If I have a lot of money and would like to drink a lot of booze, I should try … Tria, because the clever, breezy wine and beer descriptions could make even Sutter Home white zin sound like something you’d want to drink.
If I have a lot of money and would like to eat a lot of tasty food, I should try … brunch at Lacroix is still my favorite bank-breaking experience in town. You start by grazing across dozens of precocious little tapas spread out in the foyer, then proceed into kitchen for the entree stations. It’s something like $70 a head, plus daytime drinking funds, but the views of the square and the thoroughly confused old-money clientele are priceless.
If I don’t have a lot of money but would like to drink a lot of booze, I should try … sleeping with a bartender.
If I don’t have a lot of money but would like to eat a lot of tasty food, I should try … stealing. It worked for Aladdin.
If I could only eat five foods and drink two beverages for the rest of your life, they would be ... Jim Burke’s pastas, my mom’s chicken cutlets, doughnut peaches, Cape May salts, Sour Patch Kids, birch beer and Duchesse de Bourguignon.
The food I eat the most is … coffee; I guess that’s not really a food. But I put away at least 4 mugs a day.
The best thing a vegetarian can eat in Philly is … the beet and fennel salad with big blobs of ricotta at South Philly Tap Room.
The best thing for carnivores in Philly is … the 20-ounce Gachot & Gachot rib eye at Barclay Prime.
The tastiest drink in Philly is … Christian Gaal’s matchlessly refreshing Gio Ponti at Kraftwork. It’s got all my favorite things: Campari, pilsner, honey and orange.
The most expensive thing I’ve ever eaten/drank is … dinner at Per Se, a Christmas gift from the ’rents. The first course, “oysters and pearls,” is one of Thomas Keller’s signature plates, and the maitre d’ loaded it up tableside with what had to be $400 worth of caviar.
The food that I will not put in my mouth ever is … There are a few, and all are pretty normal: black olives, canned tuna, dill pickles, hard-boiled eggs, sardines and lunchmeat-style salami. I know, I know. Bring on the thymus glands and oxtails, but keep the egg salad the fuck away. ■
After three years at PW, our favorite foodie moves on. But not before he gives us an exit interview.
Dinner with Luke Palladino