James Beard Semifinalists Announced

James Beard Foundation AwardsToday the James Beard Foundation announced semifinalists for its 2010 awards. The Oscars of the restaurant industry are a big deal and Philadelphia is well represented in all categories.

It’s a family affair for David Gilberg and Carla Goncalves as Gilberg is nominated for Rising Star Chef and his wife Carla is up for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Gilberg is also up for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic and their Koo Zee Doo is in the mix for Best New Restaurant.

Check out the rest of the local nominees after the jump including the 7 local chefs nominated for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic.

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Rustic Goodness at Koo Zee Doo

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Adam Erace visits Koo Zee Doo and even though it seems like much of what he liked is now off the menu, he’ll be returning to give David Gilberg’s take on Portuguese cooking another go-around.

Called farinheira, these clouds of smoked pork fat and wheat flour brought to mind the dumplings in chicken ’n’ dumplings, only with a piggy, Portuguese accent. The vegetables in the cozido rocked too: starchy Yukon Gold potatoes from Green Meadow Farm, tender collards and cabbage and a grab bag of sweet root vegetables.

Koo Zee Doo [Philadelphia Weekly]
Koo Zee Doo [Official Site]

Koo Zee Doo Gets Praise

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It’s pure Portuguese soul at Northern Liberties’ Koo Zee Doo.

[T]his is the first kitchen I’ve experienced in the States to elevate the authentic flavors of Portugal to another level. Some dishes might be familiar to those who have explored the pork-and-clam pots of the Portuguese cantinas in Northeast Philly and Riverside.

But [Carla] Gonçalves’ husband and partner, chef David Gilberg, 30, who did decent enough work in previous posts at the Ugly American and the opening of Coquette, has clearly stepped up his game to a higher level of inspiration. An apt comparison, perhaps, is what Konstantinos Pitsillides has done for traditional Cypriot flavors at Kanella.

Three Bells – Excellent

Koo Zee Doo [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Koo Zee Doo [Official Site]

Big & Beautiful at Koo Zee Doo

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Trey Popp finds the antithesis of the small plate phenomenon at Koo Zee Doo in Northern Liberties.

[T]here was no improving on the steak. The blistered culotte, a cut from the top sirloin cap renowned more for flavor than texture, was surprisingly tender all the way through. Plus fried eggs, broccoli rabe and potato coins fried in canola oil — whose crispiness proved that duck fat isn’t always the best medium. And those entrées in particular are plenty big for two, a great value at about $13 per person.

At Large [City Paper]
Koo Zee Doo [Official Site]

Soup’s Hot

koo_zee_dooGrub Street has a slideshow of some new soups that you can find around town. Our innards are warming already.

Among those that most intrigue:

  • Warm Asian Pear Cider soup at Fond
  • Lobster Chili at fish
  • English Onion Soup at Pub & Kitchen
  • Caldo Verde at Koo Zee Doo

Stew Over This: What’s New in Soup This Season? [Grub Street]

Koo Zee Doo Delivers Portuguese

koozeedooLari Robling has a better Northern Liberties experience than Craig LaBan did at Kong when she visits Koo Zee Doo, a Portuguese BYOB.

With its emphasis on sausage and seafood, Portuguese cuisine isn’t known for being vegetarian-friendly, but Gilberg does manage to make this soup vegetarian as well as offer a fried corn porridge with fennel, fava and green beans that is vegan.

Me, I’m going for as much of the chorizo sausages that Gilberg can get from his source in Newark, N.J. He gets many products from Portugal – such as the olive oil and sea salt – but the meats are as authentic, fresh and sustainable as he can get.

Northern Liberties Koo Zee Doo BYOB offers Portuguese cuisine [Philadelphia Daily News]
Koo Zee Doo [Official Site]

Tale of the Tape: Koo Zee Doo

koo zee dooKoo Zee Doo has opened on 2nd Street between Spring Garden and Fairmount. The BYOB is named for the phonetic spelling of cozida a Portuguesa, a traditional Portuguese stew. The menu will of course be Portuguese and feature small bites, soups, salads, family style specialties and a section dedicated to grilled meats.
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Quick Bites: Menu Preview Edition

The fondly regarded triumvirate of Fond are preparing to open before the end of August. Meal Ticket has their menu. [Meal Ticket]

Michael Klein has an early look at the forthcoming Parker’s Prime from Win Signature Restaurants. The Newtown Square steakhouse and more is aiming for a Sept. 1 opening. [The Insider]

Peek-a-boo! Grub Street gets a sneak peek of Resurrection Ale House’s menu. [Grub Street]

Koo Zee Doo, it’s the phonetic spelling of cozido a Portuguesa, it’s also the name of David Gilberg’s and wife Carla Goncalves’s new Northern Liberties BYOB. [The Insider]

Mezza Luna plans to open in its new space today for dinner. Why did they move? Well two Common Pleas Court filings might shed some light. [The Insider]

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