— Philadelphia magazine’s Jason Sheehan paid a visit to Res Ipsa, which opened a few months ago at 2218 Walnut from Mark Corpus and Mark Capriotti of ReAnimator Coffee and Tyler Akin of Stock. It’s one of those all-day cafes taking over the dining scene (as Sheehan says, it’s “thoroughly and completely Philly 2017”), with coffee and breakfast options in the morning, meatier sandwiches at lunchtime, and Sicilian dishes at dinner. And all three are a hit for the critic, who refers to Res Ipsa chef Michael Vincent Ferreri, formerly of Zahav and Zeppoli, as the “[b]est young chef in the entire city.”
Sheehan calls the frittata with asiago fresco and herb long hot spread on a house-made English muffin “overcomplicated,” but read the rest of the sentence and you’ll get to “technically astounding breakfast sandwich.” The dinner dishes, from the thick octopus tentacle to the gnocchi sardo arrabbiata, receive raves, but it’s the raviolo (on special) he calls the “best single plate I’ve eaten this year.” If that — and the three stars — wasn’t clear enough, Sheehan answers his own question of whether readers should go to Res Ipsa: “Yes. Now. Tonight. This morning. Whenever.” But, don’t tell anyone:
I’m giving it three stars rather than four because, of all the many things Res Ipsa is, it is most importantly ours—Philly’s—in a very personal way. So pop-up, with its casual table service, small menu and tea lights. So BYO. So weird and small and scrappy and comforting. It doesn’t need (and likely couldn’t handle) a flood of tourists or culinary day-trippers, so for now, let’s keep it under our hats.
Shhh. [Philly Mag]
— Old-timers might be missing the familiar foods of Friday Saturday Sunday’s first 40-plus years, but the new owners are doing something right. Craig LaBan gave the completely revamped Rittenhouse restaurant three bells, calling Chad Williams’ plates “sometimes edgy but always delicious” and the cocktails “inventive.” The dining room, now upstairs, “can be uncomfortably noisy,” LaBan says, but the renovation is “tasteful.”
The elegant touches of cut crystal, Bernardaud and locally crafted Felt + Fat plates, and even the antique-style gold letters scripting "Fri Sat Sun" on the front picture window, show an investment in details rarely seen in new restaurants these days.
Williams, who owns Friday Saturday Sunday with his wife, Hanna, “is making his case as one of the city's emerging stars,” LaBan writes. The couple, who opened the restaurant late last year after a year and a half of renovations, “have given this corner the new fresh new life and love it needed to be exciting once again,” he says. [Philly.com]