The James Beard Awards finalists were announced today. And though Philadelphia had semifinalists in ten categories including nine nominees for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic, few went through to the finals. Brad Spence was the only local nominee to go through for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. Marc Vetri was nominated for Outstanding Chef and his Vetri is a finalist for Best Service.
Philadelphia also picked up a nomination for Outstanding Restaurant Design as Tria Taproom was cited in the 75-seats and under category.
James Beard Award Finalists »
In the March issue of Philadelphia magazine, Vicki Glembocki looks at the state of malls in the area, including the Moorestown Mall. Developers are betting that celebrity chefs like Marc Vetri and Jose Garces can resuscitate malls by offering high-end dining in a landscape of Boscov’s and Sears.
But will customers bite?
Can Wild Boar Save the Suburban Mall? [Philadelphia Magazine]
The latest issue of GQ features Alan Richman’s ranking of the top 25 new restaurants in the country. Right off the bat, his #25 is something of a surprise: Pizzeria Vetri. Here’s what he likes about the crust:
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The 2014 James Beard Foundation Semifinalists have been announced. Local chefs and restaurateurs and restaurants made it to the semifinals in ten categories including Outstanding Restaurant, Fork, and three nominees for Rising Star Chef of the Year, Chris Kearse, Will, Ben Puchowitz, Cheu Noodle Bar and Ben Nerenhausen, Mistral (Princeton, NJ).
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Craig LaBan has tons of praise for Marc Vetri’s Osteria outpost at the Moorestown Mall in New Jersey. Not the least of which is the cheaper wine prices. But other dishes stand out as well.
My ultimate Osteria splurge, though, is the $36 lobster spaghetti, a dish so intensely infused with lobster-ness – the sauce enriched with tomalley and roe, plus a stock fortified with shells – that casual seafood pasta eaters might not love it at first. But with the tender meat from a 11/2-pounder twined up in the al dente strands, a flicker of spice, brandy, and basil lighting the sauce, it was soon impossible to resist. (Plus, it’s no longer available in Philly.)
Three Bells – Excellent
Osteria Moorestown: A Vetri marvel at Jersey mall [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Osteria – Moorestown [Foobooz]
Marc Vetri alerts us to a shameful artifact of his past today, via his Instagram feed.
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Rotolo | Courtney Apple
Trey Popp comes to Pizzeria Vetri with great expectations but too many of the pizzas literally flopped.
The further away I got from the pizza menu, though, the better Pizzeria Vetri got. There are lovely salads: arugula and roasted fingerlings slathered with killer pesto, and a “wood oven” salad that’s a belly-filling medley of corn, chanterelles, blistered green beans and top-drawer ham, studded with ricotta salata. There’s exceptionally fresh-tasting kegged wine from the Gotham Project, and bottled sloe-gin fizzes and Americanos that serve two for $12. The rotolos are instantly the best savory pastry in town: crispy pizza dough coiled Cinnabon-style around mortadella and ricotta, doused with pistachio pesto.
Two Stars – Good
Restaurant Review: The Best Food at Pizzeria Vetri Isn’t the Pizza [Philadelphia Magazine]
Pizzeria Vetri [Official Site]
Pizzeria Vetri’s rotolo has garnered fans right from the moment the Fairmount pizzeria opened. The rotolo is mortadella and ricotta wrapped up in pizza dough and baked in Vetri’s pizza oven. It’s then drizzled with a pistachio pesto and at $3.50 is an absolute bargain.
Watch the GIF »
Adam Erace reviews Marc Vetri’s temple of pizza, Pizzeria Vetri, and comes away impressed.
They all begin with a dough that eschews oil, per Neapolitan doctrine, and cooks up with a crisp crust and soft but structured center. Most follow with an aurora of the bright, tangy tomato sauce, then a collection of toppings, like house-made sausage, mozzarella, roasted fennel and fennel fronds. That pie, the Salsiccia, was great, but I liked the straightforward Margherita even better.
The shiniest new addition to the Vetri Family is turning out serious pies [City Paper]
Pizzeria Vetri [Foobooz]