Amanda Shulman can cook.
Now she is about to run her own restaurant.
This week, Shulman, the opening executive sous chef at Vetri Cucina in Las Vegas, debuts Her Place Supper Club, a BYOB with a dinner-party-in-the-kitchen vibe, in the Rittenhouse storefront at 1740 Sansom St. that previously housed Slice Pizza and a short-lived version of Swiss Haus Pastry.
Her Place’s set menu ($65 a head), which can change on the fly, goes online at 6 p.m. Sundays. The 18 seats turn over twice a night Wednesday to Saturday.
Shulman, 28, said she is committed to the space for June and July, with August TBA. From there, who knows? But her old boss is not worried.
“She’s amazing,” Marc Vetri said. “I expect big things from her. I’ve worked with many talented chefs in my life, but she could be one of the most passionate and creative. Look out!”
Shulman’s career began as a junior at the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in political science and journalism, hoping to become an international correspondent. While interviewing Vetri’s father, Sal, at Vetri Cucina for a profile, “I ended up staying to make staff meal with him.”
Besides freelance food writing (including the Stayhungree blog), that encounter turned into work at Vetri, where she discovered the joys of cooking in a restaurant kitchen. Her apartment in West Philadelphia became an occasional supper club for five-course, $35 dinners attended by friends. She landed gigs at Amis Trattoria, then a Vetri-owned restaurant, as well as the Bake Shop on 20th, where she had signed on primarily to learn about babka making.
Sold on her, in 2017 Vetri sent her to work in Bergamo, Italy — the same city where he worked as a young chef. Back in the States, she did a couple of stops in New York City (including Momofuku Ko) before Vetri sent her to open Vegas. After eight months, she left for Joe Beef in Montreal.
She’s been back in Philly — the Connecticut native’s adopted home town — since September with her Canadian chef boyfriend. While hunting for a restaurant, “this space fell into my lap,” she said. She’s working with Vetri-ite Steven Posner and her high school best friend, Caroline Andryc, and Augie, who, she identifies only as “the world’s best dishwasher.” All pitch in where needed.
The casual setup makes it “a not-restaurant,” Shulman said.
She’s working extensively with Everwild Farm in Ambler. Her opening menu starts with crudites and Green Goddess dressing; a fried soft-shell crab; mushroom babka with mushroom butter; green pie made with kale and Swiss chard; salmon with favas and sides; and strawberry profiteroles.