Garces Trading Company
The Iron Chef opens an all-in-one culinary destination and wine boutique
Situated in a large space in the Washington Square West neighborhood, Garces Trading Company — a gourmet market and cafe — is the sixth Philadelphia restaurant by Iron Chef Jose Garces.
The multi-purpose space features a host of house-made and imported foods under the Garces Trading Company label, as well as Chef Garces’ award-winning cuisine, available for eat-in or take-out.
Other features include a flower shop, an on-site bakery, private label olive oils and vinegars, Chef Garces’ signature coffee and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s first wine boutique.
The market houses several sections offering different culinary experiences, including: a cheese shop with free samples and Chef Garces’ signature Cheese Complements from Amada, including garlic dulce de leche and fig and cherry marmalade; a variety of imported single estate Vinegars and Olive Oils from Spain, Italy and Greece; and “GTC at Home,” which offers the chance to enjoy Chef Garces’ food in neatly packaged bags for convenient reheating. Other prepared foods and imported products include: French, Spanish and Italian cheeses; house-cured and imported Charcuterie; and hand-crafted Sandwiches served on house-baked bread.
During lunch and dinner, Garces Trading Company visitors are treated to a menu of European fare, including: a variety of pastas such as Pappardelle with lamb ragu, sun choke puree and piavecchio; thin crust and deep dish pizzas (only fitting, as Chef Garces hails from Chicago); and daily changing plats du jour.
From Chef Garces: “Our menu reflects my Spanish cooking heritage and also includes other European cuisines, including some French and Italian dishes. Most of the items on the menu were chosen because they are familiar, and they’re the sorts of foods that I crave from my travels when you stumble upon a sweet little no-name cafe with great food.”
The restaurant and market seats 75 diners at high-top, butcher block tables, while guests browse the wares surrounding the central dining area. A florist stall, wine shop, coffee counter, bakery and cheese and charcuterie seller ring the u-shaped space much like an outdoor market in Europe, framing the tables with delectable displays of their wares that include hanging cured meats and cheeses, sprays of blossoms and cases of wine.
From the designer, Jun Aizaki: ““Garces Trading Company recalls the era of merchant ships and open-air markets. We’ve broken the edges of the main space into a series of stalls selling their wares, and guests can browse, shop, then settle in at a table in the central dining area and enjoy their purchases at their own pace.”
Of special note is Garces Trading Company’s pioneering venture with the Pennsylvania Liquor and Control Board; the state leases a percentage of the restaurant’s space from Chef Garces and uses it to sell a selection of more than 200 red, white and sparkling wines and fine spirits. A strong focus on the wines of Spain, France and Italy complement the menu.
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