The Gaslight Will Host a Top Chef Viewing Party

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Join Philadelphia cheftestant Jason Cichonski for a Top Chef Finale viewing party at The Gaslight, his recently opened bar in Old City. Root for Laurel’s Nick Elmi as he looks to bring home Philadelphia’s second Top Chef crown (Kevin Sbraga also won Top Chef).

The Gaslight, which has taken the place of the former Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant at 120 Market Street will be offering $5 hot and specialty cocktails as well as craft beer and wine specials from 8 p.m. till the show’s start at 10 p.m., so get there early.

Watch a preview of tonight’s finale » 

Nick Elmi’s Laurel Called “Stellar”

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Brian Freedman reviews Nick Elmi’s Laurel for Philadelphia Weekly. Freedman calls the East Passyunk BYOB “stellar.”

Berkshire pork lavished in its triumvirate of treatments, and each one, from silky slices of belly to roasted loin to a crepinette of braised shoulder meat secreted inside a cocoon of crisped-up brioche enshrouded in caul fat, had me longing for it days later. Dragging one bite through the mashed chestnuts, dunking another into the shimmering huckleberry-kale vinaigrette, and leaving a third one unadorned became an in situ study in the range and vision of this kitchen.

New East Passyunk BYOB Laurel serves brilliantly imaginative seafood [Philadelphia Weekly]
Laurel [Foobooz]

Mark Your Calendars: East Passyunk Restaurant Week Is Coming

east_passyunk_ave_restaurant_week_2014The second annual East Passyunk Restaurant Week will run from Sunday, February 23rd through March 1st, 2014. The week of restaurant deals will include Noord’s Joncarl Lachman and Laurel’s Nicholas Elmi for the first time.

Twenty-four restaurants will participate in total, offering brunch, lunch and dinner menus for $15, $25 and $35. Look for specific menus to start being announced on the official web site on January 29th. Reservations are now being announced.

The participating restaurants »

Top Chef Episode 11 Recap: Tom, Nick Took My Oven…

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Back to school. Back to school. To prove to Tom, that I’m no fool…

But first, Questlove. If you don’t already know, Questlove is the coolest person in the world. Seriously, the old man who doesn’t always drink (shit) beer has nothing on him. He let me judge a cooking competition once, and everybody says that this famous guy or that famous gal is super humble and blah blah blah, but unless they’re talking about Questlove, they’re a bunch of filthy liars. And you shouldn’t lie around Christmas time, because lies make baby Jesus cry. It may also net you a lump of coal in your stocking.

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Top Chef Episode 10 Recap: In The Hall Of The Gnocchi King

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The wind in our sails is at full gale force! Philadelphia is riding high! Additional assorted sailing metaphors to describe Dr. Elmi’s momentum and our enthusiasm for his win last week! The other cheftestants? Whatevs.

But let’s not get ourselves too excited. Although Shirley has all but disappeared from the top and Nina stopped making gnocchi, there’s still a gauntlet of six capable and/or lucky cheftestants to get through before Padma announces Nick as the winner.

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Nick Elmi’s Laurel Opening on East Passyunk

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Top Chef contestant Nick Elmi opens his own restaurant tomorrow, November 5th at 1617 E Passyunk Avenue. Laurel is a 24-seat BYOB that will serve seasonal dishes with a French and American flair.

Elmi has previously been the chef at Rittenhouse Tavern and Le Bec Fin. However, this will be the first time he’s in his own kitchen. Elmi continues to move along on Top Chef New Orleans and his newfound celebrity status can’t hurt his restaurant opening.

The space is the original home to Fond, which moved around the corner last December. Laurel is named for the state flower of Pennsylvania and is one of Elmi’s favorite ingredients.

Check out the photos and opening menu » 

Top Chef Episode 5 Recap: A Musical Interlude

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Happy Halloween! This week we learn that Tom Colicchio was raised by wolves and what Gail and Padma will look like when they get older. Travis Masar‘s dad learns that his son is gay while watching from home (surprise!), and I reintroduce my inability to sing and/or produce music. Without further ado, your first recap in song.

Read more »

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