Philadelphia, PA - Chef Derek Davis has introduced Saturday and Sunday brunch at his restaurant, Libertine, which is located next to the gorgeous, 119-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott at 261 S. 13th Street, in Philadelphia's Midtown Village neighborhood. Moreover, in celebration of National Potato Day on Saturday, October 27th, Davis has decided to give away complimentary side orders of his House-Smoked Short Rib Pastrami & Potato Hash to all customers who dine at his restaurant during Saturday or Sunday brunch on October 27th and 28th.
Libertine serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and features a 'Toast Bar' with a wide selection of self-serve bread and spreads, including several artisanal pieces of bread, cakes, and a selection of handmade bagels. Chef Davis’ brunch menu features standouts including Cape May Salt Oysters with Lychee Sorbet ($18); House-Smoked Salmon with heirloom tomato, cream cheese and red onion on a house-made bagel ($16); Banana-Nutella Stuffed French Toast with brioche, cashew caramel, chocolate chips and Chantilly cream ($15); and a Brunch Burger with 8 oz. of custom beef blend, Gruyere Cheese, Maple Bacon and topped with a fried egg. Brunch also offers French press Lavazza coffee, as well as brunch cocktails featuring freshly-squeezed juice.
"We are all about good eating, drinking and fine hospitality at Libertine," said Davis. "That's our motto, and we live by it. Brunch is a huge thing in Philly, and once we found our groove, we knew we had to offer weekend brunch. We try to be different, and we try to push the boundaries, but most of all, our obsession is about serving delicious cuisine in a comfortable space while providing excellent service. We hope we can continue to turn heads in the Philadelphia restaurant scene, and brunch is a big part of that."
Davis's career as a chef has spanned nearly four full decades after he completed his apprenticeship at the age of 21. He operated the kitchen at South Broad Street's Apropos, was on the opening team at Le Bernardin, was the executive chef at Margate's Bay Club (now Steve and Cookie’s) and eventually led the kitchen at 1701 Café at the Warwick. In 1992, he brought California-style cuisine to Manayunk, owning and operating Sonoma. He would also go on to open Kansas City Prime, Arroyo Grill, and Fish on Main, all located in Manayunk. In 2005, Davis went on to re-concept Sonoma into Derek's in Manayunk, which closed in 2015. Libertine took nearly three years to complete before opening this past summer.
"It was a long process that involved a complete overhaul of the entire building, including the hotel and restaurant," said Davis, whose restaurant is in the former Westbury Bar space. The visionary responsible for upgrading the hotel is Mihir Wankawala, CEO and Managing Director of The Wankawala Organization, who tapped Stuart G. Rosenberg of SgRA Architecture and celebrated Philadelphia designer Floss Barber to convert the former space into a neighborhood gem.
"Derek was an asset to us in this project," said Wankawala, who came to the U.S. from Gujarat in India in 1991 at the age of 11. "This building was the first non-union hotel project to be completed in the city of Philadelphia; we couldn't be happier with the results." Wankawala is the fourth owner of the building, which was built in 1923 and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Wankawala finished his undergrad at Drexel in 2002, earning a degree in accounting. He bought his first hotel property in Carlisle, PA at the age of 24 to establish himself. "I worked 90 hours a week, doing housekeeping, maintenance, and front desk work. I now own and manage 14 properties containing 1,500 rooms, and I call Center City Philadelphia my home. I love this city, and I'm thrilled to partner with Derek."
Wankawala and Davis have their next entity planned in Ocean City, Maryland, where they will be opening a 132-room luxury hotel and restaurants on the water, complete with luxury cabanas, a pool, and hotel room balconies facing sunset views.
Libertine, located in Midtown Village, opened in June of 2018 at the corner of 13th and Spruce Streets. The restaurant's progressive American menu is planned seasonally around what is available and freshest at the markets and complimented by scratch specialty creations from the bar, 20 wines by the glass and a variety of local craft beers. The restaurant is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Fridays thur Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. Learn more by visiting https://LibertinePhilly.com.