Eat Like an Insider: Chef Dawid Piescik

Chef Dawid Piescik just revamped the menu at Cinder Copper and Lace. | Provided

Dawid Piescik is the new executive chef at Cinder Copper and Lace and has revamped the menu, with a focus on the classic cuisines of France, Italy and the Mediterranean. Originally from Poland, Piescik got his start working in the kitchen of his parent’s tiny bistro, that was run out of their three-bedroom apartment

“Ever since then I knew I was going to end up in a kitchen. The idea of creating something new, unique and delicious has always pushed me towards being the best chef I could be,” he says.

By age 16, he was working in professional kitchens and later got his degree from Community College of Philadelphia.

Since then, he’s worked at Philly restaurants like Modo Mio and Monsu, before starting at Cinder Copper and Lace.

When he’s not in the kitchen, he enjoys dining out and yoga.

“This business is stressful enough, and everyone needs a something to center their mind and body.”

Piescik tells us why cheesesteaks are Philly’s second-best sandwich and where to eat the best falafel in town.

Best late night meal?
There is a small Japanese speakeasy called Royal Izakaya (780 S. 2nd St.) in South Philly that does the best late-night chirashi bowls, it’s a bit of rice, a bit of fish and all love.

Best meal under $10?
The best falafel spot in Philly, Goldie (1526 Sansom St.), makes me happy that chickpeas exist.

Best hidden food gem?
When I walk into a smoky hot basement in South Philly, the last thing I expected was food, good or otherwise, but 12 Steps Down (831 Christian St.) does the best burger in the city, hands down. Fresh Sarcone’s rolls, freshly ground beef from Esposito’s and smoke from the bar.

Best place to dine alone?
When I’m eating alone, I don’t like to be lonely. I want a lot going on around me, so I head to Midtown Village to BRU Craft and Wurst (1316 Chestnut St.) for a pint, some fried pickles and the best housemade sausage. There’s always tons of people during happy hour and dinner, and the conversation at the bar is always friendly.

Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
People come to Philly and want to try a cheesesteak. What they fail to realize is that a cheesesteak is only the second best sandwich in the city. The title of the best goes to the roast pork, and the best roast pork is at Paesano’s on Girard (148 W. Girard Ave.).

Go-to date spot?
There’s nothing more romantic than a good French bistro, and nobody does it better than The Good King Tavern (614 S. 7th St.) in South Street Headhouse District. Sharing a plate of their mushroom croquettes can get very steamy.

Best place to catch up with friends?
Johnny Brenda’s (1201 Frankford Ave.) is one of my favorite places to hang out and catch up. There’s a pool table, they make a good old-fashioned and they always have good oysters on special.

Most Instagrammable restaurant?
Few things are as pretty as a well-presented dish and to me, meat on bread looks the best, which is why I love Destination Dogs (1111 Walnut St.). Their duck sausage with shaved foie gras always hits the spot.  

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