Last week Bon Appetit named its 50 nominees for the magazine’s 10 Best New Restaurants list. Philadelphia’s Vernick Food + Drink made the nomination list but did not make today’s final list. Also of note, just one New York restaurant landed on the 10 best list.
The 10 Best New Restaurants in America 2013
Photo by Karrisa Olsen
The annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is this Saturday, May 18, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.. The festival extends from Walnut Street from Broad to 19th and on 18th Street, from Locust to Sansom. Over 40 of the areas best restaurants will be serving up their cuisine for your enjoyment at an affordable price. Some highlights of the participating restaurants include a. Kitchen, Barclay Prime, Continental Mid-town, Di Bruno Bros., El Rey, Le Bec Fin, Oyster House, Parc, Sbraga, Shake Shack, Vernick, and Village Whiskey.
If that doesn’t make you want go, maybe this will; there will be a tasting area with 20 of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s Chairman’s Selection wines with a concierge and on-site store.
Other stands will offer Peroni beer, Rex Goliath wines, Cintron, and cocktails. Also, there will be cooking demonstration at 19th and Walnut courtesy of Starr Restaurants. The great food, booze, shopping, activities and weather make the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival a can’t miss.
Full list of participating restaurants »
The 2013 James Beard Awards Semifinalists have been announced and nineteen local chefs, restaurants and beer professionals have made the list. Vernick Food & Drink leads the way with a nomination for Best New Restaurant. Marc Vetri gets a nod for Outstanding Chef and his Vetri restaurant gets a nod for Best Service. Also in the Vetri solar system, Amis’ Brad Spence is nominated for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.
The coolest nomination might be for Andre Chin and Amanda Eap of East Passyunk’s Artisan Boulanger Patissier who were nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef. Artisan Boulanger has been open more than sixteen years at the corner of 12th and Morris Streets.
Also worth noting that East Passyunk has garnered some serious nominations, four in total. That’s more than than some serious food towns.
The locals on the list »
$35 for three courses sounds like a helluva deal. And that’s what Restaurant Week is built around. But say you want to go somewhere awesome without having to deal with the crowds, the restrictions and the stressed-out wait staffs that are also a part of Restaurant Week. Is that possible?
It is, even if you happen to find yourself among the high heels and yappy dogs of Rittenhouse Square. Just aim yourself toward 21st and Walnut and deliver yourself into the hands of the crew at Vernick Food & Drink. Don’t believe you can get out of there with three courses for $35? Then check out the math:
- Peas and bacon on toast $7
- Crispy potatoes with shishito peppers $6
- Pork blade steak with onion marmalade and sauteed mustard greens $22
All that, and for a grand total of $35, on the nose. Granted, if you’re willing to go just a little bit higher you could opt for the fromage blanc with kumquats on toast ($7), then the mussels in Dijon broth ($14) and then the potato ravioli with braised lamb and long beans ($15) for a total of $36, but that’s just crazy talk. Why would anyone pay $36 for a three-course dinner at one of the 50 Best Restaurants in Philladelphia when they could head down to Bleu Martini on 2nd Street and get chicken fingers, Cajun salmon and a slice of cheesecake for $35?
All Restaurant Week Coverage [Foobooz]
Vernick Food & Drink [Official]
Philly has been luring Manhattanites away from the Big Apple for years. Now we’re taking its chefs—and concepts—as well.
For decades, Manhattan has been a kind of protected game preserve for chefs and foodies, a rarified environment where restaurateurs with big names could lure in enough of the monied trade to make the cripplingly high rents and off-the-charts food costs work with $300 tasting menus and $18 cheeseburgers. And because the biggest names in the game opened there, the best crews flocked to them. The best suppliers. It was a system that worked only because every piece of it depended on the willing suspension of all good sense, and a kind of universal acceptance by the people of Manhattan that they were living (and dining) in the greatest food city on earth.
Continue reading the Gastronaut »
Despite what weather reports are trying to tell us (we’re looking at you, Nor’easter), Autumn isn’t over just yet. We still have to put away our Halloween decorations, suffer through distant relatives at Thanksgiving dinner and risk death-by-trampling during Black Friday.
Lucky for us, Vernick Food & Drink is allowing us to cling to our Autumn cravings just a little bit longer with some new fall additions.
Cafe L’Aube recently welcomed an addition with a new in-house roaster. Although Cafe L’aube has been roasting their own micro-batch roasted coffee for themselves since 2009 and more recently for restaurants like Vernick Food & Drink, the cafe will now be able to sell freshly roasted, single-origin coffee to customers in one-pound packages.
Cafe L’Aube single-origin coffee is now available for purchase at the Wallace Street cafe.
Cafe L’Aube [Official Site]
Yellowfin tuna, soy vin, sweet tomatoes,
Craig LaBan is the latest to praise the toasts at Vernick Food & Drink but they are hardly the only thing worth talking about.
Even more memorable was the perfectly steamed halibut, a brick of pristine white over the forest-brown collage of wild mushrooms in broth, a contrast so pure it was stunning.
More purely vegetable-focused dishes, like the salad pairing sweet wood-roasted carrots with crunchy ribbons of shaved raw ones, or the heirloom tomatoes glazed green in basil vinaigrette, or the crunchy potatoes with flash-fried shishito peppers, show a gift for amplifying natural flavors.
Three Bells – Excellent
A way with sourdough makes him a toast of Rittenhouse Square [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Vernick Food & Drink [Official Site]
Trey Popp reviews Vernick Food & Drink, the first solo restaurant of Cherry Hill native Greg Vernick.
[F]or the most part, simplicity is Vernick’s watchword. Sidle up to the smooth poured-concrete bar to nibble on crispy potatoes with shishito peppers, and bask in the breeze wafting through the windows, wide open to Walnut Street. Or belly up to the kitchen counter in back, past the stack of split cordwood, and tug at cool tubes of fresh mozzarella—pulled twice daily—spattered with rhubarb jam and crumbs of pumpernickel toast. The upstairs dining room offers another distinct atmosphere, splashed with light streaming in through the balconied windows but cozy beneath the short ceiling.
Three Stars – Excellent
Philadelphia Restaurant Review: Vernick Food & Drink [Philadelphia magazine]
Vernick Food & Drink [Official Site]