August 15, 2023
A restaurant slated to open in Center City this fall will boast a menu that heavily features sustainably-sourced vegetables and meats.
Kiddo Restaurant, at 1138 Pine St., aims to "showcase Pennsylvania's agricultural bounty" by centering its menu around fresh produce, according to co-owners Wyatt Piazza and Elizabeth Drake. It is expected to begin welcoming diners by late September.
The menu, which includes snacks, small plats, pastas, entrees and desserts, will rotate every few months, allowing Kiddo to make use of seasonal fruits and vegetables, Piazza said. Think blackberry tarts during the summer and root vegetables like pumpkin and squash in the fall and early winter.
The opening menu has not been finalized, but it is expected to include bucatini with roasted garlic, eggplant and tomato sauce, stuffed carmen peppers with sungold coulis, goat cheese fritters, emmer and gremolata and affogato with maple ice cream and cocoa streusel.
Kiddo also will have a full bar stocked with natural wines, botanical cocktails and shrubs. Bar snacks include house-made root vegetable chips with a seasonal aioli.
The inspiration for Kiddo stems from the days Piazza spent working in a culinary garden in Sonoma County, California. While harvesting vegetables, he came across a woman and her grandson who were curious about the garden's food-growing process. As they were talking, the toddler wandered over to a tomato plant, plucked a tomato off the vine, and bit into it with a smile on its face.
"After this moment, I realized that this kid and I shared something in common — a powerful curiosity, untamed excitement, and complete fascination with food," Piazza said. "I want to share this feeling with each and every one of our guests, employees, and partners at Kiddo by delivering a creative, vegetable-driven menu in an environment that creates connections between people and their food."
Kiddo will get its produce from Kneehigh Farm, Horseshoe Ranch and Hill Creek Farm in Pottstown and Stoney Lane Organic Farm in New Hope. The restaurant's owners plan to work with other farms and producers with sustainable practices in the future.
"Achieving a sustainable food system is one of the greatest challenges we face today in the wake of climate change, and almost everyone has a different opinion on how to accomplish that," Piazza said. "I believe it is a chef's role to be a steward of the environment. We control what food is on our menu and what dishes are popular, so the chef community has a responsibility to make thoughtful choices about the products that we source."
The restaurant is currently hiring workers. As Kiddo progresses toward its grand opening, Piazza and Drake will provide updates on Instagram.