Kevin Sbraga does it with his crews. We do it every month at COOK with our Foobooz Open Stove Nights. And now Vetri is getting in on the culinary face-off action with another cage match dinner at Alla Spina.
Ever notice how for the bold-faced and famous here, Philadelphia’s social scene resembles a high school? The dating pool is shallow, everyone knows everyone else, and a stroll down the hall (or around Rittenhouse Square) can lead to a memory-lane disaster. Maybe that’s why A-list magnet Roseanne Martin’s latest well-to-do beau is an out-of-towner. Smart move, girlfriend — and a departure for Martin and others whose love connections are local, notable and, like, totes complicated.
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This Saturday, March 22nd, the Lemon Society, a young professionals group that supports Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is hosting its third annual Lemon Society Speakeasy. The prohibition-themed mixology event takes place at the Pyramid Club, high atop the BNY Mellon Center at 18th and Market.
Bartenders from across the city will be creating cocktails for the event that will be put to a vote by celebrity judges and all those in attendance.
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.
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 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).
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
Marc Vetri alerts us to a shameful artifact of his past today, via his Instagram feed.
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]