The past sixty days have been rather exciting for the Leuzzi brothers from South Philadelphia! Owners Kristian, Sonny, and “Stogie” Joe Leuzzi are proud that their restaurant Kris’ has been recognized numerous times for their impeccable cutting-edge Italian cuisine, and their bar, Stogie Joe’s has been identified as a centerpiece that has sparked a serious restaurant and retail renaissance along East Passyunk Avenue.
Kris, located at 1100 Federal Street, welcomes patrons with a handsome interior and gracious staff, making the experience enjoyable from the minute guests enter until the time they leave. The homey atmosphere is not to be unexpected; the Leuzzi brothers have called the neighborhood home for more than 30 years, as they grew up right next door to the restaurant.
Chef Kristian Leuzzi displays his culinary wizardry by featuring an exquisite, seasonally inspired menu offering something delectable for everyone. On every visit, Kris’ patrons peruse a wide selection of small plates such as house-made charcuterie, artisan cheeses drizzled with local honey or aged balsamic vinegar, Baked Crespelle with butternut squash-ricotta filling, mushroom Marsala cream and crispy sage, and Grilled Octopus with house pickled vegetables and smoked paprika oil. Entrees include culinary masterpieces such as Potato Gnocchi with Beer Braised Veal Short Rib Ragu, Free Form Eggplant Parmesan, and Venison Osso Bucco with butternut squash and spinach risotto, red wine and dried cherry jus.
Diners aren’t alone in their love for the Leuzzi boys. The press seems to have fallen in love with the family lately. Daily Candy praised the brothers’ homemade charcuterie. Proclaiming: “House-Cured Meats Paired With Ripe Cheeses Are The Rage In Philadelphia Right Now, And Chef Kristian Leuzzi And His Brothers Sonny And Joe Have Introduced Their Mouthwatering Sopressata And Capicola At Kris, Located At 1100 Federal Street In South Philly.”
Philadelphia magazine’s Foobooz blog credited the family for celebrating the Jersey tomato in September, and has recently posted mentions about Kris’ inspired Saturday and Sunday Brunch.
This month, lifelong friend and purveyor Emilio Mignucci of internationally famous DiBruno Brothers House of Cheese partnered with Kristian for a collaborative dinner entitled The Cheese of The Moment, highlighting ripe cheeses worked into four delectable Fall recipes. Each course arrived with a wine pairing that presented culinary bliss for the senses.
October 11, 2012 was a particularly great day for the Leuzzi brothers in the media: Kris was featured in Ashley Martin’s story about Kristian producing his own mozzarella in the Philadelphia Inquirer; Stogie Joe’s was noted for sparking the East Passyunk renaissance in Lauren McCutcheon Philadelphia Daily News story; and The Cheese of The Moment Dinner was celebrated in the City Paper by a.d. Amorosi.
It seems as though these affable guys from South Philly are a force to be reckoned with. I have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more about them as they continue to satisfy guests with their delicious cuisine and gracious hospitality.