The new 50 Best Restaurants List | Photo by Samuel Markey
If it seems too soon for another 50 Best Restaurants issue, you’re right. For a long time, this list was something we put together every two years. But now that’s changing. Because it has to.
Philadelphia’s restaurant scene moves fast today—too fast for the kind of monolithic thinking that says a list of the best restaurants in this city could possibly stand, fundamentally unchanged, for two years. Fortunes rise and fall over weeks, not years. Opinions shift. Focus drifts. There was a time when a list of the best restaurants in Philly could have some breathing room—would be just as true (or nearly as true) six months or a year later as it was on the day it hit the stands. But today that sort of thinking seems as quaint as cedar-plank salmon or those bicycles with one big wheel in front—an artifact of another time.
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Bring home this turkey and Percy Street will donate a turkey to a local food bank.
Not looking to get that blood pressure above 120/80 or your stove above 425º, then here are some Thanksgiving suggestions for the cooking averse.
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Serpico | Photo by Mike Persico
South Street’s Serpico has launched happy hour. From Sunday to Thursday (closed Mondays) between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., the restaurant is offering all glasses of wine and specialty cocktails for $10 each. A savings of up to $5 a glass.
Chef Peter Serpico’s food gets in on the deals too, with Deep Fried Duck Leg (hoisin, cucumber, Martin’s bun), the Korean Fried Chicken Wings (chili, white sesame, kimchee), Duck Liver Mousse (caramelized beets, bone marrow, black pepper), and Wagyu Breseola (black cherry, sumac, horseradish) all for $10 each.
The deals are available throughout the restaurant, not just at the bar.
This weekend Metropolitan Gallery 250 will showcase artwork from students in the Fresh Artists’ “Palates to Palettes” program. Designed by Philadelphia art teacher Deva Watson, the program highlights fine art and culinary art, allowing Wissahickon Charter School and Meredith Elementary School students to experience both first hand.
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The three Philly contenders
Ben Franklin once said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” I’m like 80% sure he was talking about voting in this year’s Food & Wine People’s Choice Best New Chef competition.
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Nick Elmi. You’re not going to not vote for that face.
Food & Wine‘s fifth annual People’s Choice Best New Chef competition is officially underway, and Philly is reasonably well represented with Nicholas Elmi, Peter Serpico, and Greg Vernick all getting nominations. Voting begins today and ends April 8th, so you should probably (definitely) vote to make sure one of our boys makes it through to the finals. Do it for them. Do it for me. Do it because NO Philly chefs made the editor’s list of Best New Chefs this year. It’s your civic duty.
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I was at Aldine for dinner on opening night, and it was awful.
Of all the dishes set before me, I only found two of them appetizing enough to finish, and with another one, I had to pull the old Oh look, some of it fell on the floor trick just to make it appear as though I’d taken more than one bite.
But it’s okay. Don’t worry. Aldine got better.
I ate at Sbraga years ago, shortly after it opened. It was one of the most talked-about restaurants in the city, but not all the talk was good. And, frankly, neither was dinner. It was gimmicky, too clever, muddled in a way that I think was supposed to feel casual and fun but didn’t.
But Sbraga got better, too. Read more »
Serpico photo courtesy of the anagramatic Mike Persico
There’s only so much a clean bathroom can tell you about a restaurant, but every now and then they speak volumes.
To face the poster of Olivia Newton-John wearing her “Physical” gear in the Juniper Commons men’s room is to know, conclusively, that there’s no escaping the 1980s there. The inexplicably unflattering powder-room lighting at the late, unlamented Avance — which had inherited perfectly good illumination from Le Bec-Fin — encapsulated the misguided priorities that sank the place. Even the community chalkboards lining Crow & The Pitcher’s facilities testify to that restaurant’s yearning to be adopted by a neighborhood that’s never really rallied behind a tenant at that address. (And where else but Miami Beach could have a setup like this?) Read more »
So Philadelphia, it seems, is having something of a moment.
There was the Bon Appetit piece on Reading Terminal Market. There was the New York Times naming Philly as one of the “52 Places To Go In 2015,” and putting us third on the list behind Milan and Cuba–which means, yes, first in the United States.
Now, Travel + Leisure has just come out with their list of the best new restaurants in the world, and has given Philly a page, noting, “This unsung destination has blossomed into one of the U.S.’s most exciting restaurant cities—Portland East?—with a fierce indie spirit and world-class kitchen talent.”
Nice, right? Local names given a specific shout-out include Serpico, Michael Solomonov (Zahav and FedNuts, sure, but more lovingly Abe Fisher and Dizengoff), and both Fork and High Street On Market which gets the closing line, reading, “The artisanal breads and the caraway-rye rigatoni with pastrami ragù are reasons alone to go to Philly.”
So we’re awesome is the point here. At least for today. But in the immortal words of the legendary Dirk Diggler, “We can always do better. I’m gonna keep trying if you guys keep trying. Let’s keep rocking and rolling, man!”
Travel + Leisure – Best New Restaurants [Official]
Photo courtesy High Street On Market’s twitter
From left, Laurel chefs Kyle McCormick, Edmund Konrad, Nick Elmi, and Paul Becker.
| Photo by Michael Persico
Three months. That’s about how long it takes us to eat at every important restaurant in the city. And then eat there again. And, sometimes, again.
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