There’s no end to praise Brian Freedman heaps on Clark Gilbert’s Gemelli on Main.
At his best, Gilbert sends out gems like the mammoth portion of beef cheeks, a gorgeous plateful of shimmering, ink-toned flesh from New York’s renowned Pat LaFrieda. All the earthiness of the meat—sticky and melty and beyond fork-tender—was balanced by deliriously sweet caramelized cippolini. The slick of sauce, the reduced and concentrated braising liquid, served as a perfect vessel for showing off its constituent house-made veal stock. And just when all of this heartiness threatened to overwhelm, the celery-root risotto swept it up to a brighter level.
Craig LaBan checks out Clark Gilbert’s latest stop, Gemelli on Main. The talented chef is on to his tenth restaurant in 16 years, this one along Main Street in Manayunk. LaBan finds it recommendable but has quibbles over price and some other details.
Rabbit legs are slow-cooked confit-style, then whipped into a creamy rillettes to be served like a puck of pâté with lentil salad. A seared duck breast starter – cooked rare and served cool, like roast beef – was shingled like cards over a lively celery root salad. Beef tartare, meanwhile, continuing the cold-meat theme, was glazed in a perfectly mustardy dressing but wasted its most brilliant idea – a cockle salad in curried vinaigrette – by setting it so coyly off to the side that it was nearly lost as an afterthought. I’d return for that dish alone, more boldly blended, especially now that it’s switched to venison.
Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov are selling Xochitl. Friends Peter Leontaras and Demetri Pappas are buying the Mexican bar. This isn’t the first time the Cook+Solo have done something like this. They previously sold Marigold Kitchen to new operators. [The Insider]
Gemelli opened this weekend in Manayunk just in time for the masses who turned out on Main Street for the annual Arts Festival. Owner Clark Gilbert moved Gemelli across the Schuylkill River from Narberth and added a liquor license.
The menu focuses on Italian with some nods to France, particularly Provence. Dinner is served nightly with lunch offered on weekends.
Brian Sirhal (left) & Chef Tim Spinner, co-owners of Cantina Feliz in what will be the outside dining area.
Cantina Feliz gets go-ahead for outdoor dining. The 300 square-foot patio is secluded from traffic and will be surrounded by shrubs, trees, flowers and a picket fence. The area will have seating for twenty and should open in late June.
Ralic’s Steakhouse opens in Haddonfield on June 18th. Hell’s Kitchen contestant Ed Battaglia mans the back of the house. [The Insider]
Main Line Restaurant Guide positively kills us with its guide to butter cake on the Main Line. Gosh, we love this stuff. [Main Line Restaurant Guide]
Marino’s of Mullica Hill will be opening at Mullica Hill Commons in Early May. The “farm to pizza” restaurant will 25-seat restaurant will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner but it will be the thin crust pizzas that will be the stars. [Marino's of Mullica Hill]
Clark Gilbert is selling his Narberth BYO, Gemelli to his friend and fellow chef, John Wolferth. Gilbert isn’t getting at of the restaurant game but instead is crossing the Schuylkill and setting up shop in the former Mango Moon. The new spot will feature a liquor license and a rustic look. The name and concept at Gemelli will change in coming weeks. Got it? Good. [The Insider]
Main Line Today’s checks out Clark Gilbert’s Gemelli in Narberth and has plenty of good things to say about the modest BYOB.
The eveningâ€™s real show-stopper was the appetizer special: rare seared scallops with a shaved fennel salad tossed with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive and lemon oils, and seasoned with shallots, chives and an orange-vanilla reduction. The lightly caramelized scallops were sliced horizontally and arranged atop the fennel, with a shallow pool of reduction nearby.
This Sunday the restaurant will be in Craig LaBan’s sights. How will it do?
Rick Nichols visits Clark Gilbert’s Gemelli and hopes the Italian “with a nod to French” BYOB in Narberth puts down some deep roots.
He is a seasoned chef, under his belt stints at the Four Seasons, Tony Clark’s short-lived Square Bar on Rittenhouse Square, Avalon in West Chester, and the elegant, now-departed Taquet in Wayne.
But he is the first to point out that the menu here, his first truly solo venture, is not the wheel reinvented: He offers a proper Caesar salad (add $2 for white anchovies), and the braised-veal-cheek-and-tuna-tartare classic called vitello tonnato. The salmon rests on ratatouille and puttanesca sauce.