Philly Has Two Of The Best New Restaurants In The United States (According To GQ’s Alan Richman)

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Professional mouth (and Philly native) Alan Richman has come out with another list of the 25 Best New Restaurants in the United States for GQ magazine, and Philly has made the cut–twice.

Now granted, we’ve been getting a lot of this kind of love recently. And granted, last time Richman called out Philly in one of these lists (last year, as a matter of fact), he picked Pizzeria Vetri and Avance (and we all know how things turned out for Avance).

But still, Richman’s list is a big deal, and this year he honored two more of our hometown guys–Nick Elmi and Marc Vetri (again). Let’s start out with Laurel, which came in at #8.

Yet the most stunning dish was pure Americana, catfish in a coconut-clam broth. Hard to imagine a kitchen in Philly accomplishing what the South has been trying to do for centuries: make catfish elegant. Chef Nicholas Elmi does it gracefully. His meat dishes are intensely flavorful, particularly duck magret and foie gras. Stylishness has come to East Passyunk Avenue, once ground zero for cheesesteaks, now fast emerging as Philly’s premier dining locale.

Not bad, right? Laurel might not be the first place on East Passyunk to be doing something finer than cheesesteaks, but I certainly can’t argue with anyone calling it the best restaurant in Philly right at this moment.

The other Philly inclusion was Vetri’s newest operation, Lo Spiedo, which clocks in at #24. Here’s what Richman had to say:

Come here for a little history and a lot of meat. Lo Spiedo is located just inside the old navy yard, where the battleship New Jersey was built. Almost as sturdy is the reginette bolognese. “Too much meat,” I griped. “Marc Vetri knows what he’s doing,” argued a friend. He always does. Here you’ll find glorified Americanized Italian food, including a gutsy celery-root milanese sandwich. If vegetarians gave out medals, it deserves the Navy Cross.

Again, high praise. And here’s hoping that both of these picks fare better (and last longer) than Avance did.

25 Best New Restaurants Of 2015 [GQ]