The 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 »
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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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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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 »
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.
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Much like a skilled chef packing 10 pounds of flavor into a 5 pound dish, a skilled TV editor can make an hour’s worth of television feel like binge watching that show about the blue meth and the high school chemistry teacher and the kid that says “Yeah, bitch!” and some Mexicans and some Nazis and, well, you get the idea.
This week’s Top Chef (a traditional Quickfire-to-Whole Foods-to Elimination format we’ve all grown to love) was as thick as the roux that some of the cheftetants made for the gumbo challenge–an introductory Quickfire which serves to remind us as gently as a shovel to the back of the head that these guys are in New Orleans and that things down in New Orleans are different.
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Just a quick reminder, folks. The new season of Top Chef debuts tonight, featuring two of Philly’s finest: Nick Elmi and Jason Cichonski.
Do we know anything yet for sure? No, we don’t. But we’ve seen the same promo videos you have, and it looks like Cichonski is getting a lot of screen time while Elmi is getting…less. One thing we’re pretty sure of, though, is that both guys make it past round one.
So set your DVR’s or do whatever it is you do. The fun starts tonight at 10pm on Bravo. And be sure to check back here tomorrow afternoon when we’ll have an exhaustive recap of the first episode, done by none other than Fidel Gastro himself.
All Top Chef Coverage [f8b8z]
Bravo’s Top Chef returns on Wednesday, October 2nd. Season 11 is based in New Orleans and includes local chefs Nick Elmi and Jason Cichonski. In the first episode the chefs must prepare a soiree in the swamp. In the sneak peek, Cichonski finishes early and harrasses a still working Elmi.
Top Chef [Bravo TV]
The writing has been the wall at Rittenhouse Tavern for quite some time. When Nick Elmi announced he was leaving the attractive restaurant tucked into the Art Alliance, he told Michael Klein that Restaurant Associates (Rittenhouse Tavern’s corporate overlord) had offered him the opportunity to take over the business. Elmi declined and the restaurant continued to operate through the summer. Last week, Eater reported that it was hearing solid reports that the restaurant would close in late September or early October.
A look at OpenTable today shows that the last reservations available after Saturday, September 28th.
Meanwhile if you are looking to eat Elmi’s food again, you’ll have to wait till November when he opens Laurel on East Passyunk. Elmi will also be competing on Top Chef New Orleans which debuts on Wednesday, October 2nd.
Photo by Jason Varney