Eater Philly sat down with young Italian stud chef Joe Cicala to talk Le Virtù and what else he hopes to conquer during his culinary career. And while he has no plans to leave the friendly confines of East Passyunk anytime soon, he's also working on another project with the owners of Le Virtù that could be a huge deal.
"We're still in the early stages, and there's not much to talk about just yet, but I am working on a more casual restaurant idea that could become a franchise if we do it right," Cicala told Eater. "I'm a full partner with the owners of Le Virtù on this new project, too, so it's really exciting."
Cicala said that they have a space all picked out, but the lease hasn't been signed yet. And until it's offically inked up, it's not a reality. But, if there's one guy in Philly's huge crop of talented young chefs that can be the new face of Italian food, it's Cicala. "We're working really hard to push Le Virtù to new heights," Cicala said. "And we just hired a really talented sous chef, Brandon Howard, that's going to help us get there."
Le Virtù is going to be changing the format of their menu to a one sheet that will be printed daily, as they'll be focusing much more on local, seasonal produce. Cicala said that they'll be adding a section on the menu for contorni, which will add a whole new dimension to the experience. "We're going to use more sophisticated techniques on some dishes, too, and really try to refine what we're doing to bring Le Virtù to the next level," Cicala said.