1/29/2013 10:20:00 AM

First Meal: Chef Joe Cicala of Le Virtù

We’re asking top Philly food folk where they’d take a visitor for their first meal in Philadelphia. For Italian Week, we have chef Joe Cicala of East Passyunk’s Le Virtù.

Zagat: You have friend visiting from Italy who's never been to Philadelphia before. Where do you take them for their first meal in Philly, and what do you suggest they try there?

Joe Cicala: I would take them to Stateside. George Sabatino is doing an incredible job showcasing American ingredients. This would serve to show my Italian friends what American cuisine has become over the past few years, and how great a restaurant can be by sourcing 100% domestically (beer, wine and liquor included) if not locally.

Specifically, I’d recommend they order the chef's board and the clams and mussels in potato broth with uni butter toast. George truly represents the "terra" of Philadelphia/USA, and I’d be very proud to show Italians that our country can compete internationally with both quality of product and talent in the kitchen.

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