The forces of Rittenhouse Row, Kevin Sbraga, and Danielle DelRe, of Starr Restaurants, have come together to create an event that will be one to remember. From August 4th to the 7th, the restaurants of Rittenhouse Row will prepare meals unlike the ones on the traditional menus and give you a dining experience that is one of a kind. As of right now, 18 members will participate in the Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective, but the list is growing.
Eater alerts us to an interview with Stephen Starr on Grub Street. In it, Starr talks about El Vez NYC and his future plans for New York, including a potential collaboration with Peter Serpico, who Starr first brought from New York to Philadelphia.
Serpico was David Chang’s right hand man and the former chef at Momofuku Ko in New York where he won a James Beard Award. He then partnered with Stephen Starr to open his own restaurant last year on South Street in Philadelphia.
The pair are still shopping for New York real estate so any Serpico NYC is still a ways off.
Stephen Starr on El Vez and the Cutthroat World of Restaurant Real Estate [Grub Street via Eater]
On Friday, April 25th, Stephen Starr is opening his New York City version of El Vez. The 190-seat bar and restaurant is opening at 259 Vesey Street, in the Battery Park City neighborhood. The menu has been developed by executive chef David LaForce, who also has worked at the Philadelphia location of El Vez and a Starr task force that includes James Tracey, the culinary director for STARR Restaurants and chef Dionicio Jimenez of Starr’s El Rey.
Last month we told you how Starr Restaurants was making it easy for diners to donate to support Philadelphia schools. Stephen Starr’s restaurants have also put together some interesting packages that you can bid on online. They include everything from omakase for four at Morimoto to a kids’ pizza party at Pizzeria Stella. There’s even an item that includes dinner for two at all 20 of Starr’s Philadelphia restaurants.
Philadelphia’s Children First Fund [Charitybuzz]
Today, Stephen Starr and STARR Restaurants launched a “Support Our Schools” fundraising and awareness effort with The School District of Philadelphia. The month-long initiative will request that patrons to all of Starr’s Philadelphia restaurants to add a donation to the schools, right onto their checks.
Starr says “the School District’s needs are at historical proportions, we simply can’t turn our backs on it and wait for others to try to fix it; we all have to do our part.”
Crain’s New York Business breaks the story that Stephen Starr has signed a deal with to take New York’s Fatty Crab concept into eight US cities as well as London. Fatty Crab currently has three locations worldwide (New York, Hong Kong, US Virgin Islands) that serve up their take on Southeast Asian cuisine including items like quail egg shooters, pork and beef sliders, watermelon pickle and crispy pork plus crab in chili sauce.
The first collaboration will open in Washington DC in the next three to six months. Starr confirms to the Inquirer’s Michael Klein, that one of the US locations will indeed be in Philadelphia.
To facilitate the expansion process, the team is looking to open in existing restaurant spaces. So let the speculation begin.
The New York Times today has a big article on Stephen Starr and his ability to land big catering contracts at several of New York’s cultural institutions including Carnegie Hall. The article is quite complimentary of Starr’s ability to survive in New York, even as an outsider.
A Philadelphian Restaurateur Flourishes in New York [New York Times]
Work has been going late into the night at Serpico on South Street. Last night the lights were on and the layout was revealed.
Check out the week’s most interesting posts on Philadelphia magazine’s real estate blog, Property. Iron Hill is “re-evaluating its involvement in Ardmore and editor Liz Spikol imagines a world where Questlove and Stephen Starr bring Hybird to South Street.
- Iron Hill Brewery may pull out of Ardmore
- How much home do you get for $500,000?
- Former Sixers’ coach, Larry Brown’s $7.85 million Main Line estate is on the market
- Wouldn’t 6th and South be the ideal location for Questlove and Stephen Starr to open Philadelphia’s Hybird?
- Center City is going apartment crazy. Who is going to live in all these new apartments?
Because I was tired of hearing overeducated food types in Philadelphia talk a ton of smack about Stephen Starr’s always-packed Mexican joint El Vez, I decided to put the restaurant to the test with a demanding Saturday-night birthday party 10-top, including some fussy suburban eaters and one each of the picky-eater and vegetarian species. We ordered beers. We ordered margaritas. We ordered a wide range of food. And we dropped $40-plus in the photo booth, where, yes, my shirt came off. (Pictures available upon request.) Not a bad plate or drink was served. The server didn’t stumble once. And we made it out the door for under $40 per person. You can hate all you want, haters, but the fact is, El Vez may be the most fun restaurant in town.
121 South 13th Street
First appeared in the April 2013 edition of Philadelphia magazine