Volver’s announcement of ticketed dinners had us wondering how Jose Garces’ new restaurant stacked up against other dining experiences in the city.
Here is a selection of prix fixe dinners in Philadelphia.
So now we have a date (of sorts) on Jose Garces’s Kimmel Center project, Volver. Word has just come down that, starting March 12, people will be able to purchase “tickets” to dine in the main dining room at Volver.
And how is this going to work exactly? It’s simple (kinda). There are essentially two rooms at Volver–a lounge and a dining room. The lounge will operate like a normal restaurant, allowing walk-in seating and all the stuff you’d expect from a normal restaurant experience. But the dining room will be open only to those who have bought a ticket for the nights performance (meaning dinner). Here’s the official description…
Volver, Jose Garces’ culinary showcase is set to open in April at the Kimmel Center. The space will feature a caviar and champagne lounge as well as a forty-seat performance dining area. Garces, architects KieranTimberlake and interior designer Marguerite Rodgers have collaborated to design a space that highlights the arts, culinary and otherwise.
We just received word that Jose Garces’ Volver at the Kimmel Center has been pushed back till January, 2014. We’re not surprised, given that we snapped the above photo of the very much under construction restaurant on Saturday morning during ThinkFest.
So we’ll just have to wait a little bit more before we get to check out Jose Garces’ champagne bar and culinary theater.
As for Garces’ Rosa Blanca, look for his Cuban diner to open the week of December 2nd.
Craig LaBan looks at restaurants on the Avenue of the Arts. Paying special attention to what’s imminent, Jose Garces’ Volver; the reinvented, Perch Pub; and what is coming down the line, a replacement for Ted’s Montana Grill.
Avenue of the Eats: A two-way street for the arts and dining [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Over at the Insider, they’re reporting that Jose Garces has recently signed a lease on the Old Original Bookbinder’s space at 2nd and Walnut.
This is a huge deal for Garces–and I mean that in every sense of the word.
For starters, it’s literally HUGE. Better than 10,000 square feet. Which is bigger than any of his local spaces (with the possible exception of his operations at the Kimmel Center, depending on how he utilizes all the space available to him).
Second, it’s huge because it’s the old Bookbinder’s–a name that still swings a lot of weight in this town. The last guys to take over a restaurant with a name saddled with that kind of history? Nicolas Fanucci and his crew at Le Bec Fin. And we all know how that went.
Third, the Iron Chef already has a pretty full plate. He’s got Rosa Blanca set to open next month in the old Chifa space. Then Volver at the Kimmel Center. Then his other out-of-town operations to worry about. Taking on a space like this is a bold move no matter what he decides to do with it. And the one thing no one knows right this minute? What, exactly, Garces is planning to do with it.
The Insider has some details on the deal itself. You can check out the full story there.
Garces Leases Old Original Bookbinder’s [Insider]
Fall officially arrives this weekend and the season promises to be a busy one for Philadelphia’s restaurant scene. Here are some of the projects that we’re most looking forward to checking out.
We know quite a few things about the new Cuban diner that Jose Garces is going to be dropping into the space on Chestnut Street that once housed his occasionally-underrated Latino-Asian fusion restaurant, Chifa. We know that there’ll be Cuban sandwiches and we know that there’ll be empanadas. That there’ll be an integral take-out component to the concept, with a counter selling completas and pasteles right inside the door. We know that there’ll be a rotisserie and a rum menu, that Yun Fuentes will be running the kitchen. And we know that the big man himself really wanted the place to be open 24 hours, but still isn’t sure whether or not that’s going to fly.
And now, we know two other very important things: The name of the place and it’s opening date.
In addition to the recent announcement that his Iron Chef-ness is swinging into action with a Washington D.C. steakhouse, Jose Garces also has two projects working here in Philly that have been getting his attention lately. The first is the as-yet-unnamed Cuban-style diner that he’s putting into the shell recently vacated by Chifa (which is now scheduled to open at the end of September or the beginning of October). And the second is his highly personal atelier called Volver, which is set to open at the Kimmel Center…at the end of September or the beginning of October.
“Opening restaurants is like a baby being born,” Garces said when I got him on the phone this afternoon. “They come when they come.”