Thursday, September 3, 2015

Racine sets down roots in Pottstown

Greg Vassos, a Johnson & Wales-trained chef has been getting great notices in the early going of the fine-dining BYOB in Pottstown.

Racine sets down roots in Pottstown

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Greg Vassos has traveled a long road from his native Massachusetts to Pottstown - Providence, R.I.,, Barcelona. Grand Cayman, Palm Beach.

Now he's a first-time solo act, 20 minutes up Route 422 from King of Prussia.

The Johnson & Wales-trained chef has been getting great notices in the early going of the fine-dining Restaurant Racine, a 30-seat BYOB that took over earlier this month for Funky Li'l Kitchen in Pottstown (232 King St., 610-326-7400).

It's sustainable, locally sourced cuisine prepared with French technique and artful presentation.

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Vassos was executive chef at L'Escalier, the over-the-top French restaurant at the Breakers in Palm Beach.

After it closed in 2011, his consulting led him to the Philly area, where he has family.

He started looking for his own restaurant on the Main Line, but "the rent was outrageous," he said, adding that being a little off the beaten path is good in this case.

"All the farms are out here," Vassos said. He's dealing directly with them.

He's even gone local with coffee and tea: Cave Bird Coffee out of Downingtown, and West Chester's Pure Blend Tea. 

You're encouraged to build your own four-course menu - portions are a bit smaller but generous enough. Check average is $60 a person.

As for the restaurant's name: French for "root." Nothing to do with the city in Wisconsin.

"I was going through farming words," he said. "The basis of everything I've learned in life came from French cooking, and 'root' is a new beginning. With this [business], I'm starting something new and growing it."

It's open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday. 

Menu changes daily; a sample is here.

Philly.com
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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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