Scarpetta Opening at the Rittenhouse on September 28

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A couple days ago, we rolled out our Fall Restaurant Preview. In it, we talked about the opening of Scarpetta–the fancy-pants, double-decker modern Italian restaurant coming to the former Smith & Wollensky space at the Rittenhouse Hotel–and said that it was looking to open “in a couple weeks.”

Turns out, our estimate was right on. Because we just got word today that after some test dinners and a full run of friends and family services, Scarpetta will be opening to the public on September 28.

But wait, there’s more…

Le Virtu, Brigantessa Raising Money for Italian Earthquake Relief

ASSOCIATED PRESS

This picture taken on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 shows the crumbling hulk of the Hotel Roma in Amatrice, central Italy, where a strong quake had hit a few hours earlier. Strong aftershocks rattled residents and rescue crews alike Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, as hopes began to dim that firefighters would find any more survivors from Italy’s earthquake. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

With the devastating earthquake that struck central Italy earlier this week, more than 600 restaurants have begun donating €2 euro towards earthquake relief for every plate of the region’s signature dish, Bucatini all’Amatriciana sold.

Closer to home, Francis Cratil Cretarola, Cathy Lee and Joe Cicala are likewise donating money to the relief effort for dishes sold. At Le Virtu, ordering Bucatini all’Amatriciana or Spaghetti alla Gricia (from Grisciano, also badly damaged) will send $3 for Italian earthquake relief. At Brigantessa, Pizza all’Amatriciana will also trigger a donation.

The bucatini for the pasta has been donated by Marcelli Formaggi, the cured guanciale has been donated by Salumificio Cicala and 1732 Meats. The specials will run from now until through the holidays.

Additionally, on Thursday, September 22nd, Le Virtu will host a fundraiser featuring products from Marcelli Formaggi, 1732 Meats, Salumificio Cicala, and others. The restaurant will serve a four-course dinner ($125/person) featuring dishes from Amatrice, Norcia, and Castelluccio, as well as southwestern Marche, all towns and regions that were badly affected by the earthquake. Cookbook author Domenica Marchetti will also be donating books for sale, with all profits being donated to earthquake relief.

Le Virtu
Brigantessa [Foobo0z]

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? »

Two Philadelphia Restaurants Land on Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants List

Pizza Room at Wm. Mulherins Sons | Photo by Matthew Williams

Pizza Room at Wm. Mulherins Sons | Photo by Matthew Williams

Today Bon Appetit rolled out its 50 Best New Restaurants for 2016 and two Philadelphia restaurants make the cut. One might have been expected, the other is a surprise but a mighty deserving one. Slick Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is the expected choice, what with its gorgeous redo of a century old building and with celebrated chef Chris Painter in the kitchen. The magazine praises the pastas and pizza while also remarking on the cocktails coming from the bar.

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Buying Cool: Wm. Mulherin’s Sons Reviewed

Woodfired oven at Wm. Mulherin's Sons | Photo by Michael Persico

Woodfired oven at Wm. Mulherin’s Sons | Photo by Michael Persico

Wm. Mulherin’s Sons is the best-smelling restaurant I’ve been to all year.

It’s pretty, sure. Big, new, shiny, polished, fitted out with rich woods, artisan tile and carefully preserved architectural flourishes. But when you’re playing at this level, who isn’t pretty? Packaging matters. Every crack in the walls, every scuff on the floor or scab of tarnish on metal is as deliberate as the gleam on the walnut tables (as though the trees were grown to no other purpose than to be made into them, arranged in this order). There’s a big new skylight that lets brilliance spill in like water. The bar is long, brick-backed and achingly well stocked. The tall windows don’t rattle when the El snaps past, but you can feel it—roaring like a memory of dinosaurs and catching you right below the heart. This place has the design culture of second-gen hipsterism in its bones.

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Italian BYOB Coming to Main Street in Manayunk

Jacqueline Au and Chef Craig Wilson | Photo by Dallyn Pavey

Jacqueline Au and Chef Craig Wilson | Photo by Dallyn Pavey

Craig Wilson and his fiancee Jacqueline Au who are behind the curiously punctuated Maya.J are preparing to open their second restaurant in Manayunk. Gigi Italian Bistro BYOB is replacing So Crepe at 4357 Main Street. Wilson and Au are promising a cozy feel, like being invited into a mother or grandmother’s home.

The menu will offer pasta, poultry, meat and seafood. The menu will range from $15 to $40.

Check out some photos of the plates »

The Triangle Tavern Celebrates Its 83rd Birthday

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The disco ball will be spinning as the Triangle celebrates its 83rd birthday.

On Friday, May 6th the new Triangle Tavern turned one. And today, the original Triangle Tavern is celebrating its 83rd birthday. In honor of the day, all 83-year olds eat free all day. But even if you aren’t an octogenarian, there are deals to be had.

There will be $8 cocktails, $3 rum punches, a whole roast pig and DJ Kevin Kong playing a little something for everyone, even your 83-year old grandmother.

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First Look: Wm. Mulherin’s Sons

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Potentially edging Charlie Was A Sinner out for most esoteric restaurant name in town is Fishtown newcomer, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons. The restaurant takes its name from the facade of the building itself, a 1890’s whiskey blending and bottling facility just across from the El Bar and the Good Spoon Soupery at Front and Master.

Together, the three businesses are, in fact, dead-on examples of how Fishtown is changing. The El Bar is a long-established stalwart–a proper dive bar with karaoke, live music and cheap beer. Good Spoon Soupery arrived a few years ago, a seasonally-focused food business looking to set up in an area where local entrepreneurs had begun to migrate. Now, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons represents something new; the Fishtown of fresh new condos, glossy live/work spaces, and that particular Mumford & Sons aesthetic of a perfectly worn-in vintage leather jacket. It’s an ethos that matches the old and industrial with the fresh and new already on display in La Colombe’s distillery and cafe and in the very bones of what Kensington Quarters does. Fishtown is so hot with development that it’s only fitting that someone add a wood-fired pizza oven.

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High-Gloss Rustic: A Mano Reviewed

A Mano | Photo by Emily Teel

A Mano | Photo by Emily Teel

In the back, chef Michael Millon is dancing.

Not dancing-dancing (because that would be weird), but that’s what it looks like. He and his crew, the other white jackets working the line at Townsend Wentz’s new BYO, A Mano, turn and weave around each other, reaching and ducking as the floor staff crowds up against the short pass, waiting on plate after plate after plate. It’s formal, this ballet. It only looks like a disaster happening and then re-happening every second, a series of near-misses and almost-collisions. It’s a culinary galliard—chaotic but measured. Practiced. Natural. In reality, it’s just another day at the office.

And at A Mano, it’s loud in the dining room. I’m seated about halfway down the banquette that runs the length of the far wall, so there’s no way I would’ve heard them if they were talking anyway, but I’m watching pretty closely (staring, really), and I don’t even see them speak. Don’t see lips moving or heads turning except in the simplest, most terse nods and single syllables.

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