Ex-Pumpkin chef Christopher Kearse’s debut as an owner shows potential to become Philly’s next great BYOB, a simple 30-seat box with excellent service and ever-changing menus that recasts classical ideas with cutting-edge modern techniques. The inventiveness is exciting, even if the kitchen doesn’t always fully hit its mark. But as that success rate rises, and a finer balance is struck between pure edginess and culinary harmony, plus more attention is paid to creature comforts, Will is a prime candidate to someday rise to a more elite rating.
Sweet potato nage with crab; Tuscan kale potage with razor clams; whole roasted hen of the woods; Barnegat scallops with wild fennel, almond and uni crème; duet of duck; Hudson Valley dourade; Parisian gnocchi; snails and bottarga in amaranth porridge; poulard with kale; sour coconut milk sorbet; Blackout cake; banana pot de crème with salted caramel gelee. Entrees, $23-$30. Tuesday five-course menu, $45. Sunday four-courses, $40.
BYOB. Try a versatile pinot noir from Russian River or Oregon, or an aromatic white such as viognier or riesling to match the light yet vivid flavors.
A deafening 96-98 decibels demands solutions, which are a work-in-progress, with Kearse adding buffers since my recent meals. Are they enough? Ideal is 75 decibels or less.
Dinner Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday, 5:30-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until 11 p.m.