Jose Garces, the famed chef and owner of several restaurants and one of the nation’s best restauranteurs, will open his new restaurant, 24, right across the bridge from campus! 24 is a casual and hip yet elegant eatery that serves Italian wood-fired fare all day long.
24 is located next to the Garces corporate building on 24th and Walnut Street. The red and dark interior is cozy and welcoming, and the open kitchen where one can see the cooks firing pizza and making pasta adds to the intimate atmosphere. For those seeking even more intimacy, there is a private test kitchen and dining room! This private space, called Estuvio, will also be used to ‘introduce public tasting events, cooking classes and other events”.
24 is open all day long from 7am-10pm.
You can quickly grab a warm Garces company trading coffee and homemade pastry from scratch for breakfast, but also enjoy a fancy Italian lunch or dinner.
From 4:30 to 6:30, the restaurant holds “Aperitivo”, where consumers can enjoy one of the delicious 24 cocktails while eating imported Italian charcuterie (mortadella,copa or bresaola) and cheese (Bianco Sardo, Taleggio or castelrosso).
So what did we eat and drink there?
The menu is composed of well-executed pastas and pizzas. Attention pasta lovers, it is only served for dinner. The pizza will soon be available for grab and go.
While the pasta selection is quite traditional, Garces has really focused on developing an innovative pizza menu.
We had the opportunity to taste both the clam (kale, garlic, scallion and chile) and cauliflower (smorza, pancetta,red onions) pizzas and were surprised by the array of flavors.
The “more common” pizzas, such as Margherita, are not any less impressive with excellent high quality mozzarella and tomato sauce.
Despite the delicious pizza options, our two favorite dishes were actually antipasti.
We were delighted with the roasted beets with hazelnut, dried plum, oregano, and ricotta salata, and the calamari with nduja, parsley and lemon was perfectly cooked and exploding with flavor.
Although we did not have the opportunity to try them, the cocktail and Italian wines also seemed particularly tempting.
24 is not far away from campus and is soon to be a must for Italian aficionados!
~Aurore Guglielmi, Jennifer Higa
Photos by Leah Sprague