June 19, 2017
Many Philadelphia restaurants have topped notable national lists, and the butterfly effect is very real. Just go to Pizzeria Beddia around 5 p.m. any day the place is open and you’ll see a line is already trailing out the door, thanks largely to Bon Appetit’s declaration that it made the best pies in America. That was decided in 2015, and the lines are still forming.
A couple other local restaurants are getting a chance to shine more than usual, too, with the release of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest wine restaurants in America in its August 2017 issue. Two Philadelphia restaurants joined the list this year: East Passyunk’s intimate Townsend and gourmet vegetarian destination Vedge.
Townsend boasts a seasonal French menu from Chef Townsend Wentz, who opened a second concept, A Mano, in Fairmount last year. Though A Mano may be BYOB, Townsend is anything but: Sommelier Lauren Harris curates a thoughtful list of about 50 wines (many of which are French) that the restaurant staff is trained on every week. Townsend recently welcomed sommelier Gordana Kostovski to the team as well.
“We’ve chosen wines for our list that mirror the commitment of the winemaker to the wine,” Wentz said in a statement.
“Small producers making ‘personal’ wines from varietals that may not be well recognized get special attention from our team,” Harris said in a statement. “It’s allowed us to offer unique varietals and producers that a few short years ago were unavailable in Philadelphia.”
Vedge was also highlighted as a happy place for Philly wine lovers, regardless of whether you abide by a plant-based diet. Kate Jacoby, who is Vedge’s pastry chef, doubles as the house sommelier to bring 50-plus wines from France, Spain, Italy, California and elsewhere to complement the shifting seasonal menu.
Vedge also appeared on the 2016 list. Also from Philadelphia on the 2016 list was a.kitchen + bar, which did not make the cut this year.
To view the full 2017 list, click here.