Three chefs maximize the tiny space at this Rittenhouse BYOB, where the "counter" is a shelf separated from the kitchen by glass. Here, diners can learn the secrets behind their fave dishes. Grilled romaine, for example: "Dress it before it goes on the grill," says chef Charles Murray, "to add flavor and keep it from sticking."
Vang, one of the friendly line chefs at Dmitri's, recommends that patrons who saddle up to the eight-seat marble counter order scampi or mussels. With a saliva-inducing view of the grill, it's dinner and a show as he shimmies a Greek salad onto a plate or deftly throws olives together with baba ganoush.
Almost every patron at this cozy Bella Vista establishment can feel the heat when chef Mike Stollenwerk ignites shrimp in a saucepan. And his pounding of swordfish into a flat paillard could rattle your table if you're anywhere near his workspace. (With only 23 seats, you undoubtedly are.)
It's less talk, more action at ¡Pasion! when chef de cuisine Ben Davison and sous chef Nate Leonard helm the kitchen. While it's impossible to catch the exact prep of dishes like ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¡Pasion!'s signature ceviche, watching the rhythm of the cooks as they work in concert more than makes up for it.
Chef and co-owner Luca Garutti and his staff are busy-busy-busy at this Fairmount BYOB, and observing them pepper, grate, whisk, strain, chop and pour is breathtaking based on speed alone. From the simple preparation of vinaigrette dressing to the plating of elaborate pasta dishes, it's poetry in motion.