Lo Spiedo Reviewed

Murals by "Distort," the same artist who did the much more wild artwork at Alla Spina.

Adam Erace has a new favorite Vetri restaurant and it’s Lo Spiedo. The newly opened restaurant at the southern end of Broad Street impresses the City Paper critic with its cocktails, its burger and its pasta. Surprisingly, he isn’t in love with the entrees that come off Lo Spiedo’s namesake spit but he has does have praise for other dishes coming off chef Scott Calhoun’s wood-fired grill.

Scott Calhoun is a stud that deserves as much of the credit as his mentor. I couldn’t quit the Lancaster native’s smoky spit-roasted cabbage in a crock of Gorgonzola fonduta, or the sponge of cornbread soaked in rotisserie drippings. Al dente rigatoni tossed with spit-roasted tomato sauce and ricotta salata had such depth of flavor, I barely believed him when he told me it was vegetarian.

 

Vetri’s latest, Lo Spiedo is firing on all cylinders at the Navy Yard [City Paper]
Lo Spiedo [Foobooz]

Palladino’s To Open Thursday on East Passyunk

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Whole Roasted Fish (in “crazy water”)

Chef Luke Palladino has made a name for himself at the Jersey shore and he is now opening on Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. The former Columbo’s at 1934 E Passyunk Avenue has been transformed from a sandwich joint to Palladino’s, an upscale Italian restaurant with bar, open kitchen and 80-seats inside. The location, visible from Broad Street also makes the restaurant a gateway to East Passyunk. An opportunity, Palladino’s has taken advantage of with its striking striped exterior and large vertical sign. The opening is set for Thursday, December 18th and reservations are now available.

Inside, Palladino’s has a large bar with windows that will swing open to the avenue in nice weather, an open kitchen (also visible from the street) and a dining room with padded walls, banquettes and dark wood. A collection of striking Fornasetti plates hangs vertically at the entrance to the dining area.

The kitchen features a wood-fired grill as well as an Italian oven that will be used exclusively to bake focaccia. The extensive menu will consist of seasonal Italian cuisine, wood-fired steaks, chops, seafood and handcrafted pasta.

Photos and the full menu » 

The Gastronaut: Hey Santa …

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

Illustration by Kagan McLeod

Dear Santa,

First things first, I have to thank you for being so good to Philadelphia since the last time I wrote you. I asked for a lot of things on behalf of the city last year — outdoor drinking and BYOs and soup and more delivery options — and you came through in spades.

This year, my requests for Philly are a little bit darker. Rather than asking for things we need, I’m asking for things to go away. This is mostly because we’ve had such a good year already, and because our neighborhoods are so full of amazing restaurants and chefs doing the best work of their careers. Hard as it might be to say, what Philly is due for is a cull. To keep the scene healthy. And Santa, sometimes hard choices need to be made.

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Where We’re Eating: Martorano’s

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In a region overrun with Italian restaurants, this trendy goombah-and-gravy joint from Philly expat and Florida/Vegas restaurateur Steve Martorano is one of the best and most fun, even if it is majorly gimmicky. You won’t find anything here that needs explanation. The Famous Meatball & Salad is exactly what it sounds like. There’s chicken cutlet parmigiana, spaghetti pescatore and Sunday gravy. It’s like dinner at your grandma’s, only with tight-dressed hostesses, Italian gangster movies on the flat-screens, a maître d’ who’ll jokingly tell you you’ll be sleeping with the fishes if you don’t watch it, and a bumping, liquor-fueled dance party that erupts late in the evenings and on weekends. So, actually, not really like dinner at Grandma’s at all, unless we had very different grandmas.

Details »

Chris Scarduzio Opens Teca in Newtown Square

Teca opened last night at 191 Newtown Street in Newtown Square. It is the second Teca, the original is in West Chester. At the helm is Chris Scarduzio who came on board after receiving a call from his friend Alberto Guadagnini.

It is Scarduzio’s lone restaurant as the chef winds down Mia in Atlantic City and walked away from his East Passyunk project.

Teca will feature an extensive menu with Neapolitan pizzas and contemporary Italian dishes. Check out a few photos from the opening night, and take a peek at the Teca Newtown Square menu.

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Paradiso Celebrates 10 Years with All-Star Chef Dinner

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East Passyunk Avenue’s Paradiso Restaurant and Wine Bar is turning ten and they’re going all out. To celebrate, the restaurant will be hosting a 10-course dinner with the top chefs of East Passyunk working alongside Paradiso’s Lynn Rinaldi.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. on December 1st and is priced at $125 per person – a really crazy deal when you realize that Lynn Rinaldi, Will BYOB‘s Chris Kearse, Laurel‘s Nicholas Elmi, Palladino‘s Luke Palladino, Tre Scalini‘s Franca DiRenzi, Noord’s Joncarl Lachman, Townsend‘s Townsend Wentz, Fond’s Lee Styer, Izumi‘s Corey Baver, and Belle Cakery‘s Jesse Prawlucki-Styer will all be cooking for you in one place, on one awesome night.

Oh, and we have the full menu, too

Le Virtu’s 40-Course Dinner Is Upon Us

Joe Cicala at La Panarda | Photo by Alex Tewfik

Joe Cicala at La Panarda | Photo by Alex Tewfik

Le Virtu’s 2014 La Panarda is finally upon us. The feast will be a momentous 40-course tasting menu inspired by Italy’s Abruzzo region, paired with nine regional wines from Chieti Province’s Cantina Frentana and The Artisan’s Cellar.

Beginning at 12 p.m. on December 14th, guests of La Panarda will enjoy hours of dishes prepared by chef Joe Cicala and a communal atmosphere. Last year’s Panarda proved to be an awesome success, attracting attention from the Washington Post and Italy as well.

The cost of the meal is $275 per person, and requires a deposit by Monday, November 24th to secure a spot. To make a reservation for the feast, call Le Virtu at 215-271-5626.

The 2014 Panarda menu will be announced in the coming weeks.

Check out our post about the epic 2013 Panarda here.

Le Virtu [Foobooz]

Tale of the Tape: Lo Spiedo

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Marc Vetri’s seventh restaurant, Lo Spiedo officially opens today. Located just inside the gates at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, Lo Spiedo aims to be a lunch option for the Navy Yard’s 11,000 plus employees as well as a dinner destination for Philadelphia diners.

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