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Messina Social Club adds spark with ‘Top Chef’ alum Eddie Konrad’s tasting menus

The $95 tasting menus will be joined by a la carte offerings this fall.

Zucchini and mussels at Messina Social Club.
Zucchini and mussels at Messina Social Club.Read moreMICHAEL KLEIN / Staff

Messina Social Club in South Philadelphia is trying something new.

The club president, Jason Cichonski, has brought in Eddie Konrad — the former chef de cuisine at Laurel and a contestant on Top Chef Season 16 — as a partner and executive chef. (Cichonski is focusing on other projects, such as Attico in Center City and his pasta company, Little Noodle.)

Through the summer, Konrad offers six-course tasting menus ($95) by reservation Thursday through Saturday — and they are stunners.

Last weekend’s, for example, started with steelhead trout cured in lemon, chilies, and poppy, and served with radishes, cucumber, and green tomato and an herb dressing.

It segued into poached mussels served with shaved zucchini with benne seeds, crispy garlic, charred zucchini puree, and a smoked mussel emulsion.

Following was a filet of barbecue-spiced and roasted tilefish over corn and jalapeño succotash, topped with whipped polenta and served with a fermented blueberry vinaigrette.

Then came a dish of rye gnocchi sardi with beet, dill, horseradish, pickled mustard seeds, and pumpernickel, followed by dry-aged Hudson Valley duck breast and house-made duck sausage, served with an apricot stuffed with sugar plum puree and creamed Swiss chard. The dessert was coconut risotto with blueberries, honey, rose, and crispy rice. Cocktails and wines are available.

The fall is expected to bring additional days, hours, and à la carte dining.

Keep in mind that Messina is a club, so you need to be approved and pay a $25 annual fee that covers the member and up to three guests. Want an application? Use the password insider2021 to get into the site. A limited number of memberships are now available.

Chef Konrad’s six-course tasting menus ($95) at Messina Social Club, 1533 S. 10th St., are served from 6-8:45 p.m. Thursday-Saturday by reservation. Bar is open until midnight Thursday and until 3 a.m. weekends. Membership is required.