Food & Drink

Vernick Food & Drink

Visionary chef emphasizes the “new” in New American

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Photo courtesy Vernick Food & Drink
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Overview

At the metaphorical heart of James Beard Award-winning chef Greg Vernick’s eponymous Center City restaurant, a wood-fired oven turns out warmly comforting yet imaginative dinner fare.

Vernick, who worked with luminary Jean-Georges Vongrichten and traveled the world to train chefs for the latter’s global restaurant group, came back to his hometown to open his own place in 2012.

The bi-level restaurant on Walnut Street maintains a casual, unruffled atmosphere, yet the hard-to-reserve tables in the minimalist dining rooms are worthy of any special occasion. Without a limiting theme or too-narrow a culinary focus, Vernick allows his cooking — seasonal, inclusive and inspired — to lead.

The effect is that a diner can show up any night and expect a perfectly executed, memorably original meal, beginning with a dish like fromage blanc and pickled kumquats on toast and ending with a “nightcap” espresso milk punch.

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