The crew at the Gaslight is doing an invite-only tasting of Czech BBQ (no, I don’t really know what that would taste like either) and unfiltered, unpasteurized, fresh-from-the-barrel Pilsner Urquell. And if you’re up for it, you could win a seat at the table.
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In a quick turnaround, Old City’s newest destination, The Gaslight, opened a few weeks ago in the old Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant space across the street from The Franklin Fountain. The menu–made up of ‘Chips & Dips’, ‘Apps & Snacks’, and ‘Big Plates’–is a chance for chef Jason Cichonski to play with ideas too casual for his other restaurant, Ela, and better suited to a bar than to fine dining.
From our first glimpse of their opening menu it seems that there are some good ones: garlic hummus, charred eggplant salsa, and three other dips are served with a selection of chips: pita, house-puffed rice crackers, and tortilla (fried up from the wares of the San Roman tortilleria on 9th Street). Onion rings, coated in panko, maintain their crunch beautifully alongside charred long hot peppers and yuzu aioli. The foie gras and chicken liver mouse with raisiny red wine mostarda is sure to become a favorite if ordered with the pickle board – three generous cups of house made pickles, to cut its richness.
On the entree side, Scottish salmon with goat cheese polenta, sprouted lentil salad, and blood orange vinaigrette appears alongside pulled duck flatbread drizzled with hoisin and classics like spaghetti bolognese, short ribs, fried chicken and burgers. It’s refined pub food in a warm, airy space with ample bar seating and plenty of bottles to choose from and it might just be exactly what Old City needs.
And we, of course, have all the pictures...
Show me the pictures
How do you keep the spark alive?
Restaurants face the same question that haunts many a marriage—only, with restaurants, it comes ‘round a whole lot sooner. If spouses can hope for seven years before the proverbial itch begs scratching, restaurateurs are lucky if they can make it past the first anniversary.
That thought chorused through my head during a recent meal at Ela—repeating like the 90-minute loop of down-tempo indie-rock throbbing softly in the background of Jason Cichonski’s Queen Village resto-bar.
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