Starting Wednesday, August 7, Chris D’Emilio, known for his traveling sorbetto cart, has a permanent home for his “fancy water ice,” as he describes it, with the opening of D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats at 1928 East Passyunk Avenue. Set at the southern end of the street’s restaurant strip, the shop sells the sorbetto along with soft serve ice cream and Italian sandwiches designed by a few of Philly’s top chefs.
D’Emilio plans to offer seven or eight different sorbetto flavors a day, all made from fruit and organic juice using recipes his grandmother taught him. He’s also making waffle cones in-house (those won’t be available until August 9).
But D’Emilio decided sorbetto and ice cream wasn’t enough. He also teamed up with Michael Strauss of Mike’s BBQ to come up with a menu of “Italy-inspired” sandwiches for the shop, and Strauss brought in a few of Philly’s Italian food experts to help him out.
First up is Marc Vetri, who designed the La Famiglia e Tutto: prosciutto cotto, mortadella mousse mayo, shaved lettuce, onions, banana peppers, oil, vinegar, and grated parmigiano reggiano.
Jeff Michaud of Osteria and the upcoming Via Locusta stepped up with the Gaia: prosciutto de parma, arugula, and stracchino cheese, all melted together.
For his creation, Joe Cicala — the former Le Virtu and Brigantessa chef who’s opening Cicala at the Divine Lorraine — is going with the Calabria N’duja, with nduja, caramelized red onion jam, and provola piccante cheese.
Then there’s the Crovetti from Francesco Crovetti of Roman pizzeria Rione, which layers mortadella, pesto, stracciatella, and parm crema.
All of the sandwiches are on bread made by Crovetti.
For now, D’Emilio’s Old World Ice Treats is open Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. D’Emilio will expand hours and open additional days once he gets settled in.
On August 7 and 8, only the sorbetto and ice cream are available. The sandwiches will be added starting August 9, from noon to 4 p.m. Look for a bigger lunch menu starting August 14.