Philadelphia Restaurants: What’s New with Executive Chef Jonathan Cichon
Executive Restaurant Chef Jonathan Cichon knows what people are looking for in Philadelphia restaurants. One of the city’s top-rising star chefs, Cichon has helmed the kitchen at Lacroix — our acclaimed AAA Four Diamond Award restaurant at The Rittenhouse — since 2010. Over the past decade, he’s created progressive flavor combinations that never fail to surprise and delight guests. We sat down with him to learn more about what you need to eat in Philadelphia now.
How has Philadelphia restaurant scene grown in the past few years?
Philly’s culinary scene has exploded over the past decade and has created a unique niche in the national dining scene. A huge attribute to that is Philly’s international population and new cuisines entering the space. Philly’s dining scene has become extremely diverse which is expanding the palates of locals and encouraging people outside of the city to venture in and try new things. There’s something for everyone and the quality of the offerings are high.
What’s something that every visitor to Philadelphia has to eat in 2019?
Sandwiches — and yes, that does include the cheesesteak. Philly has some of the best sandwiches in the nation, ranging from roast pork with broccoli rabe to chicken cutlet drenched in mozzarella and tomato sauce and the Vietnamese banh mi. Of course, the cheesesteak is a category all its own. Sandwiches are tangible evidence of the different cultures that exist in this city and are the perfect vehicle to try all of the varied cuisines Philly has to offer.
What’s your favorite thing to order on the menu at Lacroix?
Two of my favorite items on the summer menu are the bean salad and poussin (a young chicken). The bean salad is full of fresh herbs and locally-sourced beans, which is a nice contrast to a traditional, lettuce-based salad. I also love the poussin, it’s a great bird that has a more exciting feel than chicken, and presents as more luxurious due to the accompaniment of black truffles and foie gras.
Is there anything new on the menu at Lacroix that visitors and locals should know about?
Our dinner tasting menu changes monthly, so if you travel into Philly a few times a year it will be different with each visit. It keeps things fresh and exciting. We base the menu off a seasonal ingredient, which allows us to source locally and keep the menu ultra-sustainable.