Philly-bred chef Anthony Marini, who last January was a winner of CNBC's Restaurant Startup with his concept The Rarest, has signed a deal with Thomas and Stephen Finley of Finley Catering to bring the restaurant to the Franklin Residences, at 834 Chestnut St.
The Rarest - taking the former Palace at the Ben spot at the corner of Ninth and Chestnut Streets - is to be a modern, upscale/casual American restaurant/bar with a seasonal menu and raw bar specializing in crudo, ceviche, tartare, and charcuterie (fish, meats and vegetables). DAS Architects has the design work.
Marini, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, started at the former Dilullo Centro and Philadelphia Fish and Company. He later opened two restaurants in Birmingham, Ala., but gave them up during a protracted custody battle for his son, now 12.
Marini won the support of restaurateur/co-host Joe Bastianich, who liked Marini's idea as well as the Philadelphia food climate. (Bastianich is mulling a deal to open a branch of Eataly here.)
Marini says that he received other offers of financial support.
Finley has a home-field advantage, in that it operates the Ballroom at the Ben upstairs.