During his time in Philadelphia, chef Jim Burke racked up a ton of accolades, including being named Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in 2008 and being nominated for the James Beard Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic award in 2009 for his creations at his restaurant, the fine-dining spot James. But that much talent can’t stay in Philadelphia for long; fellow Philadelphian restauranteur Stephen Starr tapped Burke to oversee the opening of his latest property, Caffe Storico at the New-York Historical Society.
Can you tell me a little about the cuisine you’ve crafted for Caffe Storico?
The inspiration is Venetian Cicchetteria, which are the small bar snacks that are served at the local bars in Venice. We have some things on the menu that are very traditional, that have not been altered or modernized in any way. Then we have some things that are a little more modern and allow for more creativity.
How does the menu differ from James?
James was fine-dining, Caffe Storico focuses on much more approachable, faster-paced meals. You can make any kind of dining experience you want here. You can come to the bar, have a few cicchetti for lunch or even just for an aperitif. Or you can sit down for a full course dinner. It’s very adaptable to whatever our guests are looking for.
Have you noticed any big difference between how people in Philadelphia eat versus New Yorkers?
Definitely. People here eat out a lot more often.