HomeIrwin’s Upstairs has been named to Esquire’s 2021 list of ‘America’s Best New Restaurants’

Irwin’s Upstairs has been named to Esquire’s 2021 list of ‘America’s Best New Restaurants’

Irwin’s Upstairs earns national recognition for its seafood, handcrafted pasta dishes, natural wines, and expansive views of oceanic South Philadelphia.

The Sicilian institution ranked No. 11 on Esquire’s 2021 list of “America’s Best New Restaurants.”

The publication nearly doubled its annual ratings from 23 last year to 40 restaurants in 2021, as part of an effort to support more establishments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The magazine said the restaurants selected were among a handful of hundreds across the country visited by a team of food writers and editors.

Esquire wrote that Irwin upstairs It can make South Philly feel “like the most romantic place around.” The publication praised the restaurant’s location on the eighth floor of the historic Bok Building, its menu, wine list, and the establishment’s rooftop views of the city.

“Romance is unexpected. A plaid room, perched atop an old Art Deco high school, a sprawling porch with science lab tables and plastic school chairs, lit by string lights and the moon (if you’re lucky), with sweeping views of low-rise homes and Walt Whitman Bridge. Then Chef Michael Ferreri’s modern Sicilian cuisine is served by courteous staff – Frito haze with fried shrimp and lemon, handcrafted trofi pasta al dente, perfect caponata. Natural wine is poured, Prince comes and suddenly South Philly feels like the most romantic and luxurious place .”

“Restaurants are built on a team, not an individual,” Ferreri wrote on the restaurant’s Instagram account. “With that being said, this honor wouldn’t be possible without my team. I couldn’t (and won’t) do it without the hard work and dedication of every member.”

Irwin upstairs It opened at 800 Mifflin St. in 2018. The name of the rooftop restaurant and bar comes from architect Irwin Thornton Katherine, who designed the former South Philly Vocational School which closed in 2013 after 75 years.

The restaurant’s modern Sicilian cuisine offers dishes such as octopus, swordfish Milanese, orecchetti and bucatini. Ferreri describes his menu as a celebration of “the seasons and farmers who harvest the best of their land”.

Irwin’s Upstairs is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5-10 pm

After moving to town in 2011, Ferreri worked at Tinto downtown and Zahav in Old Town, as well as at Zipoli in Collingswood, Camden County.

Ferreri took part in the now-closed downtown opening of Aldine and wrote his first menu at Res Ipsa Café, which is also closed downtown. Ferreri was named one of Philadelphia’s Rising Stars Chefs in 2019.

Other local establishments previously named to Esquire’s list of Best American Restaurants include kidneys in South Philly, Bidya Pizzeria in Fishtown and love In Rittenhouse Square.

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