The Overlords of 13th Street, Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran, are opening Jamonera next Monday, January 23. The duo's pork-centric ode to Spanish food is just about done, and are waiting on some last minute inspections before cutting the ribbon.
"The liquor license, construction, and menu are all ready to go, we're waiting on one last approval," said Turney. "But that should come in the next day or so, so January 23 is the big day."
Turney, who also owns Lolita, and last year's Philly Mag Restaurant of the Year, Barbuzzo, is getting ready for the throngs of fans who will surely be there on day one to see what they're doing with the pigs.
"We spent a lot of time in Spain researching dishes, and have a huge menu which is almost all pork. It's very ambitious, and we're using all parts of the animal," said Turney. Her chef de cuisine is a longtime Turney vet, Paul Lyons, who worked the line at all of her other restaurants.
"That dude is brilliant, and I am so excited he's doing our menu and heading up Jamonera," said Turney. "Nikki Hill is back with us, too. She loved doing the La Copine brunch cart, but needed something a little more stable."
The space is stunning, a very dark and intimate design bathed in crimson elements and lighting. The artwork on the wall is Marcie's own creation, as she got a chance to exercise her creative side. "I have a degree in Fine Arts, so it was a good excuse to waste some time and make stuff for the interior of the restaurant," said Turney.
Along with that piggy menu, Turney and Safran fell in love with the unique liquors of Spain, and are bringing some first-time-in-America spirits to the bar. Expect a selection of aged Spanish Vermouth, which is drunken from a tap on the rocks.
"I know it sounds weird, but it's delicious, and really unique. I expect that to be our signature drink from day one," said Turney.