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November 18, 2011

Sneak Peek: Vedge, The New American Restaurant From Horizons’ Kate Jacoby And Rich Landau, Debuts Tonight In Washington Square West

Vedge is a great addition to the vibrant Washington Square West dining scene, bringing fresh fare and a flexible approach to dining to a beautiful historic space. (Photos by T. Scheid for GPTMC)

As of July 2, the extremely popular, award-winning upscale vegan spot Horizons officially closed its doors.

And as of tonight, Friday, November 18, at 5 p.m., Chef-Owners (and husband-wife team) Kate Jacoby and Rich Landau are opening the doors on their much-awaited new venture, Vedge.

It’s a more casual version of Horizons, with small-medium plates and a more flexible approach to dining (there’s a cozy cocktail lounge complete with fireplace and happy hour snack menu, in addition to a full bar and two dining rooms for the full sit-down experience).

The transplantation from South Street to the Washington Square West neighborhood will likely bring more foot traffic, and the space is absolutely gorgeous. Check out some highlights of Vedge for a sneak peek before the spot opens this evening:

The Decor

Vedge is located in a historic building (we’re talking 1895 historic) at 1221 Locust, formerly Deux Cheminees, an upscale French restaurant that closed in 2007. The stained glass on the windows is original, complementing the gorgeous wood floors and tables.

The light fixtures are all pieces of art in themselves, crafted in Tennessee, including a “spoondelier” (vintage silver-plated spoons crafted into a chandelier) and two hanging strips of lights taken from telephone tower bulbs.

The hot kitchen feeds out into what the chefs are calling their “Vegetable Bar,” where cold prep will be done, tables and stools adjacent so diners can watch the cooks in action.

Horizons benefited from great outdoor seating; Jacoby says they’ve discussed the possibility of opening up sidewalk seating along Camac Street next to the restaurant in the warm months.

The Food

Fresh, fresh and more fresh. The restaurant is an all-vegetable restaurant, sourced from Lancaster Farm Co-Op, Irwin Bros. Mushrooms and other local suppliers. There is some tofu and seitan on the menu, but the bulk of what’s on offer is strictly vegetables.

Vedge will feature a variety of small dishes that can be combined in twos or threes, tapas-style, for a meal (whereas Horizons took the more traditional entrée route).

Fun fact: Vedge is also serving a “Dirt List,” a rotating list of creatively prepared vegetables that you can order a la carte.

The idea behind the restaurant is to have open arms for meat-eaters and veg-heads alike. Jacoby assured us that diners should feel free to come in wearing a leather jacket; no angry vegan activists here.

The Drinks

There are 75 wines, 12 by the glass; all are from small production boutique wineries, many family-owned and -operated. The focus is on natural, unfiltered wines.

Beer-wise, there are six rotating on tap, and eight bottles. There are currently two local picks (from Yards and Stillwater). Craft cocktails reflect the seasons, and the bitters are made in-house! Everything beverage-wise is designed to completely complement the food at Vedge.

So: why the shift away from Horizons? Jacoby says, “We were ready for something new; we didn’t want it to become a dinosaur.”

Pressure’s on to live up to Horizons’ acclaim; VegNews named Horizons “Restaurant of the Year” soon after its debut, Philadelphia magazine routinely listed it in its “Top 50 Restaurants,” and the New York Times called it “one of Philadelphia’s best new restaurants.”

But our opinion? Jacoby and Landau won’t have any problems whatsoever. Make reservations right here.

Vedge
1221 Locust Street
www.vedgerestaurant.com

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