Southwark on Monday for his second Philadelphia dinner, all happening in lead up to the launch of his eponymous South Street Stephen Starr restaurant. The menu for the one-night event held several winning dishes, but our favorite had to be the heirloom carrots and coppa.
Caramelized carrots were sweet and crunchy, and the parchment-thin slices of cured meat (made in house by Southwark chef Nick Macri) nearly melted on top, almost like salty, fatty icing. The pairing was perfect in both texture and flavor, and the $11 price wasn’t bad, either. Another favorite was the slow-roasted lamb ribs with mint and lemongrass - we sucked each mini bone to a clean white and then used the dish’s roasted sunchokes to scoop up the meaty juices.
The former Momofuku chef told Grub Street the pop-up menu was slightly “more rustic” than what we can expect to find at the full restaurant, but that the food would be of a similar style. Other offerings of the evening included “fried potatoes with bacon and scallion” (this turned out to be potato chips with a bacon-aïoli dip); steamed egg custard with brown butter; and chicken with braised snails and parsnip purée. If Serpico can carry the very reasonable price point with him, he’ll be filling his no-reservation, 60-plus seats with ease.