Vetri Culinary Juggernaut Rolls Into Bon Appetit; Nighttime Is the Right Time For the Khyber-Royal-Cantina Crew
Alla Spina, the gastro-funhouse from Marc Vetri and company that opened earlier this year is one of the 50 restaurants in the running for Bon Appetit’s “Best New Restaurants” title. BA‘s resident dreamboat Andrew Knowlton describes the restaurant as a “trattoria, gastropub, and sports bar mashup,” and hails it as Vetri's “most democratic (and most rollicking) spot to date.” He goes on to rave about the agrodolce pig’s tails, whole roasted pig shoulder, and 20-tap draft beer program.
What’s interesting though, one of the other 49 contenders for a spot on the magazine’s top 10 list is Collingswood, N.J.’s Zeppoli, the very well-received BYOB from Joey Baldino, who it just so happens was the Chef De Cuisine at Vetri’s eponymous Spruce Street flagship just prior to heading out on his own. Knowlton gives it up for the restaurant’s “homespun, hearty Sicilian food.” You’ll have to wait until August 14 for the final ten best restaurants and the numero uno spot that tops the list.
In the meantime Alla Spina is debuting its second collaboration with Downingtown, PA’s Victory Brewing Company tonight. Dubbed Via Weisse, it’s a light, low abv (4.1 percent) wheat beer. It’s going to be offered for $3 a glass all night.
While on the subject of accolades for our humble burg and its wondrous collection of amazing restaurants, it’s also worth pointing out that Esquire is calling the City of Brotherly Love the “Late-Night Capital of the United States.” Citing the numerous options late-night revelers have access to, and the gaggle of delicious things to eat after the clock strikes 12, Francine Maroukian writes it’s “stronghold for going big into the wee hours.” Mentioned in it are North 3rd, Good Dog, David's Mai Lai Wah, and South Philadelphia Taproom. Still the biggest winners are Stephen Simons and Dave Frank, whose Khyber Pass Pub, Royal Tavern, and Cantina Los Caballitos are named in the piece. Had their long overdue Royal Izakaya been up an running, the duo would’ve come off as the biggest thing since Stephen Starr.
50 Best New Restaurant Nominees [Bon Appetit]
The Late-Night Capital of the United States: Philadelphia [Esquire h/t Phawker]