It's now been almost 14 months since Marc Vetri casually tweeted out the news of his next restaurant, coming to the Navy Yard. The project, originally named The Brig and slated for spring 2014, has gone a bit slower than initially planned and seen its name changed to Lo Spiedo.
As you can see from the above photo from a few days ago, showing an awfully rough framed-in interior, they still have some work to do. The official word on opening is now late September. Moreover, Vetri tells Eater today that he has named Scott Calhoun as Lo Spiedo's chef de cuisine. (Calhoun is currently sous chef under Jeff Michaud at Osteria.)
Italian for "the spit," Lo Spiedo will focus on rotisserie and grilled meats. In an interview with James Beard Foundation this spring, Vetri elaborated:
It's going to have a huge 75-inch grill/rotisserie* as a centerpiece for the restaurant, and all of our meats will be roasted or grilled on that. The theme will be lots of whole beasts cooked over wood, with great salads and side dishes to go along with them.
[* NB, sticklers: a rep says it's a 72-inch grill. We'll try to remember our measuring tape when we finally get to pay a visit.]
This concept puts them in good company: Kevin Sbraga has expressed an intent to feature rotisserie at upcoming Juniper Commons; Petit Roti is coming to Wash West soon; recent favorites like A.Kitchen and Petruce et al. and upcoming Brigantessa all have some serious custom indoor grills central to their concepts. Amis chef/partner Brad Spence recently tweeted out some very handsome ribs as part of menu testing for Lo Spiedo.
The new Navy Yard location promises about 150 seats (with outdoor seating), serving lunch and dinner. Of course it's great news for employees of Urban Outfitters and the other companies headquartered on the deep South Philly campus — but with the sports complex nearby, recent hotel development, and the potential for future rail development to the area, a much broader audience is not out of the question.
The restaurant will be accessible on weekends and after the Navy Yard's typical evening business hours.
To keep up with the project, you can now follow the restaurant on Twitter — they just recently started using the account, with their first post being the photo to the right, depicting one very serious-looking "meeting of the minds" hosted at Alla Spina. (Geez, why so somber, guys?)