Alicia Vitarelli with Le Virtu with a cameraman and Brigantessa chef Joe Cicala (far right)
Set your DVR: At 1 pm this afternoon, 6ABC Action News anchor Alicia Vitarelli will appear on The Chew, where she’ll take the show’s crew to three local restaurants with family-influenced recipes on the menu. The segment will find her visiting South Street West dessert queen Holly Ricciardi of Magpie, a Jose Garces spot and Joe Cicala of East Passyunk’s Le Virtu and Brigantessa.
Foobooz has more on the actual food they’ll be preparing here.
Vitarelli with Magpie owner Holly Ricciardi (center).
Joe Cicala making his pasta alla mugnaia | Photo by Jason Varney
Le Virtu’s Joe Cicala, Jose Garces and Holly Ricciardi (Magpie) will be on ABC’s The Chew today. Cicala will be showing off his single strand pasta alla mugnaia, while Garces makes a ceviche and Ricciardi bakes her butterscotch bourbon pie.
Tune in at 1 p.m. (or set your DVR) to see the whole crew repping Philly.
The Chew [Official]
Courtesy of South Street Headhouse District
If you’re coming to Philly to check out the Easter parade (or looking to avoid making the trek home to your parent’s house), these restaurants are serving up brunch and dinner for your Easter celebrations.
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Photo by Emily Teel
It’s proving to be a busy month at Le Virtu and Brigantessa, especially for chef Joe Cicala. For the start of the spring season, the two restaurants are hosting a variety of events lasting until April 30th. We already mentioned the Scott Schroeder spuntini takeover happening on April 2, but here’s a round-up of what else is happening at the sister restaurants.
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Photo via Brigantessa
If 15 days of Center City Restaurant Week weren’t enough, you’re in luck: the third annual East Passyunk Restaurant Week is happening, Sunday February 22nd to Saturday February 28th.
28 restaurants have agreed to participate in East Passyunk’s Restaurant Week. Each meal will be 3-courses and priced at $15, $25 or$35. Even if you forget to make your reservations early, following #EPRW on twitter ensures that you’ll hear about last minute cancellations so you can swoop in.
Several restaurants from the Philadelphia magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants are participating, including Fond, Noord, Townsend, Stateside, Will and Le Vitrtu. Newcomers Brigantessa, Bing Bing Dim Sum and P’unk Burger will be participating as well.
East Passyunk Restaurant Week [Official]
Beginning February 2, Le Virtu will offer daily-changing polentas with house-made ragus. The polentas can be served in individual portions as well as family-style for the table to share. The family-style portion must be ordered 24 hours in advance and will cost $15 per person. The ragus the polentas will be served with will change daily reflecting seasonal ingredients and the kitchen’s specialties.
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With the snow apocalypse heading our way, restaurants and bars in Philadelphia are staying open and offering deals and discounts for those adventure seekers. And what’s a better excuse to eat and drink all day than snow? Keep checking back as we update with any more deals.
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Joe Cicala at La Panarda | Photo by Alex Tewfik
Le Virtu’s 2014 La Panarda is finally upon us. The feast will be a momentous 40-course tasting menu inspired by Italy’s Abruzzo region, paired with nine regional wines from Chieti Province’s Cantina Frentana and The Artisan’s Cellar.
Beginning at 12 p.m. on December 14th, guests of La Panarda will enjoy hours of dishes prepared by chef Joe Cicala and a communal atmosphere. Last year’s Panarda proved to be an awesome success, attracting attention from the Washington Post and Italy as well.
The cost of the meal is $275 per person, and requires a deposit by Monday, November 24th to secure a spot. To make a reservation for the feast, call Le Virtu at 215-271-5626.
The 2014 Panarda menu will be announced in the coming weeks.
Check out our post about the epic 2013 Panarda here.
Le Virtu [Foobooz]
To help your summer along, Foobooz plans to give you some recipes by notable chefs and bartenders in Philadelphia. We’re calling it the DIY Down the Shore series, and we’ll be posting them all week. We’re bringing Philly’s dining scene into your summer homes.
Summer is prime grilling time. There’s nothing like coming home from a day on the water, cracking open a few beers and firing up the grill. And if you consider yourself a serious grill master and are looking for your next challenge (or maybe just someone who just wants to attempt something new), Joe Cicala, executive chef at Le Virtù has shared one of his favorite recipes rooted in his family’s Italian heritage. If you’re feeling courageous we encourage you to try your hand at chef Cicala’s Abruzzese-Style Lamb Sausage. You’ll need a meat grinder and an appliance capable of stuffing the sausage, but don’t let the extra equipment scare you. These sausages are well worth the extra elbow grease.
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Brigantessa, Joe Cicala‘s follow up to the excellent work he’s doing down at Le Virtu, has been in the works for some time now. We know that it’s going into the East Passyunk space that formerly held Karina’s, and that the centerpiece of the two-story bar and restaurant will be an imported, wood-fired pizza oven, and that the menu will lean heavily on the cuisine of Southern Italy, with pizzas, house-made pastas, roasted meats and fish and fresh breads being the focus. But other than that, we don’t really know much in the way of specifics.
But that should change when Brigantessa takes its first steps out into the public sphere with a combined pop-up (along with the Pitruco Pizza Truck) on Sunday, June 1st. Cicala just tweeted about it an hour ago, and we’re already excited to see what he has in store.
Joe Cicala [Twitter]