They just got the ovens lit up two days ago. Last night, they did the first menu test for the servers–which, according to Justin Petruce (who’s running this namesake joint, along with brother Jonathan) did not go smoothly.
“It was kind of a shitshow,” he laughs. Not everything on the menu worked. Not everything came out on the plate as good as it sounded on paper. So today, he’s tinkering. His brother is tinkering. The whole kitchen crew is tinkering–playing with the new, wood-burning ovens and adjusting the amount of black garlic that goes with the pork and getting turnips ready to go in the oven–while, down in the bar area, George Costa tries to get the POS system working, gives up and starts buffing and polishing the floors instead.
It’s a prep day at Petruce et al. With four days left before the first paying guests come through the door, the brothers are re-thinking the menu, worrying about an inspector that’s due any minute and looking ahead to tonight when, at 6pm, they’re going to be doing another dinner–friends and family this time–where the food has to be…well, better.
Still, even with all of this going on, they let me in to snap some photos of the space, the ovens, the supplies, the prep lists, and just generally get in everyone’s way. So you wanna get an idea of what Petruce is going to look like when it opens this Friday? Then just check out the photos after the jump.
The bar isn’t set up yet (that’s something else to worry about later today, after the inspectors have come and gone), but you can get an idea here of the size of it.
From the front door, looking back through the bar to the dining room beyond. It’s a long, deep, narrow space–but not quite as skinny as it looks here. There are booths tucked in all along that right-hand wall.
Booths which will mostly look like this.
The main dining room at Petruce et al, a few days before opening.
The kitchen crew getting set up for the morning.
Don’t let those pretty ovens fool you (like they did me). A naan flatbread with goat, chickpea and pickled turnip is about as close to pizza as anything in this place gets. And when’s the last time you had a goat-and-pickled-turnip pizza?
The batterie de cuisine of an open-flame kitchen.
Artichokes, for the trout with almonds, lemon and Calabrian chile.
Petruce’s wood-burning grill, just getting warmed up for the day.
Justin Petruce’s prep list for the day.
And this is part of sous chef Chuck Formoso’s list for the day.
The wood-burning oven in action.
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