Page 55 - The Hunt - Fall 2019
P. 55

                  Also on Gay Street, Peter Gilmore’s haute-cuisine BYOB threw in the dish towel in 2012 after 11 years of exquisite foie gras and spun-sugar apples filled with chocolate mousse. Locals still mourn the place, though apparently mourning is easier than showing up regularly when it was in business.
Growing up in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
Pa., area and graduating from Penn State University, Anthony Andiario spent some time in Italy before settling into a 14-year kitchen stint in Phoenix. There, he earned his stripes at Quiessence Restaurant at the Farm at South Mountain, where he became executive chef and fell in love with farming for
food before cooking it. That success was followed by the 2016 debut of Tratto, which he opened for superstar chef Chris Bianco.
Andiario admits that he’s not one of those chefs who loves a hellish kitchen atmosphere.
A vibrant, intelligent woman who moves with a ballerina’s grace, van Schaijik has her own story. Her parents are both philosophers who now live in West Chester, though she and her four younger siblings spent a considerable part of their youth in Europe. After receiving her undergraduate degree in economics and history from the University of Dallas, she moved to Phoenix to work on her master’s degree in statistics at Arizona State University, where she also taught statistics part time.
Van Schaijik also found time to work in one of Bianco’s restaurants, where she met Andiario. Before long, the two decided to come back east, with van Schaijik taking the lead in general planning and scouting locations. “She did an entire market analysis of West Chester in the morning, basically before I’d even gotten out of bed,” Andiario confided to the Phoenix New Times. “She’s really smart. She loves food; she loves wine.”
The parting with Bianco was amicable. “Chris was out to see us this summer,” Andiario says. “We still talk once in a while.”
In addition to putting her economics background to good use at Andiario, van Scahijik also does employee training and runs the front of the house with cheerfulness and efficiency. Andiario admits that he’s not one of those chefs who loves the hellish kitchen atmosphere that goes over so well on reality TV. So van Schaijik’s approach fits well with his “casual, in-control” style.
Part of that style is having a simple menu—though one with no easy choices. Typically, there are three or four items in each of four categories for diners to anguish over: Beginnings, Pasta, Proteins and Desserts. A guest might walk out into the West Chester night having feasted on sea scallop carpaccio with pickled blewit mushrooms and shaved chestnuts, hand-rolled candele pasta with beef Genovese, a whole Pocono trout grilled over juniper branches, and an apple honey tarte tatin with ginger ice cream and candied sage—all of it perhaps accompanied by a Va La Vineyards red or a Galen Glen white.
Food is jarred, fermented, preserved and dried throughout the restaurant. (Opposite page) A weekly pasta creation.
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