Working in the kitchen of La Stanza, 2001 Oregon Ave., for his brother, chef Marco DeCotiis’ stay in Philly was intended to be brief.
“I was only supposed to be here for a couple months, but I found someone and ended up staying here,” the Montreal native said referring to girlfriend Donnamarie Motto.
The couple, who formerly ran Terra Nostra in Queen Village, now are behind Noir, 1909 E. Passyunk Ave., which Motto’s cousin Billie co-owns with her.
Growing up, DeCotiis, one of his Italian immigrant parents’ 10 children, would wake at 6 a.m. each Saturday to cook Italian bread, pasta and sauce with his family. At Noir, he strives to create dishes that fuse his and his parents’ roots.
“We wanted it to be a little different, so we wanted to introduce a Montreal influence to South Philly,” he said of the Canadian flair in his Italian classics.
Upon opening in June, the eatery leaned toward gastropub fare, but revamped the menu to its present form and removed the popular Chicken Pot Pie in the process. Customers were upset even in the midst of summer, so DeCotiis decided to feature it in next week’s inaugural East Passyunk Avenue Restaurant Week, and will add it back to the regular menu soon.
“It’s your traditional pot pie, but a little creamier,” DeCotiis said noting he also adds flavors such as rosemary and thyme to his version.
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1/2 Spanish onion, diced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
4 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup of heavy cream
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon of rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of all-purpose Flour
2 sheets of pastry dough
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and then add the potatoes, carrots and onions. Cook until the potatoes are almost tender. Season with the salt and pepper; add the garlic, thyme and rosemary; and stir in the flour. Cook for two minutes before adding the chicken stock and heavy cream and bringing the contents to a boil. Cook the chicken separately in a frying pan with the oil.
When cooked, add the chicken to the mixture. Separate the mixture into four oven-safe bowls. Brush the edges of bowls with the egg, cover each bowl with a puff pastry and brush the top with the egg.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for five minutes. Serves four.
|Chef Marco DeCotiis|
Donnamarie and Billie Motto
Opened June 18, 2012
1909 E. Passyunk Ave.
Being a resident chef on the avenue comes with the added bonus of drawing a lot of foot traffic.
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