DIY Down the Shore: Nick Elmi’s Traditional (But Not Traditional) Clambake

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Nick Elmi’s BYO, Laurel has captured the appetites of those who frequent East Passyunk’s restaurant scene. And chef Elmi’s Traditional (but not traditional) Clambake needs only his introduction (below) for you to understand that this recipe is indeed very special.

So fire up the grill, gather everyone you know (seriously, this one calls for a party) and get your ingredients together because this weekend seems like the perfect time for a clambake.

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Recapping Open Stove XXII: Happy Almost St. Patrick’s Day

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Open Stove XXII
was on Monday night, and like most of our Open Stove events, the guests got drunk. Not just because of the beer and wine, but because of the shots of Jameson tossed both into the food and down the throats of the patrons and chefs. It was a crazy night of Irish kitchen shenanigans, all in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day. Because we’re well into March, aren’t we? And it just seemed like the right time to start celebrating.
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Nick Elmi on CBS This Morning

Nick Elmi is having quite the 2014 so far. His win on Top Chef became public, his Laurel has been praised by the critics and has just been nominated for a James Beard Award for Top New Restaurant. All of this has made his restaurant impossible to get into. Elmi is preparing to open up June resteverations to Laurel sometime next week.

This past weekend he appeared on CBS This Morning and talked about his start in the kitchen and prepared a  rustic cacciucco dish for the show.

Laurel [Foobooz]

Philly Cooks May Be Your Only Chance At Tasting Nick Elmi’s Food Any Time Soon

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So it’s not like Laurel was easy to get into before chef Nick Elmi was named Top Chef last week. With 22 seats, a five-night-a-week dinner schedule and an already well-known white jacket in the kitchen, it was never going to be a walk-in kind of joint.

But now, with the TV and the fame and everything else, it’s just bonkers. As I’m writing this, Laurel’s Open Table reservation system is down–I assume because it has just plain melted–but last I heard, you were looking at a wait of months for a prime table, and weeks for anything at all. But there is another way…

See, Laurel is one of the restaurants that’s going to be at Philly Cooks this year. And there are still a few tickets left for the big event, happening Wednesday the 19th. So if you’re interested in tasting the food that won Elmi the big prize, this might be your only chance for a good, long time.

Here’s hoping we see you all there.

Philly Cooks Tickets [The Big Event]

Three Bells for Laurel

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Craig LaBan finds that Nick Elmi is doing more than just turning out fantastic plates at his BYOB, Laurel. It appears the chef has also found serenity.

His albacore starter may be the best raw tuna dish in town, firmed ever so slightly in tepid olive oil before being dressed with the delicate sweetness of shaved Asian pears and a powder of frozen horseradish and yuzu “snow” that melted in mouth with a cooling sparkle. A bracing edge of mustard oil, chile-spiked ponzu, and fermented daikon cubes were the perfect foil to assertive Spanish mackerel seared crackly warm on the skin side and sashimi raw on the reverse. A study in Berkshire pork – loin roasted, belly braised, tender shoulder pulled then formed into a patty – was memorable for its elegant necklace of huckleberry, kale, and chestnut sauces.

Three Bells – Excellent

A “Top Chef” champ returns to his roots [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Laurel [Foobooz]

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