Looks like Chef Lucio Palazzo is going to be on the move in the weeks ahead. Come late April, he’s exiting Fairmount’s La Calaca Feliz, where he’s headed the kitchen since it opened in January 2102. But fans and followers of his cooking have nothing to fear. He isn’t straying very far. According to Feliz bossman Brian Sirhal, Palazzo is being shipped over to Main Street Manayunk to run the show at he and partner Tim Spinner’s forthcoming Taqueria Feliz, which they expect to have open by the end of next month. “Yeah, Lucio’s leaving La Calaca,” Sirhal told Grub. “We’re sending him over to Taqueria to be the chef there.”
Palazzo, who hopped aboard the Sirhal-Spinner ship after ending his notable run at Xochitl in the months after Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook sold it. There he's steadily been racking up mostly positive press and favorable reviews since.
Sirhal told us that much of what Palazzo will serving in Manayunk will mirror what’s on the menus at La Calaca and its suburban forerunner, Cantina Feliz. But at Taqueria, an emphasis will be placed on tacos, enchiladas and tortas.
“We’re looking to take it in a little more casual direction than what we’re doing at the our other restaurants,” Sirhal said. “There will be a little bit more of focus on tacos, but we’ll also have some rotating daily specials too.”
Mike Brenfleck, who worked at Jose Garces’ Distrito with Sirhal and Spinner, is stepping up to fill Palazzo’s shoes in Fairmount. He was brought on about six months ago as executive sous chef.
We have Mike Brenfleck, also a Distrito alum. Also worked in Lehigh Valley. Brought on at La Calaca five or six months ago. As executive sous.