Apparently, semi-professional underground restaurants (supper clubs, whatever you want to call them...) are all the rage these days. I get the emails every week from Wolfsmouth, but who can fly off to LA on a moments notice to dine in someone's condo? Assuming you can even get an invite.
But Philly is also participating in this trend. Many of us know "the restaurant we are not supposed to tweet about", which I personally think may be the best food to be had at any price in Philly, but there are plenty of others. And last night I had a chance to attend the inaugural dinner of the newest of the bunch: Runaround Sous.
The brain-child Anthony Sica (an ex-opera singer, who was accepted to CIA and worked at Le Bec Fin, but has decided to go awol and do something completely different), RS's mission is to feature the unsung heroes of Philly's food scene, the sous chefs from our best restaurants, doing one-off dinners in an attractive Logan Square townhouse for groups of ~15-20. And they got off to a great start last night with guest chef Doug Allen of Lacroix.
Arriving at 7 for a 7:30 dinner, we took a tour of the condo (a nice rooftop deck will be great when the weather gets a bit warmer in the evening), hung out in the kitchen watching the chefs do practice plates and explain things to the servers (including a som, who provided BYOB suggestions for each course), and then jumped into a drink or three before dinner.
A young, diverse crowd of foodies, mixed together in two different seating areas (the 3 kitchen counter seats are definitely the ones to ask for), it's a great way to meet people who share your interest in fine dining and having a good time. Chef Allen's cooking, as you can see from the pictures, was beautifully plated, and tasted as good as it looked. Perhaps a little slow on the service side, but that is understandable when a chef is using a nice but not professional kitchen for the first time (he was also assisted by Trevor Crum from Lacroix and Sam Henzy from Talula's Garden). But with all the wines and conversation, I think everyone was perfectly happy with the pace.
$50 by PayPal (don't forget to leave a tip!) was a good deal. Easy parking at an open-air lot a block away. They also had a special $10 discount from Uber (not sure if this will be a regular thing or not).
If you are interested, they have a Facebook page to announce future events (also @RunaroundSous on Twitter). The next dinner will feature a well-known Philly chef, who is not actually a sous. But since it hasn't been announced, I won't spill the beans...