Acclaimed restaurateur Stephen Starr is set to open LMNO – a new Baja Mexican concept located in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. LMNO will feature an authentic Baja-inspired menu centered around a custom live-fire grill. LMNO is one of STARR’s most boldly realized concepts, comprised of a restaurant, an art gallery, a bookstore, and an intimate music venue – all under one roof. The space will act as a venue for artists, musicians, and creators to showcase work alongside a rich, authentic culinary and beverage experience.
The 6,000 sq ft space will feature over 200 seats dispersed across multiple spaces — the verdant garden room, the sprawling outdoor veranda, and a curated bookshop in partnership with New York City’s Dashwood Books that converts into a private dining area. LMNO also features a seductive and intimate listening lounge designed with audiophiles in mind. The largest main dining space is the grill room which centers around the physical and spiritual heart of LMNO – its custom live-fire grill, and the conduit through which Executive Chef Francisco Ramirez channels Mexico’s distinct culinary soul.
“LMNO isn’t like anything else. It’s a dynamic space that, beyond a laid back, authentic dining experience, lends itself to live music, art exhibits, DJ sets, workshops, cooking classes, and anything collaborative” said Stephen Starr, “Fishtown has bred world-renowned artists and makers, and now creatives from around the world will be showcased back in Fishtown under LMNO’s roof.”
A substantial selection of aguachiles, ceviches, and coctels are made with the freshest raw product emboldened by a range of supporting flavors; from refreshing melon, citrus, and tomatillo to earthy-rich olives, chiles, and burnt salsa (salsa tatemada).
The tacos, which come assembled on either corn tortillas made from house-made masa or authentic flour tortillas in the custom of northern Mexico, are quickly turned out with traditional carne asada, chicken thigh, or shrimp. Meanwhile, a central figure of the large custom grill, two slow-rotating trompos gently cook chile-marinated pork with pineapple. Suadero, a little-utilized cut with great marbling is slow-confited, then crisped on the plancha, only to be doused in a hefty pasilla oaxaca mole. The requisite beer-battered fish taco is perfectly minimal: topped with dressed cabbage, pico de gallo, and avocado.
A list of “house specials” includes large format dishes easily shared. Pesacdo zarandeado, whole sustainably raised Pacific snapper, is grilled and served with hot tortillas and its own freshly cut crudité. Similarly served is grilled ribeye aguachile, which is sliced and laid out in a tangy bath of citrus juices, peppers, Worcestershire, and soy. Chamorro in Adobo (braised lamb shank) and the storied Lobster Puerto Nuevo hit the table as a sort of DIY-taco party.
The LMNO cocktail menu puts extensive agave and craft spirit offerings in the spotlight. Built with customization in mind by Director of Beverage Operations Mark Murphy, bright and bold cocktails can be crafted with any spirit. The “Our Daily Veg” cocktail is prepared with a fresh blend of cucumber, green bell pepper, poblano, tomatillo, and cactus juices, along with a choice of spirit. Tequila, mezcal, and even gin fit right in with this veggie-centric refresher. The LMNO Margarita, a menu staple, is made simple, fresh, and bright with 100% agave tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, and a lime-infused sea salt. The selections of Micheladas follow suit, with styles from traditional to over-the-top, to be paired with any draft, bottled, and canned beer.