ITV Teams Up With D.C. Chef for a Cocktail-Centric Tasting Menu

ITV/Facebook

Nick Elmi’s ITV is all about inventive bites and high-class cocktails.

So it makes sense that when Elmi and his crew paid a visit to Columbia Room in Washington this past summer, they were inspired by the D.C. restaurant’s practice of building a tasting menu around craft spirits. And on Monday, September 18th, Elmi and Columbia Room head chef Johnny Spero are teaming up to bring the concept to Philly for a one-night pop-up.

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Dear Instagrammers: Don’t Bother Asking Nick Elmi for a Free Meal

Behind the Line is Foobooz’s weekly interview series with the people who make up Philadelphia’s dynamic bar and restaurant scene. Click here for the full archive.

This week’s special Best of Philly-edition of Behind the Line brings us to Nick Elmi, who went from winning Bravo’s Top Chef to having one of the hardest tables to get in Philly: Passyunk Avenue’s Laurel, which we recently named the 2nd best restaurant in Philadelphia. His South Philly bar followup ITV just won Best of Philly for its caviar service. And we can’t wait for his soon-to-open Old City spot. Here, we talk about all that and more. Read more »

Machine Shop Boulangerie Pops Up on East Passyunk

Machine Shop Boulangerie/Facebook

The women of Machine Shop Boulangerie have made flaky pastries exciting again with their flavorful, perfecltly crafted viennoiserie, available at select cafes around the city.

But bakers Katie Lynch and Emily Riddell have just begun dipping their toes in retail this week.

This past Sunday, they held a flash sale at Bok Bar, on the roof of the building where they bake. And this weekend, they’re popping up on East Passyunk with breads and pastries.

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Let’s Be Honest: Soft-Shell Crabs Are Better as Sandwiches

Photo provided by ITV’s Kyle McCormick

There are only two reasons why we get so giddy when soft-shell season comes around, two reasons why we like eating them at all:

  1. Eating soft-shell crabs is a no-fuss way of eating crabs (which is an otherwise very fussy experience with the shell on).
  2. It makes us feel alive.

Digging into them with a fork and knife — really, eating any animal whole like that — is a pretty primal experience in itself.

But let’s take it a step further, shall we? Let’s chomp into them without using any utensils at all. Let’s just stuff them between bread and rip into them like the beasts that we are. We’re at the top of this food chain, so we might as well act like it.

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Here Are 9 Popular Junk Foods Philly Does Better

Puyero/Facebook

Puyero/Facebook

There was a time — long before food blogs existed, long before the rise of cheflebrities — when the world assumed kitchen workers ate like royalty at home — because of course they did. Because chefs are around great ingredients every waking hour of the day, there’s no chance that they go home to peanut butter and jelly.

But when the world got obsessed with food, secrets were spilled. And now we know: the guy who built that 18-course menu with caviar and gold leaf? He probably wen’t home to a lovely spread of instant ramen and Arby’s. And there’s no shame in that. The kitchen is exhausting and junk food is easy. It makes sense.

But that’s where the love affair between chef and junk food begins, and it doesn’t stop there. Here, now, nine junk foods reimagined by some of our city’s best chefs.

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Save Animals and Drink Awesome Beer at ITV

Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi opens ITV next to his Laurel on East Passyunk.

ITV

If you’re a lover of animals and beer, then you should hit up ITV, Nick Elmi’s East Passyunk Avenue bar, on April 14th and 15th. I mean, you should go there that weekend because it’s just a fantastic place to eat and drink, but also because they’re hosting some friends from North Carolina, Sanctuary Brewing Company, brewers of some pretty fantastic craft beer.

So what’s a N.C. brewery doing popping up in Philly anyway?

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The New York Times Wonders Why We All Don’t Live In Philly

vernick

Philadelphia has become like a strange dreamworld for New Yorkers and those other Big City devotees who read (or write for) the New York Times. It’s a place they come to deliberately have their expectations exceeded, to begrudgingly fall for while they’re here and then pine for while away. We are the Westworld of cities at this moment–the place you come to make all your dreams come true.

And also to murder robots.

So today, the Times ran a piece by Robert Draper titled “A Four-Day Feast In Philadelphia.” And alliteration aside, it did exactly what I mentioned above. First, there was the de riguer mention of those same tired cultural touchstones (gritty neighborhoods, soft pretzels and cheesesteaks). Then the sudden “discovery” that there are things here which are like the restaurants in New York, only, you know, not in New York, which seems to always confuse New Yorkers. The fact that these restaurants are good? That this entire city is not peopled entirely with sweatpants-wearing troglodytes gruntingly double-fisting hoagies while squatting around trash fires in the Italian Market like some lost tribe of East Coast cargo cultists? That’s almost too much to take in at first. The shock too extreme.

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Because Every Great Party Needs A Turkey-Shaped Shot Luge…

Such a noble creature...

Such a noble creature…

This showed up in my mailbox over the weekend. An email from Nick Elmi at Laurel and ITV, titled “Wild Turkey from a turkey’s ass.” It begins:

Jason,

I think we have a really great/really stupid idea for Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Since its the “biggest drinking day of the year” and we( I mean us) all need a reason to wind down we figured ITV could do something fun.

What came next was possibly one of the best ideas I’ve heard so far this holiday season.

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Fried Chicken And Donut Pop-Up At ITV

ITV | Photo by Ted Nghiem

ITV | Photo by Ted Nghiem

Here’s some big news for those of you enamored of the intersection between science and junk food. Alex Talbot of Ideas In Food is coming to Nick Elmi’s ITV for a one-night-only pop-up. And he’s bringing his fried chicken and donuts with him.

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