“Whether you want to be wowed with extravagance or are looking for a perfect plate of comfort food, here are the places giving us hope for the future.”
It’s really hard to pull off what chef-owner Pat O’Malley has pulled off at Fitz and Starts. Because Fitz and Starts used to be Hungry Pigeon, a restaurant this magazine once touted as the best in the whole damn city. Last summer, there was some chef drama, and an ownership change. O’Malley went from a co-owner to the sole owner, and he kept the Pigeon name while he finalized a new identity. He beefed up the bakery side of things (playing to his strengths as one of Philly’s best bakers). He added a wine shop; he retooled the business model — in lieu of tipping, there’s a 20 percent service fee added to each check. He changed the name. And just like that, Fitz and Starts picked up exactly where Hungry Pigeon left off, back on the list of the places we just plain love.
Queen Village | American
743 S. 4th St.
You come here for black bass swimming in brown butter dashi or the duck leg with hoisin on a potato roll. No matter what you order, you’ll leave in awe of Peter Serpico’s vision of American cuisine.
Bella Vista | American
604 South Street
The stuffy fine-dining French restaurant is one of the most enduring myths of the food world. Philly’s reality is much more like TGK, with its steak frites, white burgundy by the bottle and easy vibe.
Bella Vista | French
614 S. 7th St.