Speck -- the modern, progressive New American from chef Shola Olunloyo -- is now looking at "early fall" for its opening at the Piazza at Schmidt's (1050 Hancock St., 215-925-9500).
Here are the specs:
- It's named for the proscuitto.
- Eight-seat chef’s counter in the middle of the dining room for nine-course chef’s tasting menus. It can be booked online up to a year out and must be paid in advance. This is a nod to Olunloyo's recent work. He cooked at such spots as Deux Cheminées, Le Bec-Fin, and Bleu before striking out on his own by cooking ambitious, uncompromising private dinners in his apartment, aka StudioKitchen. His blog is one of the finest showcases of food photography today; what's even more striking is that he prepares the food and styles his own shoots.
- Samples of the small-plate menu ($4 to $24): Razor Clams with yuzu, garlic and olive oil; Rabbit Escabeche with cauliflower, prunes and Earl Grey tea; Tomato-Almond Gazpacho with crab remoulade and tomato sorbet; Speck-Wrapped Fingerling Potatoes with smoked paprika aioli; Speck Toast with poached egg and gruyere; Medium Rare Steak Tartare with olive oil and caper; Watermelon Greek Salad; Corn Soup with pickled chanterelles and pistachio oil; and Skate with Brown Butter Miso and sunchoke.
- Understated decor: neutral color palette, with natural wood tones, ebony paneling, gray fabrics, and soft lighting; white, rift-cut oak floors and minimalist, clean, refined aesthetic.
- 15-foot glass facade with fully retractable doors opening onto the Piazza.
- Central kitchen with more than 100 spices on floating-glass shelves and chef’s counter.
- Intimate bar with 25 wines by the glass, craft beers and "food-friendly" cocktails.