Gemelli on Main: A Must-Visit in Manayunk

Clark Gilbert has moved his Narberth BYO to Philly—and we miss it already.

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Gemelli on Main’s lobster cannelloni with braised pork belly. (Photo by Jared Castaldi)For any chef, it must feel pretty good to hear gasps of delight from diners. Such is often the case at Clark Gilbert’s Gemelli on Main, the “downtown” revival of the Narberth BYO, which has found a new home in Manayunk—and scored a liquor license in the process.

What first got me was the plating and presentation. A delicate calamari salad was lightly dressed, tumbled with haricots verts, roasted peppers, potatoes and Niçoise olives, and piled atop paper-thin slices of cucumber. The chilled pea soup, with peekytoe crab salad and English peas, was visually stunning and gastronomically inspired. Everything had a place; nothing was unapproachable or overdone.

Gilbert’s background and expertise in French cuisine are perhaps most evident in his complex, soulful sauces. His subtle command of Italian ingredients and styles is also a gratifying force. The signature gemelli is a constant on the menu, the meat in this Bolognese dish changing on a regular basis. A frequent special, the lobster cannelloni was divine when paired with braised pork belly, wild mushrooms, fava beans and a richly flavored sauce.

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