Nick Elmi has done it again.
The Top Chef winner and owner of the highly-praised Laurel opened a new concept called ITV over the summer. Inquirer food critic, Craig Laban, has now visited the more casual restaurant and wine bar concept, located next door to Laurel at 1615 E. Passyunk Ave. Just as Laurel received a glowing three bell review in 2014, ITV has received the same three bell praise for the “blend of finesse and creative wit [that] elevates virtually every dish” at the restaurant.
From the review:
But the wines are a worthy focal point at ITV, chosen by Heather Sharp to complement the food, a Eurocentric list that leans toward “minimal-intervention” producers like the biodynamic Albert Mann from Alsace (a stone fruit-vivid Auxerrois), or an earthy Beaujolais-Villages from Jean-Paul Dubost, or the juicy rosé of German pinot from Hexamer. Sharp has a special fondness for minerally Austrian wines, and I loved the sparkling dry grüner from Szigeti against the oceanic gush of happy hour oysters, roasted just until warm beneath sweet peppers, fennel, and almonds.
But you’ll want to step up to a rare glass of premier cru “grower champagne” from Aubry if you splurge on the caviar. And I suggest you do. Elmi charges far less than the industry standard food markup for an ounce of hackleback ($60) or sturgeon roe ($110). But it’s the presentation that delights – a deconstructed riff on nachos from chef de cuisine Kyle McCormick that presents an ounce of roe on a gorgeous ceramic “cafeteria” tray (crafted by Port Richmond’s Felt + Fat) laden with made-to-order blinis, potato crackers, and an elegant “seven layer dip” of thinly spread avocado and crème fraîche dotted capers, shallots, dabs of gelled vodka, and herbs.