The Termini Family Is No Longer Part of Giuseppe & Sons
So what exactly does that mean for Michael Schulson and Nina Tinari's great big Italian restaurant in Center City?
Giuseppe & Sons, Michael Schulson and Nina Tinari’s giant Italian restaurant in Center City, was conceptualized inside a much smaller Italian restaurant in South Philly: Mr. Joe’s Cafe, the Termini family’s luncheonette across the street from their bakery on 8th Street. At least that’s what Schulson told me about a year ago on the day their restaurant opened — that Schulson and Tinari held their holiday parties at Mr. Joe’s Cafe for years, which led to the idea of opening a joint restaurant together, which led to Giuseppe & Sons.
“I told them right from the start,” Schulson said a year ago about their opening partnership, “‘I want you guys to be true to what you are, and what South Philly is all about.’” And out came the veal parm and broccoli rabe. The daytime hoagies and Termini cannolis.
That was then.
There have been some menu tweaks in the year G&S has been open. Upstairs, they added some really excellent pizzas, courtesy of Jeff Michaud. Downstairs, they added a crudo (of course), they took off Vince Termini Sr.’s braised tripe, they added a dry-aged porterhouse and they took off the cannolis. Those were Termini cannolis, and the Termini family is no longer a partner at Giuseppe & Sons.
The Schulson Collective and the Termini family released the following statement regarding their split (which apparently happened in late September):
Schulson Collective’s Michael Schulson and his wife & business partner Nina Tinari are thrilled to announce that they are expanding their relationship with Jeff Michaud. In February 2018, SC partnered with Michaud to purchase Osteria, where Michaud ran the kitchen from 2007, from URBN. In early December, SC and Michaud will open Via Locusta. Menu tastings are under way and the culinary team has created a thoughtful menu of pastas, shareable plates and a few larger dishes driven by local produce and strong purveyor relationships. Next year, SC will open a project with Michaud on the Camden waterfront.
During recent months SC’s acclaimed restaurant Giuseppe & Sons added Michaud’s vision to the Luncheonette where they now offer a variety of airy and crisp pizzas from an imported Polin deck oven. The Termini Family will solely focus their attention on their bakery and cafe. Of the opening partnership, Schulson says, “It was a great opportunity to work with our friends Senior (Vince Termini Sr.) and Vinny and Joe, and we look forward to coming together on more projects in the future.” The Termini Family added, “We’ve known Michael for years and always talked about working together in some way. When he approached us to be involved with Giuseppe & Sons, it was an exciting challenge for us, and we were thrilled to be part of it. We wish Michael, Nina and the entire team at Giuseppe & Sons all the best – they are an extraordinary and talented group.”
So how will this affect your Giuseppe & Sons experience? Not much will change, according to a company rep. The concept is still Italian. There will always be menu tweaks, but the veal parm and Sunday gravy will remain. Desserts obviously won’t be the same since the dessert menu was mainly a Termini operation. Instead, Schulson and his pastry chef, Andrew Ling, came up with a small menu of things like spumoni, brownie sundae affogato, and tiramisu for two.
Oh, and Jeff Michaud is now a partner at G&S. Which gives him an ownership stake in three Schulson Collective restaurants — soon to be four: Osteria, Via Locusta, G&S, and a yet-to-be-named project in Camden.