Craving an extra-special cheesesteak? Good news: Marc Vetri is back at Pat’s King of Steaks for lunch this Thursday, May 25, putting his signature touch on the classic steak and raising money for a good cause.
First, he taught us how to master pasta in our own kitchens. Now, Marc Vetri is taking on a new challenge — teaching home cooks to make Pizzeria Vetri-worthy pies at home — with his Mastering Pizza cookbook, due out in 2018.
But right now, Vetri is working on research and development for the book: visiting Italy to seek out new inspiration and techniques, testing recipes, and seeing what eaters think. Following an impromptu R&D session at Washington, D.C.’s Pizzeria Vetri last month, he’ll be hanging out, sharing stories, and making pies at his eponymous pizza chain’s Art Museum location here in Philly on May 10th.
Marc Vetri‘s experiment in square pizzas–thick-crust, Roman-style pizza al taglio–lasted about six months. Opening in October in conjunction with the Urban Outfitters (who owns the brand now) at King of Prussia Mall, the KOP pizza shop offered quick-serve pies and a whole menu of the popular rotolo (plus salads and desserts), but people just never seemed to get excited about the place. A lot of them, actually, seemed just plain mystified as to why this suburban location was so much different than the other two Pizzeria Vetri locations–the ones with the regular old round pizzas.
Well, guess what? Pizzeria Vetri Square Pie is closed now. And it’s going to stay that way until the beginning of April when it will re-open under the non-square Pizzeria Vetri brand.
People are already pretty happy about that. Here’s what Vetri himself had to say.
Last year, Marc Vetri decided to open up the Vetri books to the city’s lunch clique. Initially, it was a three-month stint — a first for the then-18-year-old restaurant — and it would happen on the first Friday of each month for $85 a person. Of course, it sold out immediately.
So for the past nine months, he made lunch a monthly event, but, still, the people wanted more. So, starting next month, lunch at 1312 Spruce Street will become a weekly affair.
So word went out this morning that Marc Vetri, Brad Spence and their Urban Outfitters partners were planning a second location for Amis–the successful, Roman-style Italian restaurant on 13th Street that was part of the package of restaurants that Vetri sold to Urban in 2015.
Unfortunately, it’s gonna be a little bit of a drive if you want to check it out because they’re opening it in Westport, Connecticut.
Next Thursday, August 18th Alla Spina will be hosting an Iron Chef Throwback Thursday Party.
Marc Vetri, Brad Spence and Jeff Michaud will be recreating the recipes that landed them the Iron Chef win against Michael Symon in 2010. And don’t worry, the winning episode will be playing while they whip up their creations.
Things are changing at Pizzeria Vetri.
Most importantly, their new seasonal specials have appeared for the summer. At the Rittenhouse location you can score the new Mais e Funghi pizza a Neapolitan pie with a corn crema base topped with charred corn and maitake mushrooms tossed in sherry vinegar, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, then finished with fresh herbs.. And at the Fairmount location you will find the Pomodoro with baby heirloom tomatoes, burrata, and basil. Get them while they’re hot, both locations will release new specials when fall rolls around.
Very early this morning, The Insider dropped the news that Marc Vetri–after years of being pestered by his fans–would open his namesake restaurant (which remains one of the best in the city) for lunch.
Not every day, of course. Not even on most days. But for three days: The first Friday of the month for the next three months.
Can a restaurant fight hunger and build community at the same time?
The answer to this question would seem obvious. A restaurant serves food, so of course it fights hunger. And it brings people in from outside to dine, often frequently, so it can become a community hub as well.
But throw in food insecurity, and broaden that community to include poor people struggling with that issue, and the answer becomes much less obvious. A typical restaurant isn’t set up to accommodate the truly hungry, nor can it handle those who may not be able to afford the cost of a meal.
The EAT Cafe on Lancaster Avenue, set to open this spring, isn’t a typical restaurant. Instead, it’s the first example in Philly of a model that tackles that other form of hunger-fighting and community-building, one that has popped up in more than 100 cities across the country.
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