a gelato dessert special can be added for $2.99.

Blackbird Dining Establishment [Official Site]

First Look: Bobby’s Burger Palace

BY JUSTIN PAHL

Bobby Flay needs no introduction. This one-man American food institution is opening Bobby’s Burger Palace, his first Philly restaurant, in UCity today, with a menu of regional toppings to create different burgers. (The sweet potatoes fries are killer, too.) We caught up with him during opening week madness to find out just how much he loves Philly.

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Dispatches From Dave: Inside the Kitchen at Mercato

I particularly enjoy Mercato in the warmer months — outdoor seating and open windows expand the space — and its combination of casual and quality hit the mark. In this video, chef Mackenzie Hilton, working in the tiny, tiny kitchen, takes me through the preparation of calamari with basil pesto and, on the side, a refreshing salad of radicchio, cannellini beans, pepperdew peppers, and scallions.

Blackbird Chef Arrested

The soup nazi was never arrested but the same can’t be said for Blackbird Eating Establishment chef Alex Capasso.

According to Collingswood police captain Richard Sarlo, a dispute took place on Wednesday, October 24th, between Capasso and a group of hungry customers who felt that he had given their table away to another party. A confrontation ensued in front of a packed room of diners, and Sarlo says that Capasso “pushed and shoved” the customers. Eventually, the fight went outside, where, Sarlo says, Capasso punched one of the men in the eye. The man was treated by an ambulance but refused to be taken to the hospital. Police were called, and Capasso was arrested and charged with simple assault.

UPDATE: Here’s the latest from both sides of the altercation. [The Daily Examiner]
EXCLUSIVE: Chef Alex Capasso Arrested for Assaulting a Customer [Daily Examiner]

Blackbird Eating Establishment

Seared Gulf Shrimp
One of Craig LaBan’s favorite young chefs, Alex Capasso is back with his own place, Blackbird Eating Establishment in Collingswood, and it is excellent.

It is the seamless contemporary cooking from Capasso and his longtime kitchen lieutenant, William Connelly, that truly makes Blackbird worth a trip – even with a $3 bridge toll.

Rooted in French and Italian techniques with a few nods to Asia, and using excellent local ingredients, Blackbird’s kitchen delivers some memorable plates. Dinner isn’t cheap, with regular menu entrees ranging into the high $20s. But Capasso also turned out one of the best $30 four-course menus I’ve seen for a recent “farm to fork” event, though I’ll concede I couldn’t resist that menu’s numerous opportunities for upgrades.

Three Bells – Excellent

A welcome homecoming [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Blackbird Eating Establishment [Official Site]

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