Table Talk: Five courses, prix fixe, sous vide a specialty

Posted: February 26, 2009

Most chefs dream of getting into the fire by opening their own restaurants.

Gregory Ott got into a water bath.

He and his fiancee, Kellie Boyce, opened Restaurant Rosalie in the central Montgomery County burg of Cedars last month, and his specialty is sous-vide cooking.

In sous vide, championed by chefs such as Ferran AdriĆ” and Thomas Keller, ingredients are vacuum-sealed into plastic bags, which are cooked at precise temperatures for precise times, but below the boiling point. The results often are ethereal.

At this sunny 18-seater tucked inside the Shoppes at Cedars Country Store (3401 Skippack Pike, at Bustard Road; 610-584-1680), Ott prepares five-course, fixed-price dinners ($60, including Kir, plus tax and tip) Wednesdays through Saturdays. The menu changes weekly and is posted at on Mondays. Last week's entree was black grouper brulee. Reservations are a must, since he prepares only what Boyce (the lone waitress) will serve.

Lunch, where walk-ins are allowed, is offered Tuesdays through Saturdays. Menu includes sandwiches, a quiche, an omelet, and pastries.

Ott, 37, who grew up in Souderton, left the geophysical industry to attend the Restaurant School. He set out on a series of cooking jobs. He and Boyce met at the nearby Parc Bistro in Skippack.

The space previously was Alison Cafe at Cedars, which Alison Barshak operated from 2001 until she opened Alison at Blue Bell in 2003.

What's new

Funeral parlor - pizza parlor. Nick Cassizzi - whose uncle owns the Cassizzi funeral home at Thompson and Cambria Streets in Port Richmond - has opened Cassizzi Pizzeria Ristorante in a former funeral home at Clearfield and Belgrade Streets (2533 E. Clearfield St., 215-739-6000), across from the Police Athletic League. (It was Flannigan's and had been closed for about two decades, Cassizzi says.) He does brick-oven pizza - no wisecracks about Tombstone - plus hot and cold sandwiches (roast pork, fried bologna, Italian hot dogs) in an Old World atmosphere. It's open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

There's a rock-and-roll chef now at the helm of Campbell's Pub (8337 Germantown Ave., 215-242-1818) in Chestnut Hill. Rob Mullen, who took over in November with his wife, Vanessa, is Culinary Institute of America-trained and previously was chef at Triumph Brewing in Princeton. While catering, he cooked for U2 during a South American tour. He's due to go out again with U2 in the summer. At Campbell's - which starts serving at 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, plus Sunday brunch - he's doing a gastropub menu.

Out and around

Little Italy is the name of a pizzeria/specialty sandwichery under construction in the storefront on Ninth Street just above South that was home to Mimosa and ChrisStevens. Owners are Claudio Sandolo from Old City's Spasso and South Jersey restaurateur John Talamo. They hope to open the first week of March.

Firecreek, the Downingtown grill backed in part by 333 Belrose's Carlo deMarco and Rob Donaldson, is looking at a mid-March opening.

Also hoping for mid-March is Smokin' Betty's at 116 S. 11th St., Susan Schlisman's casual cross-town companion to Devil's Alley.

Ladder 15 at 1528 Sansom St. is aiming for the second or third week in March.

Capogiro, the gelateria chain at 13th and Sansom and 20th and Sansom, is penciling in early April for its third outlet, at the Radian at 39th and Chestnut Streets. Also coming online in April will be Capogiro's production facility in East Falls; a retail operation is to open later on. And owner John Reitano confirms a fourth Capogiro on the boards: in South Philly. He won't locate it, but the buzzing is loudest along the East Passyunk restaurant strip, where Paradiso owner Lynn Rinaldi says she has already decided to bag the purchase of an ice-cream-maker.

Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or

See restaurant news at

comments powered by Disqus