‘Merigan: 26 Jan. 2015: Finding Abruzzo


(Marchigiana breed cattle on the Campo Imperatore w/Corno Grande in the background; view of  the Sirente range from the Gran Sasso)

(All photos by Francis Cratil Cretarola)

A little more than an hour from Rome, Abruzzo seems - is - a world away. Leaving the Grande Raccordo Annulare (GRA), the beltway that surrounds Rome’s ever-expanding sprawl, […]

By |January 27th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Merigan: 20 January 2015: Rispetto…

 (Le Virtu and Brigantessa; photos by Kateri Likoudis)
I begin this piece with a little film of one of my new favorite dining places on earth. It’s called Da Nennella and it’s located in Napoli’s Quartieri Spagnoli, one of the most intense, earthy and unpretentious neighborhoods in that or any other city. Take the […]

By |January 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|5 Comments

‘Merigan: 2 January 2022

(Photo by Kateri Likoudis)
It’s almost never enough to be talented. You also have to be lucky. Joe Cicala, chef of Le Virtù and chef/owner of our newly opened Brigantessa, had no idea how fortunate he was when, as a young student in Anne Arundel County (Maryland) Community College’s obscure but impressively progressive culinary program, […]

By |January 2nd, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Merigan: 16 December 2021

(Photo: Guido Paradisi)
What follows is a story I wrote last year for an aborted blog about a June trip I’d just taken to Abruzzo, but I think it’s worth resurrecting and reposting now. It’s about the region, what makes it so special, so “green” in the 21st-century sense, and - with our very real […]

By |December 17th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

‘Merigan: 1 December 2021

(Photos: Kateri Likoudis)

Many of you know that my wife (Cathy Lee) and I (Francis Cratil Cretarola), own and operate two Italian restaurants on East Passyunk Avenue (on the most recent of the two, Brigantessa, Chef Joe Cicala is a partner, but he’s a lot more than that in everything we do).

Where Cathy and I […]

By |December 1st, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments