Le Virtu, Brigantessa Raising Money for Italian Earthquake Relief


This picture taken on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 shows the crumbling hulk of the Hotel Roma in Amatrice, central Italy, where a strong quake had hit a few hours earlier. Strong aftershocks rattled residents and rescue crews alike Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, as hopes began to dim that firefighters would find any more survivors from Italy’s earthquake. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

With the devastating earthquake that struck central Italy earlier this week, more than 600 restaurants have begun donating €2 euro towards earthquake relief for every plate of the region’s signature dish, Bucatini all’Amatriciana sold.

Closer to home, Francis Cratil Cretarola, Cathy Lee and Joe Cicala are likewise donating money to the relief effort for dishes sold. At Le Virtu, ordering Bucatini all’Amatriciana or Spaghetti alla Gricia (from Grisciano, also badly damaged) will send $3 for Italian earthquake relief. At Brigantessa, Pizza all’Amatriciana will also trigger a donation.

The bucatini for the pasta has been donated by Marcelli Formaggi, the cured guanciale has been donated by Salumificio Cicala and 1732 Meats. The specials will run from now until through the holidays.

Additionally, on Thursday, September 22nd, Le Virtu will host a fundraiser featuring products from Marcelli Formaggi, 1732 Meats, Salumificio Cicala, and others. The restaurant will serve a four-course dinner ($125/person) featuring dishes from Amatrice, Norcia, and Castelluccio, as well as southwestern Marche, all towns and regions that were badly affected by the earthquake. Cookbook author Domenica Marchetti will also be donating books for sale, with all profits being donated to earthquake relief.

Le Virtu
Brigantessa [Foobo0z]

Le Virtu And Brigantessa Are Bringing The Heat In July

Joe Cicala at La Panarda | Photo by Alex Tewfik

Joe Cicala at La Panarda | Photo by Alex Tewfik

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.”

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Dinners for You and All Your Friends: Feasts Worth Planning Ahead For

The Dump Dinner at Oyster House

The Dump Dinner at Oyster House

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.

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Le Virtu Adopted A Sheep (And She’s Really Cute)

antonella le virtu sheep 400

This is Antonella–who is NOT an eating sheep (apparently).

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 Restaurant Week Highlights

east passyunk restaurant week 940East 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.

Restaurant Week Highlights »

Le Virtú Celebrating La Cottora Festival


Tomorrow night, Le Virtú will host the traditional outdoor winter festival La CottoraThe 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.

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Summer Movie Nights At Le Virtu


New movie screen at Le Virtu


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.

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6ABC’s Alicia Vitarelli to Spotlight 3 Philly Restaurants on The Chew


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).


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