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A chef speaking to a diner at a counter in the daytime.
Executive Chef Michael Vincent Fererri of Salvatore’s Counter, opening in November.
Isa Zapata

Executive Chef Michael Vincent Fererri of Irwin’s Reveals His New Concept: Salvatore’s Counter

For the first time, the restaurant owner details his new concept within a concept at his celebrated Sicilian restaurant

Ernest Owens is the Editor of Eater Philly, and the food expert to go to when you’re out of options.

Next month, executive chef Michael Vincent Fererri of Irwin’s will debut a new concept within his popular Sicilian restaurant that’s at the top of Philly’s Bok Building (800 Mifflin Street). Salvatore’s Counter — an intimate four-seat counter, 10-course dining experience — will cost $180 per person.

Starting Sunday, November 5th (and every other Sunday that follows at a singular 6 pm seating), diners will have the opportunity to eat from a special Sicilian menu that will never repeat itself. There will be culinary surprises, a chance to indulge in a beverage pairing for an additional $120, as well as the option to purchase à la carte wine, cocktails, or beer selected from Irwin’s wine director, Michael Lancaster and bar manager, Kristian Fidrych.

For those looking to make a reservation: Wednesday, October 18th is the day when all 2023 dining dates for Salvatore’s Counter will be released at 11 am on Resy. Future dates will be released on the first of the month for the following month at 11 am (for example, January 2024 dates will be released on December 1st, February dates will be released on January 1st, and so forth). Although Salvatore’s Counter is currently offered twice a month this year, expect reservations for weekly seatings to open up next year.

A chef speaking to a diner at a counter in the daytime.
Executive Chef Michael Vincent Fererri says no menu will repeat itself at Salvatore’s Counter, located within Irwin’s at the top of the Bok Building.
Isa Zapata

In an exclusive interview with Eater Philly, Fererri opens up about what inspired Salvatore’s Counter and what else diners can expect.

OWENS: What made this the perfect time to debut this restaurant concept?

FERERRI: I have always had dreams of doing a chef’s counter at Irwin’s since we have opened. I fondly remember doing the chefs counter many moons ago at Zahav with Michael Solomonov and how it was such an outlet of inspiration and education for me. I feel the restaurant has really reached a stride at this point and I am glad to finally be able to focus on this project.

OWENS: Can you tell us about the significance of the concept’s name?

FERERRI: The name Salvatore’s Counter is named after my father, Salvatore Joseph Ferreri III. He was also a chef and taught me a love of cooking at a young age. He passed away when I was 24 and I am so elated to be able to honor him posthumously in this way.

OWENS: How is Salvatore’s Counter differentiated from the regular Irwin’s experience?

FERERRI: The counter differs in many ways. Whilst still focusing on Modern Sicilian fare, the dinner will consist of 10 courses. The guests each week will receive a curated menu based on likes/dislikes and that menu will be specific to those guests. No tasting will ever be the same. This makes SC a truly one of a kind and unique experience. As well our beverage managers put together an all star beverage pairing featuring higher end and exclusive wines and spirits as an optional choice for guests of Salvatore’s Counter.

OWENS: Is there anything else fun or interesting that you want us to know?

FERERRI: There will be some surprises thrown into the mix during the course of the meal, as well as a little something for the guests to take home afterwards. Come 2024 we plan to offer much more availability for SC. I truly cannot wait to cook these special dinners for our friends from Philadelphia and beyond.

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