Ryan Rubino and Anthony Barone
Staff Photo by Tina Garceau
We often hear of musicians and artists who ponder projects for a long time before unleashing their masterpieces on the masses. Ryan Rubino and Anthony Barone hope to enjoy similar satisfaction through their perseverance, having spent nearly four years considering opening a bar-restaurant combination. On Monday, their loyalty to pleasing plates, libations, and levity found the friends marking the genesis of Bar One, 767 S. Ninth St.
“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity, especially in this neighborhood,” Rubino, a fifth-generation member of the family behind the acclaimed Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, situated right across the street, said.
The Center City resident and his co-owner colleague, whose mispronounced surname at an event with WOGL and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia inspired the location’s christening, enjoy entering an expanse filled with many commended culinary entities. Rubino noted his lineage has proven a great motivator in that he knows the value of persistence and sacrifice.
“I’ve been in this world for a huge part of my life,” the proprietor, who began at Ralph’s as an 8-year-old busboy, said of taking sturdy steps forward as a businessman. “I did other work, too, but when my father asked about me coming back, it made sense to me.”
The receptivity to patriarch Jimmy Rubino’s outreach has enabled him and Barone, highly regarded for his kitchen competence at Ralph’s, to give Bella Vista what they will hope will be “a one-stop shop” given the diversity of their “loosely Italian and loosely South Philly” menu.
“I think we’re going to fill a new niche,” he said of the 50-seat space. “There are going to be challenges, but being around so many great places doesn’t make me feel intimidated or full of myself as someone who’s going to take their business. I want to be a part of the community and not someone out to take away from others.”
Rubino hopes the initial buzz around opening, with a grand celebration set for tomorrow and Saturday, will attract a local fanbase and outside-the-neighborhood patrons to give their skills solid tests. Desiring identities separate from those they have forged at Ralph’s, the two chose to share a recipe quite unlike that of anything one would request at the forerunner.
“It doesn’t fit the mold or menu there,” Rubino said of Bar One’s Pappardelle. “Being a member of this family means I’ve had a lot of pasta in my time, but this is the best pasta dish I have ever had in my life.”
Fairly straightforward for home diners to duplicate, the dish, like its brethren, fills Rubino with hope as he and Barone add new titles and acquaintances to their names.
“People crave variety, so we have to keep an open mind because there are places that have failed to survive at this address,” Rubino said. “We want that to stop with us.”
3 pounds of boneless short ribs
6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper and salt, to taste
1 large Spanish onion
2 large carrots
1 bunch of basil
1 tablespoon of beef base
1/2 bottle of Merlot
28-ounce can of whole peel tomatoes, crushed with your hands
2 quarts of water
1 pound of pappardelle
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Season the ribs with the salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan, and place on medium heat. Sear the ribs on all four sides with the cloves until the latter are golden brown.
Sauté the chopped onion and carrots with the ribs for three minutes. Place the ribs in a large baking pan on a baker’s/wire rack. Top with the vegetables, and add the tomatoes, chopped basil, merlot, water, and base. Cover with foil, and bake for four hours, checking periodically.
Shred the ribs with a fork, take everything from the baking pan, and run the contents through a food processor on pulse for one minute. Adjust to taste by adding salt and pepper if needed.
Place the meat in the gravy. Toss with the pappardelle, and top with arugula and reggiano cheese. SPR
767 S. Ninth St.
Opened: Oct. 17
Owners: Ryan Rubino and Anthony Barone
Photos by Tina Garceau