Eat This Now: Amis’s Bucatini With Jalapeño and Almond Pesto

Bucatini with jalapeño and almond pesto – Amis/Official

Writing about a pasta dish can feel a little silly. It’s pasta. Pasta is pasta is pasta is pasta. It’s dough that gets formed into fun shapes, so as to distract ourselves from crippling existential dread. Like edible Play-Doh for grown ups.

And sure, there’s good pasta (homemade, delicate, tossed with good ingredients) and bad pasta (overcooked and sloppy), but when was the last time you had a bad plate of pasta in Philly? This city has some of the best Italian chefs in the country — it’s borderline impossible to go wrong. Hell, even our non-Italian restaurants do incredible pasta-work (ever have the ravioli at Le Chéri? Kensington Quarters’s smoked guinea hen fusilli?). Making good pasta in Philly isn’t really that impressive anymore. It’s requisite.

Call us spoiled.

So, how did Amis’s bucatini with jalapeño and almond pesto drive me to this? I’m waxing poetic about a pasta dish (in a city of a million great pasta dishes) made with three exceptionally ordinary ingredients — four if you include parmesan — even though I believe glorifying pasta, a dish traditionally enjoyed by both princes and peasants, is pointless.

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Toast the End of Summer With a Pig Roast at Bar Amis

Photo courtesy of Bar Amis

Labor Day weekend — the unofficial end of summer — is upon us, whether we like it or not.

Good thing Bar Amis is here to ease the transition into cooler weather and fall flavors with lots and lots of slow-roasted pork.

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Vetri’s Navy Yard Restaurant Gets a New Name and Concept

Lo Spiedo/Facebook

Lo Spiedo was always a solid enough concept for the Navy Yard. It was a back-to-the-basics approach by the Vetri Family culinary team, where a casual American menu centered itself around the kitchen’s custom-built spit and wood-fired grill. According to co-owner Jeff Benjamin, lunchtime was great for the restaurant — so was happy hour — which makes sense if you consider the 12,000-or-so employees working at the Navy Yard complex.

But when the Vetri higher-ups sat around the boardroom to brainstorm ways to grow its dinner crowd, Brad Spence (the chef-partner behind Amis) proposed a name/concept-change: Bar Amis.

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Amis Is Getting A Second Location

Sal's meatballs at Amis | Photo via Amis

Sal’s meatballs at Amis | Photo via Amis

So word went out this morning that Marc Vetri, Brad Spence and their Urban Outfitters partners were planning a second location for Amis–the successful, Roman-style Italian restaurant on 13th Street that was part of the package of restaurants that Vetri sold to Urban in 2015.

Unfortunately, it’s gonna be a little bit of a drive if you want to check it out because they’re opening it in Westport, Connecticut.

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Iron Chef Throwback at Alla Spina

Photo by Michael Gruber

Alla Spina | Photo by Michael Gruber

Next Thursday, August 18th Alla Spina will be hosting an Iron Chef Throwback Thursday Party.

Marc Vetri, Brad Spence and Jeff Michaud will be recreating the recipes that landed them the Iron Chef win against Michael Symon in 2010. And don’t worry, the winning episode will be playing while they whip up their creations.

What’s on the winning menu? »

Dining Out In Jersey For A Good Cause

MartinezFundBack in August, a car accident killed two kids in Southampton, New Jersey. Two others were injured but survived and have been undergoing treatment and physical therapy ever since. Now, a bunch of the Delaware Valley’s best chefs are getting together to do a fundraiser for the families of the injured kids.

It’s a good deal for you because tickets are running $75 ($150 for VIP which includes early admission and a meet-and-greet reception with the chefs), and the white jackets they have signed on for this are an impressive group. We’re talking Kevin Sbraga, Greg Vernick, Brad Spence and Josh Lawler from our side of the river, plus Tony Sparacio (La Campagnola), Ivan Coppola (Tarantella) and Dory and Joe Valeriano (Summit Catering) from New Jersey.

And all of them will be getting together at Valenzano Winery (1090 Route 206, Shamong, NJ) for a single fundraising event on January 19 at 6:30pm (6pm if you’re a VIP) which will include chef’s tastings, beer and wine, a silent auction and entertainment.

So if you’ve got the green and feel like doing something good with it (while also getting yourself a fine dinner in the process), check out the event. Tickets and more information can be found at the link below.

Dining For Life [Tickets & info]

Behold the 230 Pound Mortadella

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Last year, Brad Spence prepared a 210 pound mortadella for the Vetri Foundation’s Great Chefs Event after party. And since it is the tenth anniversary this year, Spence had to outdo himself.

Pictured to the left is this year’s 230 pound mortadella, enjoying a bath in 500 gallons of Victory beer.

Tickets are still on sale for Tuesday, June 9th’s Great Chefs event, where 40+ chefs will be cooking for two causes— Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Vetri Foundation for Children.

The event expects to raise nearly $1 million and have 1,200 attendees in the Navy Yard.

This year the after party is at Lo Spiedo and in addition to the mammoth mortadella, will feature Questlove DJing and even more food and drink.

The Great Chefs Event runs from 6 pm to 9 pm., the after party starts at 9:30 pm and runs til 2 am.

Get your tickets while you still can. Last we checked there were less than 30 tickets left to the after party.

Great Chefs Event [Vetri Foundation]

Amis Hosts Whole Lamb Dinner

Amis has always been a solid  restaurant—more casual than Vetri, but with a staff that was just as precise and an Italian menu that felt at once less  traditional and more restrained. But what truly elevates the experience here are all the things Amis does that Vetri doesn’t, from simple, comforting tastes like a piece of perfect buffalo mozzarella with black pepper to complicated, epic departures like the Beast of Amis menu—an ever-changing menagerie of whole animals utilized in the nose-to-tail style, always offering something surprising and new.   412 South 13th Street, Midtown Village, 215-732-2647. Photo by Rachel Wisniewski

Photo by Rachel Wisniewski

Lamb is definitely having a bit of a moment here in Philly. There’s the Lamb Shack dinners at Zahav, the lamb menu at Mica last week, and lamb popping up on dinner menus all over town. But here’s a little bit more lamb for those of you who still haven’t had enough.

On Wednesday, February 18, chefs Brad Spence and Ned Maddock of Amis and Katie Parla of the food blog Parla Food will be hosting a whole lamb dinner at Amis Trattoria. While the chefs are cooking, Parla will talk about her time in Rome and discuss the traditional lamb-based fare of the culture.

The event begins at 6:30 pm and will cost $65 per person. Customers can also opt for a beverage pairing for an additional $30. Call 215-732-2647 for reservations. And check out the menu below.

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