The latest award goes to a 38-seat BYOB on Girard Avenue in what’s now known as “South Kensington.” (Northern Liberties is just across the street.)
It’s not just any distinction.
“Why it won: Simple pleasures and serious food—for once, you don’t have to choose between them” begins Rothman’s essay.
(Of course, this list is one woman’s opinion. Rothman ranked Frenchette in New York City, which just won the James Beard Award for best new restaurant, third. Cadence wasn’t even a semifinalist for the Beard, which relies on a vote among dozens of critics.)
In his three-bell review last year, Inquirer critic Craig LaBan praised Cadence as an “edgy, earthy atelier of intricate inspirations and live-fire cooking," and later called it “the most innovative kitchen” of 2018. Cadence is a collab among chef Jon Nodler and his wife, pastry chef Samantha Kincaid, and chef Michael Fry, who met while working at Fork, High Street on Market, and a.kitchen.
Food & Wine has smiled on Philly before.
Kincaid, for example, was named one of F&W’s five best pastry chefs in America in 2014, when she was at Fork in Old City.
Rooster Soup Co., now known as The Rooster, made the top-10 list in 2017. Eli Kulp, a partner in such restaurants as High Street on Market and New York’s High Street on Hudson, was one of its best new chefs in 2014. (High Street on Hudson was a top-10 new restaurant in 2016.) The vegan temple Vedge last year was included in a F&W list of the 40 most important restaurants of the last 40 years. Nicholas Elmi (Laurel, ITV, Royal Boucherie) got a F&W spread in 2014 after he won Bravo’s Top Chef.
All of F&W’s best new restaurants and best new chefs will appear next month at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and in the July restaurant issue.
In order, the list is:
1. Cadence, Philadelphia – Chef Jon Nodler, Chef Michael Fry, and Pastry Chef Samantha Kincaid
2. Suerte, Austin, Texas – Chef Fermin Nunez and Restaurateur Sam Hellman-Mass
3. Frenchette, New York City – Chef Riad Nasr and Chef Lee Hanson
4. Konbi, Los Angeles – Chefs Akira Akuto and Nick Montgomery
5. Kumiko, Chicago – Chef Noah Sandoval and Creative Director Julia Momose
6. Adda Indian Canteen, Long Island City, NY – Chef Chintan Pandya
7. Fox & the Knife, Boston – Chef Karen Akunowicz
8. Indigo, Houston – Chef Jonny Rhodes
9. Nightshade, Los Angeles – Chef Mei Lin