Giuseppe & Sons Debuts With Veal Parm, Broccoli Rabe, and Red Gravy Classics in Center City
Here's what you'll be eating at Michael Schulson and the Termini family's new South Philly-style Italian restaurant, opening today on Sansom Street.
Giuseppe & Sons, the massive double-decker concept from Michael Schulson, his wife Nina Tinari, and the Termini family, opens today in all its red gravy glory. Like many Schulson Collective spots, the restaurant is housed in a bi-level space; this one, at 1521 Sansom Street, features a casual luncheonette-style sandwich spot on the ground floor with table and counter seating as well as a full bar. Downstairs is a luxe 14,000 square-foot space offering a fine-dining take on classic Italian-American fare.
The concept — a beautiful, massive, super authentic South Philly-style Italian restaurant — was an idea born of a holiday party, according to Schulson. “We’ve been holding our holiday parties at Mr. Joe’s Cafe [the Termini family’s Italian cafe across the street from their legendary bakery in South Philly] for years, and over time, we got to talking about doing something together. And when we came up with Giuseppe & Sons, I told them right from the start, ‘I want you guys to be true to what you are, and what South Philly is all about.’ The Termini name is synonymous with South Philly.”
See, Giuseppe & Sons could have very well become a theme-y restaurant — a restaurant designed in the style of South Philly’s traditional Italian joints — which was a major concern for Schulson and his crew. Because replicating a style of restaurant that so deeply depends on soul and tradition is a difficult thing to do, especially in Center City.
Enter: Vince Termini Senior and his sons, Vinny and Joe — the beating heart in the Giuseppe & Sons kitchen.
Together, they teamed up with Schulson and the restaurant’s chef, Wesley Fields, to create an authentic menu of Termini family food traditions. Not a cheffed-up version, says Schulson — the real thing. In fact, the only institutional difference between Mr. Joe’s and Giuseppe & Sons is the fact that they make all their pasta in-house at Giuseppe & Sons.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it by myself. I know how to cook Italian food – but the way they cook it is completely different,” Schulson said. “His is real. This whole thing needed to be from the heart. It needed to be made with love and soul. People should come in and look around and go, ‘Holy shit, look at this design! And the meatballs taste just like Senior’s.'”
The restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. today. To start, the luncheonette will only be open on weekdays. Scroll through for some teaser footage, and peep the opening menus below. (Oh, and check out @foobooz’s Instagram stories for a virtual tour of the space.)