My second dinner at the James Beard House featured Chef Greg Vernick, who grew up in NJ and went to undergrad at Boston University — just like me! He worked for both Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Ken Oringer before opening his own restaurant, Vernick Food & Drink, in Philadelphia last year. Some of my favorite dishes of the night included the artic char with crispy skin (I could have eaten ten of those — OK, maybe more), uni with warm scrambled eggs (need I say more? It was heavenly), and the smoked salmon with golden egg & caviar (a truly amazing dish). It was exciting to watch Chef Vernick and his team working intensely in the kitchen during the cocktail reception (the kitchen is open so you can pop in and sneak a peek). His food is clean, creative, and delicious. We also had the great pleasure of chatting with his lovely wife, Julie, another BU alum and one of the warmest people I’ve ever met. She told us about the process of opening the restaurant and how she works in the front of the house as well as the business end. Impressive! After the wonderful experience tonight, I’m looking forward to taking a little road trip to Philly this year to check out Vernick Food & Drink.
Trout Roe on Hand-Pulled Mozzarella
Arctic Char with Crispy Skin and Dill
Island Creek Oysters with Young Ginger Vinaigrette
Uni with Warm Scrambled Eggs
Chef Vernick and his team doing their thing in the Beard House kitchen
At our table
Spring Pea Soup
Gently Smoked Skuna Bay Craft Raised Salmon with Golden Egg and Caviar
Asparagus with Charred Spring Onions, Lemon, and Romesco
Steamed Atlantic Halibut with Mushroom–Lemon Fumet
Potato Ravioli with Braised Lamb, Fava Beans, and Rosemary
Citrus Crème with Gingered Raspberries and Sicilian Pistachios
The Beard House dining room
A little take home treat: VERNICK Housemade Rose Vermouth, chocolates, and a Vernick pen!