Less than a week after it was awarded the number four spot on Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurants list, Palizzi Social Club has announced via Instagram that it is not accepting any new members for the time being.
So here we are. Yet another Monday morning. And if you’ve found your way here, it’s probably because you want to see why everyone is talking about “sheet caking,” how beer can make you smarter, or what the 10 best new restaurants in America are (according to Bon Appetit).
Or maybe you’re just here to see how Millennials have saved us from the scourge of Hooters and Applebees with nothing but the power of their disdain. Yeah, let’s start with that.
Okay, so this has been a long week for everyone. But the weekend is coming, so I think it’s on us to try to take a breath, shake it off, and find some way to make the best of things. Call some friends, some family, get together with your neighbors, and then get out in the world and live a little.
Here are a few new, notable or awesome places you might want to consider.
Did you hear it? That resounding “well DUH” that echoed around the city a little while ago? That was the Philly restaurant scene reacting to Bon Appétit’s announcement that Palizzi Social Club is one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country — number four, to be exact.
This morning, Andrew Knowlton and Julia Kramer from Bon Appétit dropped their list of 50 finalists for their 2017 America’s Best New Restaurants list. It’s divided by region, covering everything from the obvious (Brooklyn, Brooklyn and Brooklyn) to the more out of the way, like Oxford Mississippi, Minneapolis, and my former home of Aurora, Colorado.
Along the way, the Bon Ap team managed to find Philly on the map. And this year they picked two of our local restaurants to sit among the finalists. And those two are…
It can sometimes be hard for even the most dedicated gastronauts to keep up with all the changes happening in Philly’s restaurant scene. And when it comes to Italian food — where we change so fast and so fundamentally that entire neighborhoods can turn over from one month to the next — it’s almost impossible.
What you need is a guide. A list of places to eat right now. And we’re here to help. Below is a list of the Italian restaurants that matter most in Philly right now — the best, the newest, the most interesting, and those that have recently gone through some major changes. They’re in no particular order, but every single one of them is worth your time and attention.
On Tuesday, I published my three-star review of Palizzi Social Club, the members-only and rules-bound South Philly joint which chef Joey Baldino (of Zeppoli in Collingswood) took over a few months back. Obviously, I loved the place. The problem? I wasn’t “supposed” to tell you about it.
See, Palizzi, being a social club, has rules. And one of those rules is “no reviewing”. Now personally, I have a problem with that. Palizzi being a restaurant where people are charged money for food puts it squarely in the zone of stuff I’m paid to write about. Further, it being a restaurant opened by Baldino — a very talented chef that I’m glad to have working in Philly — made it even more my business. Just saying you don’t want to be reviewed? That doesn’t mean you’re not going to be reviewed.
Still, Palizzi had rules. I’d read them. I’d understood them. I’m a big boy and I knew the consequences of what I was doing. And, unsurprisingly, I got this note from Baldino yesterday:
You know it’s open when the neon is on, glowing gently in the window of a rowhouse on 12th Street just off Passyunk Avenue. You know you’re in the right place when you see the door with no knob, the buzzer, the little window with the eyes behind it, and hear the voice asking if you’re a member.
This is the Filippo Palizzi Club, chef Joey Baldino’s experiment in a very intimate, very social, very (sorta) private kind of dining.
You know Zeppoli. It’s Joey Baldino’s ode to Sicilian cuisine, a BYOB tucked away in Collingswood, N.J. behind some of the most honest, straightforward Italian cookery this region has — and will ever — see. Baldino’s done well for himself in Jersey, over time turning his charming 35-seater into a destination restaurant for Philadelphians and those beyond.
And now, he’s got something new in the works: a quasi-private restaurant/social club called Filippo Palizzi Club opening this Friday, February 10, just off East Passyunk Avenue.