Brigantessa, a New Concept from Le Virtu

brigantessaThe Le Virtu crew of Francis Cratil Cretarola, Catherine Lee and Joe Cicala are opening their second restaurant on East Passyunk. Brigantessa will be a moderately-priced Italian dining spots focusing on pizza and the cuisine of southern Italy. The restaurant will replace Karina’s at 1520 E Passyunk.

At a presentation last night to neighbors at Le Virtu, the team revealed their plans for the restaurant that will combine a wood-fired pizzeria with an enoteca and birreria.



A custom-built wood-fired oven will arrive by ship to Philadelphia and will be the centerpiece of the two story bar and restaurant. The first floor will include a twelve-seat bar with a slicer for anti-pasti. A four-seat dining counter and additional two-top tables fill out the floor. Upstairs will offer seating for 68 and access to a small outdoor deck.

The menu at Brigantessa

From the oven: Traditional Neapolitan pizzas, pasta al forno (baked pasta), roasted meats and fish, casseroles, stuffed peppers, meatballs and more. All breads and focaccia will also be prepared in the oven.

From the kitchen: Traditional house-made dry and fresh pasta, as well as panini, salads, terrines, pâté, and desserts.

From the bar: Rotating selection of cold antipasti including house-cured meats, visible at and served from the bar. Salads, salumi, cheeses and more will be visible to guests at the bar.

The bar will offer a broad selection of Italian wines including every southern Italian varietal. Prices will range from $8 to $13 for a generous 5-ounce pour. The beer program will include rotating taps of American and imported craft beers with an emphasis on Italian beers. A selection of bottled beers will supplement the taps.

Brigantessa is another property of the Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corp. (Fond, Noord, Will) and will require a complete renovation before opening in the summer of 2014. Karina’s is looking for a new location with the help of PARD on the Avenue and remains open for the time being.

First floor at Brigantessa

First floor at Brigantessa

Brigantessa Second Floor

Brigantessa Second Floor

Brigantessa [Foobooz]

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  • Alimentarian

    I would have been so excited about this seven years ago.