Thursday, Aug. 11 is the debut of Zeppoli, a homespun Sicilian BYOB in Collingswood from chef Joey Baldino.
Baldino, 33, has a who's-who of experience (notably Marc Vetri, but also Georges Perrier, Michael Solomonov, and Jose Garces), a French Culinary Institute education, and South Philly roots (11th and Tasker).
In his solo debut, he's taken the former IndeBlue at 618 Collings Ave. (856-854-2670), warming up the dining room with art from Sicily and opening the kitchen. (IndeBlue is now across the street.) He told me that he selected the location, which he found on Craigslist, because the rent was reasonable.
Baldino, who apprenticed at Chez Panisse and Daniel, and served as chef de cuisine at Vetri and on the opening crew at Osteria, left Philly in 2009 to live and work at the villa of Sicilian cooking authority Anna Tasca Lanza, before her death last year. He named Zeppoli after the pastry (also known as sfinge or St. Joseph’s cakes) because he flew into Sicily on St. Joseph’s Day.
The tables at the homey 35-seater once accommodated patrons at Dante & Luigi’s. He rustled up bentwood chairs from all over. Besides old photos, the walls are decorated with murals that once adorned donkey carts in Sicily.
Entrees top out at $29, and some half-portions are available. It's open Wednesdays through Mondays for dinner.