If you’ve ever wanted to experience 10 top chefs in the Philadelphia area all at once, the Paradiso 10 years of excellence on
East Passyunk Avenue celebration was one to remember. With a 10 course almost five hour dinner, the all-star neighborhood anniversary dinner sold out quickly – and for good reason. The fête was buzzing, packed and full of curious foodies, socialites and media – all daring to bare it all on a Monday night.
The prix-fixe menu featured top chefs from up and down Passyunk Avenue including first course and hors d’oeuvres from Paradiso’s own Chef/OwnerLynn Rinaldi, followed by courses from Chris Kearse, Will BYOB; Nicholas Elmi, Laurel; Luke Palladino, Palladino’s; Franca DiRenzi, Tre Scalini;JonCarl Lachman, Noord; Townsend Wentz, Townsend; Lee Styler, Fond; Corey Baver, Izumi; and desserts by Jesse Prawlucki-Styler, Belle Cakery.
Modern, seasonal Italian is Rinaldi’s signature flavor and the olive bread and bread sticks were slightly addiciting – and perfect to soak up some perfectly selected wine pairings between plates. My personal favorites were the Squid Ink Pappardelle with its slightly earthy, ocean texture, the Mushroom & Tallegio Crespelle with it’s creamy heavenly bites and of course (with my French food addiction) Escargot & Fava Bean ‘Mange Tort’ with Bacon Sherry Crème Fraiche – Wentz is always making escargot taste like succulent pieces of meat with a twist. Below is the extensive and drool-worthy menu in all its glory.
Passed Hors d’oeuvres
Carne Crudo, Sweet Potato Chip
Sea Urchin, Testina Crostini
Lynn Marie Rinaldi, Paradiso
Winter Market Vegetable
Raw, Pickled, Cooked
Chris Kearse, Will Byob
Kombu Cured Fluke
Easter Egg Radish, Citrus, Dill
Nicholas Elmi, Laurel
Mushroom & Tallegio Crespelle
Luke Palladino, Palladino’s
Squid Ink Pappardelle
Franca DiRenzi, Tre Scalini
Clams and Zuurhool
Littleneck clams, Braised Cabbage, Smoked Sausage, Bacon, Caraway Beer Broth
Johncarl Lachman, Noord eetcafe
Escargot & Fava Bean ‘Mange Tort’
Bacon Sherry Crème Fraiche
Townsend Wentz, Townsend
Foie Gras Soup. Asian Pear
Lee Styer, Fond
Mortadella Stuffed Quail
Porcini Mushroom, Parsnip Puree
Corey Baver, Izumi
10th Course Dessert
Amaretto Ricotta Cheesecake, Almond Crumble
Jessie Prawlucki Styer, Belle Cakery
What was Rinaldi’s thoughts behind such an elaborate event? To unite the warm, friendly neighborhood of South Philly and work together with fellow chefs because after all, it’s all about that taste – and we’re not just talking about food. We predict her class act may inspire other neighborhoods to do the same. And now we have two more restaurants to add to our to-do list. I’m pretty certain that was part of the plan too!