July 29, 2011
Philadelphia Magazine’s Best Of Philly® 2011 Issue Hits Newsstands Today; Get A Sneak Peek At Some Of The Winners And Why They’re Honored To Be The Best In Philadelphia
Every summer, Philadelphians look forward to diving into Philadelphia Magazine’s annual Best of Philly® issue to see what’s the latest and greatest in our fair city.
Accordingly, it’s a pretty big deal to be crowned a winner.
So we wanted to talk to the winners and elicit from them what about Philadelphia made them proud to have been named the best among their peers.
We asked a select group of 2011 Best of Philly® award-winners this exact question and below are the answers we received.
We hope you enjoy their responses as much as we did.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Won for: Best Scene-Makers
Drew Becher, President: “Philly is growing into one of the greenest cities in the country, and PHS is thrilled to be part of the transformation.”
Won for: Best Old Restaurant
Ellen Yin, Owner: “Philadelphia has an amazing dining scene, one of the best in the country. So of course we are honored to be selected!”
Won for: Best Dessert and Best New Restaurant
Won for: Best Costume Bling
Marcie Turney, (also see below) Chef and Co-owner: “Philly is a city that has great restaurants open each year from such talented chefs who really put their heart and personality into the overall experience for the diner. So to be named the best, is a great honor… and what I truly enjoyed was telling my chefs and seeing the look on their faces!”
Won for: Best Restaurant Row
Valerie Safran, (also see above) Co-owner (Bindi, Lolita, Barbuzzo, Verde, Open House, Grocery): “We are super excited about all of it — when we started out here over 9 years ago we never dreamed it would become the vibrant, bustling hot spot that it is! Last night I was working at Barbuzzo and the outdoor seating was packed, the shops were full, there was a line out the door for gelato across the street… I still have to pinch myself to believe that we are smack dab in the middle of it. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the neighborhood in which we work and live (we live above Bindi). Our block has it all. We love Philly!!!”
Pub & Kitchen
Won for: Best Burger
Jonathan Adams, Executive Chef: “Philadelphia is a very loyal, tough town so to be recognized really means a lot our staff. Thanks Philly.”
Won for: Best Bloody Mary
William Reed, Chef: “What is great about Philadelphians, is that they make up their own damn minds about what they like. Many, many vaunted chains and concepts fail here; because we really aren’t just about hype. The place has to prove itself every day.”
Won for: Most Underrated Food Neighborhood
Lori Klein Brennan, Director of Marketing and Communications for University City District: “With a diverse residential population, our access to parks and greenspace, a burgeoning local food scene, a vibrant arts district, easy access via public transit, and large institutions educating our youth while conducting cutting-edge research, University City has something for everyone and is truly the best neighborhood in Philadelphia.”
We hear from Chef Michael Solomonov of Zahav, Sam Mink of Oyster House and more, below.
Won for: Best Restaurant to Take Your New York Friends To
Michael Solomonov, Executive Chef: “Philadelphians have a discerning palate, and with so many amazing restaurants, I’m very proud to be a part of this issue.”
Won for: Best Service
Jon Cichon, Executive Chef: “We are proud to be named ‘Best Service’ in Philadelphia because it has become such a renowned dining city. We feel that we owe this award to our guests who inspire and motivate us to constantly strive for more.”
Won for: Best Power Lunch
Sam Mink, Owner: “There are many places for a great lunch in this city, so I’m excited that the ‘movers and shakers’ of Philly enjoy having lunch in the new Oyster House.”
Won for: Best Summer Take-Away Deal
Mike Stollenwerk, Executive Chef: Simply put, “The brotherly love.”
Won for: Best Sandwich
Chef/Owner: “Philly is a small large city. Philly Mag has a great reputation. It’s a nice pat on the back. This award really means something!”
Percy Street Barbecue
Won for: Best Pies
Erin O’Shea, Executive Chef: “There’s so much great talent in Philly right now, it’s wonderful to be a part of our food scene and I can’t wait for what’s to come.”
Won for: Best Replacement for the Wall at the Palm (celebrity sushi rolls)
Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka, Executive Chef: “It’s nice to be recognized by my peers and it’s an honor.”
Won for: Best Nursery, City
Mary Seton Corboy, Co-Founder and Chief Farm Hand: “The way to keep Philadelphia vital is to create active vibrant green community spaces where all Philadelphians can mix it up together — no ‘your neighborhood, my neighborhood’ — just Philadelphia and damn proud of it.”
Duross & Langel Haddonfield
Won for: Satellite Location
Steve Duross, Owner: “The exceptional nature of the city and the people. it drives me toward greatness.”
Won for: Ice Cream
Eric Berley, Co-owner: “Philadelphia has a long tradition of being considered the workshop for the world. As such, hand crafted products have been held in esteem for hundreds of years as a mark of quality from the city of brotherly love. It’s an honor to be called the best at our craft given our historical heritage. Perhaps the critics of the past would have been harder won than those of today since competition was even fiercer in our field. Either way its always an honor to serve our customers the best.”
M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel
Won for: Outdoor Dining
Michael Caspi, Executive Chef: “I’m honored to be associated with some of the most talented chefs in the nation and to be honored with the best of the best in a city that has continued to expand daily in their true love of great food and drink.”
Best of Philly [Philadelphia Magazine] *Section yet to be updated with 2011 winners.