True to their name, Vernick Food & Drink (2031 Walnut Street, 267-639-6644) serves both exceptional food and the area’s most creative and delicious drinks, including a seasonal assortment of House-Made Sodas and Mocktails featuring fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and house-steeped syrups. This inviting neighborhood bistro from Cherry Hill, NJ native Chef-owner Greg Vernick debuted in the Rittenhouse Square area earlier this year and is already earning rave reviews for their excellent use of local ingredients – both on the food and drink menus.
“Our house-made sodas and mocktails are approached with the same thoughtfulness that we put into the preparation of our cocktails, they’re made-to-order using only the freshest ingredients. It’s a great option for guests who may not opt for an alcoholic cocktail, but who still would like a refreshing beverage beyond the typical offerings,” says Chef Vernick, who honed his skills in lauded kitchens such as New York City’s Restaurant Tocqueville, Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Jean-Georges and Kenneth Oringer’s Clio in Boston, MA.
Chef Vernick and Beverage Manager Vincent Stipo worked together to create the selection of house-made sodas and mocktails, which include: Fresh Ginger and Lime, ginger syrup and fresh lime juice blended with sparkling water ($5); Raspberry and Basil, muddled raspberries and raspberry puree with sparkling water served in a high ball glass rimmed with basil salt ($5); Cucumber Smash, muddled lemon and mint with cucumber water and sugar ($6); and Vernick Punch, fresh-squeezed juices with house grenadine ($6). The house-made sodas and mocktails will change, both to complement the food menu and to capitalize on the freshest herbs and produce of the season.
Prior to opening his first restaurant, Chef Vernick served as chef de cuisine at NYC’s Restaurant Tocqueville and as sous chef at Jean-Georges, Nougatine and Spice Market. He also helped train Vongerichten’s restaurant chefs in Doha, Quatar; Tokyo, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; Boston, MA and Park City, UT. In addition to Chef Vernick’s education at the Culinary Institute of America, he also holds a BS in Hospitality Administration from Boston University, a great supplement to his culinary experience.
Vernick has already earned exceptional reviews: the Philadelphia City Paper praised Chef Vernick’s “hypnotic” cooking for the “true, earnest flavors,” and touted his return to Philadelphia with a simple “Lucky us,” while Philadelphia Weekly gushed that Vernick is “one of the newest and most exciting entries into Philadelphia’s ever-expanding restaurant scene…sending out food that’s inventive yet rooted, global in inspiration yet American at its core, and all in a space that’s deeply welcoming.”
Vernick Food & Drink is open Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 4:30 p.m. and serves dinner from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m., with the bar open until 1 a.m. The restaurant is closed on Monday. For more information, please call (267) 639-6644, visit www.vernickphilly.com, follow them on Twitter @VernickPhilly and like them on Facebook.com/VernickPhilly.