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Top Chef Winner Nick Elmi Gets Three Bells from Inquirer

Laurel, Philadelphia.
Laurel, Philadelphia.
Photo: Eater Philly
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

Everything's coming up Nicholas Elmi: After winning Top Chef this week, the Philadelphia chef has just earned an impressive three bells (out of four) from the Inquirer's Craig LaBan for Laurel, which opened in November. LaBan is impressed with the 22-seat BYOB restaurant, and especially with the food. He calls the ricotta gnocchi "ethereal," the foie gras terrine "beautiful," the Kombu-cured scallops "gorgeous, refreshing, and elegant," and the albacore starter "may be the best raw tuna dish in town."

LaBan does have some concerns, however. He writes that there are not "many great choices at dessert," except "good cheese" and Elmi's Top Chef finale panna cotta. Walu and chicken were both overcooked on certain visits, and quinoa-crusted snails served with trout are deemed "garnish clutter." Nonetheless, it's an overwhelmingly positive review for Elmi and his small South Philly restaurant.

· Laurel: A 'Top Chef' Champ Returns to His Roots [Inquirer via Eater Philly]
· All Nicholas Elmi Coverage on Eater [-E-]


1617 E. Passyunk Ave Philadelphia PA