Early this fall, the popular Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties will welcome new dining destination Speck, the first restaurant by local acclaimed Chef Shola Olunyolo. Name sound familiar? This isn’t the first foray into decadent dinners for Olunyolo; many Center City foodies have followed him through his career in area restaurants and have been waiting for this announcement with baited breath and massive appetites.
Neutral colors, natural elements and dim lighting will allow the food to shine, while massive glass windows opening up on the Piazza will let the sun shine in. The space will also include prime outdoor seating. Beverage options will include a plentiful list of wines by the glass, area craft beers and specially designed cocktails.
Speck’s food menu will be what the chef calls “new American”: a combination of cuisines, flavors and techniques that he has amassed over his career. Charcuterie fans are sure to enjoy the menu, as many of the items are said to include the restaurant’s namesake. Diners will have a variety of small plates to choose from, including razor clams with yuzu, garlic and olive oil; speck-wrapped fingerling potatoes topped with a smoked paprika aioli; and skate with brown butter and miso sauce paired with sunchokes.
True food fans, though, won’t have to worry about what to choose, as they will leave their meal in the chef’s capable hands. Studiokitchen is a special area of Speck, a private eight-seat bar that overlooks the open, centrally located kitchen and delivers nine-course tasting menus. The seats are reservations-only, so if you are interested, sign up quickly. Olunyolo launched www.studiokitchen.com today for bookings, and as of posting weekend spots were already scarce. Weekday spots are $120, weekends $150. Reservations require payment in full.
Speck is located at 1050 Hancock Street, Philadelphia, 215.925.9500, www.speckfoodandwine.com and www.studiokitchen.com