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).
Trey Popp finds that Marcie Turney has breathed new life into red-gravy Italian at Little Nonna’s.
Just to be safe, though, order the polenta and meatballs to share; Turney packs her cornmeal with enough cream, taleggio, fontina and parmesan to put the most shameless cheese grits to shame. And you’ll want to have room at dinner’s far end for pastry chef Sara May’s spumoni, which ditches the usual neon palette in favor of a moody sundae richly muddled with roasted cherries, chocolate pizzelles and pistachio-olive oil.
Three Stars – Excellent
Restaurant Review: Next-Level Comfort Food at Little Nonna’s [Philadelphia Magazine]
Little Nonna’s [Foobooz]
Little Nonna’s is now serving lunch Monday through Saturday. Enjoy Marcie Turney’s take on Italian-American cuisine. Check out the menu of salads, sandwiches, macaroni dishes and more.
Little Nonna’s, the red-gravy restaurant from Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran opens to the public tonight and we’ve got the menus. So check out what you’ll be eating, from “Big Mama’s Meatballs” to Grilled Swordfish Oreganata.
Reservations are available by calling 215-546-2100.
Little Nonna’s [Official Site]
Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran have set September 4th as the opening date for their “red-sauce” inspired Little Nonna’s. This is the fourth restaurant and seventh business along 13th Street for the pair. Little Nonna’s will seat 37, forty more seats will be available in the outdoor courtyard and will focus on the strong traditions of Italian-American cooking. Look for satisfying staples of “Sunday gravy” and homemade meatballs. Chef Turney even plans to add to her menu by inviting guests to share their own signature dishes via recipe cards on each table. Turney will choose her favorites to feature on the menu.
In addition to the traditional Italian-American classics, look for an all Italian wine list and Italian cocktails including the iconic Negroni. Little Nonna’s version will be served in a mason jar with one big block of ice. We’ll have the full menu early next week.
Lolita is now officially closed for renovations and the restaurant is selling its chairs, glasses and plates. In addition to the bargain furnishings and tableware from Lolita, Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran will also be offering 50% off items from Verde and Open House.
The sale starts at noon and runs till 6:30 p.m.
Lolita will be open through Saturday, August 24th before closing for major renovations.
The Mexican restaurant from Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran has been a mainstay on 13th for ten years. Now as the restaurant enters its second decade, it will reopen with a new direction.
A new menu will be inspired by Mexican street food. Think tacos, tortas, tamales and even items that don’t begin with the letter “T.” And before everyone freaks out, the carne asada will stay on the menu.
The new Lolita will also include a liquor license and small bar. As you might guess, margaritas will be a major part of the new drink menu.
This Friday, Marcie Turney will be debuting Budino Frozen Pops at the Marcie Blaine Chocolate counter at Verde. Based on the amazing budino dessert at Barbuzzo, the budino frozen pop will feature the same creamy caramel pudding, frozen around a core of salted caramel and dark chocolate cookie crumbs, dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt.
The treats will only be available during August and within a small time frame. Budino pops will only be available at Verde on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. So plan accordingly.
Barbuzzo has sold more than 75,000 budino since opening in September, 2010 and received accolades in Bon Appetit and Philadelphia magazine.
Photo by Jason Varney
Clear your schedules for Monday, August 12 (and probably the morning after, too) because for one night only, from 10pm ’til 1am, Lee from Hop Sing is going to descend on Marcie Turney and Val Safran’s Jamonera for a party.
Hop Sing will be doing the cocktails (natch) and Turney’s kitchen crew will be doing “Marcie’s late night staff snacks” for all in attendance. The price tag is modest with bar snacks going for just $5, cocktails running $10 each (which, if you know the kind of liquor Lee slings, is just ridiculously cheap) and wine, sangria and beers going for $5, $4 and $3, respectively.
What else do we know? No gate. No dress code. And no photos, so leave the cell phones in your pockets.
But hey, this will probably be more fun than anyone should be allowed to have on a Monday so maybe photographic evidence might not be the best idea anyhow…
Little Nonna’s–Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney‘s Midtown Village ode to the classic red sauce neighborhood Italian ristorante–is scheduled to open the doors this August. But because they’re smart, they’ve been teasing us all throughout the construction and testing process with photos and stories about how things are coming together.
Now, though, they’ve gone one step further. They’ve produced a nice little video which gives a feel for the place, the food, the drinks and, most important, the vibe of their little 37-seater.
Think of it like a trailer–a preview of what’s to come. And tell me that watching it doesn’t make you crave a bottle of lambrusco, a plate of spaghetti and a warm evening to spend with them.