Paradiso Celebrates Ten Years

 

paradiso-dining-room-940Paradiso was one of the pioneers on East Passyunk that launched the stretch into the dining destination that it is today. And the Italian restaurant and wine bar is celebrating a decade in existence with ten events throughout the year.

It all starts tonight with Drinking Italy: Wines of Piedmont. Chef/Restaurateur and soon-to-be sommelier Lynn Rinaldi will be joined by Artisan Wine reps and will be pouring three wines from Piedmont. The three full pours will be complemented by three house-cured meats and artisan cheeses. The combination is just $20.10 and kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

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Sunday Wine Dinner at Il Pittore

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On Sunday, March 9th, Il Pittore will be presenting a special five-course wine dinner with exclusive pairings from c. Pira & Figli WineryChef Chris Painter has created a special menu for the dinner, with each course tailored to pair each wine served. Winemaker Chiara Boschis will be on hand to walk guests through each selection.

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Rare Pasta Series At Le Virtu (Yeah, We Said ‘Rare Pasta’)

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‘Rare’ as in ‘uncommon’. As in ‘not-just-another-plate-of-spaghetti-and-goddamn-meatballs’. Rare as in frascarell (a kind of Abruzze cous cous) and culurgiones from Sardinia–stuff that, even in this pasta-mad city, isn’t seen often or at all.

Chef Joe Cicala is doing his weirdo pasta all through the spring, starting tonight with something that’s always been on his menu–the Maccheroni alla Mugnaia. Hand-made and with noodles stretching up to 60 feet long, it’s served with olive oil, grated pecorino, a basket of chiles and a pair of scissors. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t already heard about the stuff (or if my description of it just confused you), have no fear. There’s a video of Cicala learning how to make it at Ristorante La Bilancia in Loreto Aprutino, Abruzzo. Check it out after the jump.

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Little Nonna’s in the New York Times

Spaghetti and meatballs at Little Nonna's | Photo by Jason Varney

Spaghetti and meatballs at Little Nonna’s | Photo by Jason Varney

Ingrid Williams visits Little Nonna’s for the New York Times. The only flaw she finds is in the pricy wine list.

[O]n a chilly evening in November, I couldn’t resist the Sunday gravy. A heaping portion of “gravy” (marinara made with San Marzano tomatoes) and paccheri (the macaroni of the day) arrived on one platter, and on another were assorted meats — pork braciole, spicy fennel sausage, meatballs stuffed with fontina. Other memorable dishes deviated from the traditional tried and true, like bruschetta with roasted figs, Gorgonzola dolce, celery hearts and crunchy hazelnuts. And a standout pasta dish featured braised duck, pecorino and turnips atop chestnut ravioli stuffed with roasted heirloom squash.

Restaurant Report: Little Nonna’s in Philadelphia [New York Times]
Little Nonna’s [Foobooz]

Townsend Wentz Opening a Fairmount BYOB

townsend-wentz-400Townsend Wentz, who already is working on taking over the former Sophia’s one East Passyunk is also looking to open an Italian BYOB at 23rd and Fairmount. Wentz is appearing in front of the Spring Garden Civic Association meeting today at 4:30 p.m. at 19th and North. Wentz is hoping to see some familiar faces at the meeting who may have enjoyed his food at McCrossen’s, where he was the chef until recently.

More Townsend Wentz news »

Industry Night Is a Go at Amis

rigatoni-amis-squareTonight Joe Cicala of Le Virtu is joining forces with Amis for the Vetri Family’s monthly industry night. The industry night is at Amis this month and will feature lots of offal from Cicala and Brad Spence.

As always, the fun starts at 10 p.m. with free food and discounted drinks. Be ready to present proof of hospitality industry employment  at the door.

Amis [Foobooz]

Capogiro Gets Zoning Approval for Old City Cafe

capogiro-940Yesterday, Capogiro won zoning approval for their proposed cafe in Old City. The cafe will be on the first floor of 233 Chestnut Street, next to the Independence Park Hotel. The new cafe (which might be called Capofitto) will have a bar and of course, gelato.

Earlier, Michael Klein reported that the space will have a wood-fired oven and food inspired by owners’ regular trips to Italy.

Capogiro [Official]

 

Le Virtu’s La Panarda in the Washington Post

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The Washington Post was at the 40-course La Panarda dinner at Le Virtu. Check out Domenica Marchetti’s recap of chef Joe Cicala’s epic feast.

La Panarda is indeed a marathon, but not the eat-all-you-can-as-fast-as-you-can kind that you find at county fairs or see on bad food TV. The feast is a centuries-old tradition steeped in cultural and religious significance, and in lore. It still takes place in some Abruzzo villages, especially in the mountains, where winters can be bitter and where a celebratory meal that requires days of preparation goes a long way toward providing purpose, not to mention comfort.

For more on La Panarda, check out our recap of the 2012 Dinner At Le Virtù.

La Panarda: Philadelphia restaurant hosts an age-old feast that’s a marathon, not a race [Washington Post]

Karina’s Gets a New Address

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Karina’s, which is making way for Brigantessa, the new concept from the Le Virtu crew, on East Passyunk isn’t moving far. The longtime South Philly Italian BYOB will be opening next to door to Fond at 1535 South 11th Street.

Karina’s is open for the time being and is looking to a March opening at the new location.

Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation [Facebook]

Brigantessa, a New Concept from Le Virtu

brigantessaThe Le Virtu crew of Francis Cratil Cretarola, Catherine Lee and Joe Cicala are opening their second restaurant on East Passyunk. Brigantessa will be a moderately-priced Italian dining spots focusing on pizza and the cuisine of southern Italy. The restaurant will replace Karina’s at 1520 E Passyunk.

At a presentation last night to neighbors at Le Virtu, the team revealed their plans for the restaurant that will combine a wood-fired pizzeria with an enoteca and birreria.

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