This summer, both of Joe Cicala‘s Italian restaurants, Le Virtu and Brigantessa, will be celebrating “La Sagra del Peperoncino”–a week-long party dedicated to the love of the Calabrese hot pepper called diavolicchi or “little devil.”
Sure it’s fun to order just what you want off of a restaurant’s menu but sometimes the camaraderie of a shared feast is what you’re really hungering for. That’s when a large format meal at one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants is what you have in mind. So gather up some friends and make reservations for these family-style dinners.
Yup—Le Virtu has a new member of their family—a sheep named Antonella.
Antonella lives on an affiliated farm in Anversa Degli Abrizzi, Italy named La Porta dei Parchi. A lot of Le Virtu’s and Brigantessa’s cheeses come from the cousin of La Porta’s owner, so by adopting Antonella, Le Virtu is financially giving back to the farm.
Plus, you know, they’ve got their own sheep now. Kinda. In Italy. Which is kinda cool
Don’t hear that every day, do you?
Le Virtu [f8b8z]
East Passyunk Avenue is hosting its own restaurant week starting on Sunday, February 21st and running through Saturday, February 27th. The week of deals on Philadelphia’s hottest restaurant stretch come in three flavors. There are $15, $25 and $35 options that are available for lunch/brunch or dinner. Of the 24 restaurants participating six of the restaurants participating are in Philadelphia magazine’s latest 50 Best Restaurants list.
Tomorrow night, Le Virtú will host the traditional outdoor winter festival La Cottora. The festival, which is celebrated annually in Italy’s Abruzzo region, will include food from chef Joe Cicala along with guest chefs Sam Jacobson of Stargazy and Michael Strauss of Taproom on 19th. All of the proceeds from La Cottora will go towards Project H.O.M.E., the non-profit organization that offers housing and assistance to homeless men and women in Philadelphia.
Not sure if I’m just hungrier than last week, or if these food instas just keep getting better and better. But don’t take my word for it… check out the ten best photos from this week (trust me, I scrolled through hundreds).
Le Virtu has always been a kind of physical love letter to Abruzzo. From the food (natch) to the overall aesthetic of the place, it’s always been about transporting diners from here to somewhere else in a way that few other restaurants can really pull off.
And now, they’re taking things a step further with the re-launch of summer movie nights in the garden.
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.
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]