James Beard Award Finalists Announced

james-beard-semisThe 2015 James Beard Award Finalists were announced this morning. Philadelphia area chefs Marc Vetri, Joe Cicala (Le Virtu), Rich Landau (Vedge), Greg Vernick (Vernick Food + Drink) and Alex Bois (High Street on Market) all moved onto the final in their respective categories.

Vetri is a finalist for Outstanding Chef. He is joined in the category by Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern, NYC; Sean Brock, Husk, Charleston, SC; and Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles.

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Restaurant Review: Lo Spiedo

Photo by Steve Legato

Photo by Steve Legato

It was no surprise that the Navy Yard’s Saturday-night gate guard greeted my car with wry amusement. Given all the restaurants in all the neighborhoods of Philly, who picks one in a deserted office park half a forlorn mile from the nearest SEPTA station? I wish I could have seen him later when a sleek SUV limo rolled up, blinker flashing for Lo Spiedo.

The Vetri Family’s latest restaurant may profit most from its location at lunch, when this resurgent hub teems with some 11,500 workers. But it can also thank Uber, which no doubt delivered many of the customers who filled this stately brick building in after-dark Nowheresville with Center City-level weekend energy. Read more »

James Beard Award Semifinalists Announced

james-beard-semisToday at noon, the James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards.

Abe Fisher and Townsend were Best New Restaurant nominees. Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri got nods for Outstanding Chef and Ellen Yin’s new restaurant group received three nominations. Fork was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant and Alex Bois (High Street on Market) and Jon Nodler (a.kitchen) received rising stars nominations.

The nominees »

Two Bells for Lo Spiedo

Murals by "Distort," the same artist who did the much more wild artwork at Alla Spina.

Craig LaBan reviews the Navy Yard’s Lo Spiedo. LaBan enjoys much of the menu but inconsistencies have him wondering if the South Broad Street restaurant can be the magnet that Marc Vetri’s Osteria is on North Broad.

The meats and seafood are obviously the main event, and each brimmed with a zest of the live-fire.

The spit-roasted octopus, in contrast to the roll, was magnificent undressed on the plate, its long, tender arms kissed with little more than olive oil, lemon and char. The spice-rubbed brisket was also superbly rendered, moist and infused with smoke. But I preferred it as a composed sandwich, chopped on toasted bread with slaw and horseradish, rather than as a lonely hunk in a pan, as it is offered in the entrée section.

Two Bells – Very Good

Lo Spiedo: Go for the wings, stay for the octopus arms [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Lo Spiedo [Foobooz]

Garrett Snider Benefit for Marc Vetri Foundation’s Eatiquette

vetri-marquee

Last week at the Rittenhouse Hotel Garrett Snider and The Garrett Getlin Snider Foundation hosted a benefit to raise awareness for The Vetri Foundation For Children’s Eatiquette program. On hand to explain how the Eatiquette program works was Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin, co-founders of the Vetri Foundation, who told us that the program is one of its newest methods of bringing healthy choices to the school lunchroom. It’s an effort to make kids lunches less an assembly line and more a relaxed eating atmosphere with healthy choices. The program also teaches kids healthy ways to prepare dishes from locally sourced ingredients. Guests were treated to dishes that you might find at the program, as well as specialty drinks that are not on the menu at the school.

Photos from the Garrett Snider Benefit for Marc Vetri’s Eatiquette after the jump »

Lo Spiedo Reviewed

Murals by "Distort," the same artist who did the much more wild artwork at Alla Spina.

Adam Erace has a new favorite Vetri restaurant and it’s Lo Spiedo. The newly opened restaurant at the southern end of Broad Street impresses the City Paper critic with its cocktails, its burger and its pasta. Surprisingly, he isn’t in love with the entrees that come off Lo Spiedo’s namesake spit but he has does have praise for other dishes coming off chef Scott Calhoun’s wood-fired grill.

Scott Calhoun is a stud that deserves as much of the credit as his mentor. I couldn’t quit the Lancaster native’s smoky spit-roasted cabbage in a crock of Gorgonzola fonduta, or the sponge of cornbread soaked in rotisserie drippings. Al dente rigatoni tossed with spit-roasted tomato sauce and ricotta salata had such depth of flavor, I barely believed him when he told me it was vegetarian.

 

Vetri’s latest, Lo Spiedo is firing on all cylinders at the Navy Yard [City Paper]
Lo Spiedo [Foobooz]

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