It has been a just over a year since Kanella closed its doors at its original location and set its sights on Queen Village. It came as a bit of a surprise when Konstantinos Pitsillides closed the super popular BYOB in favor of a bigger and better location but he continues to receive good reviews and the added revenue of a bar.
The Washington Square West neighborhood has missed Kanella since the Cypriot restaurant closed to move to Queen Village at the end of May. Chef/owner Konstantinos Pitsillides should open the new location within four weeks or so. But, WashWest is getting a taste of Kanella once again.
Kanella’s chef de cuisine Evan Butkovsky is joining up with Mercato’s Ryan McQuillan for a collaborative dinner on Tuesday, July, 28th. The Greek/Cypriot and Italian inspired tasting dinner (one sea, one people) will be held at Mercato, and will consist of three courses for $30.
When we first learned that Konstantinos Pitsillades was opening Kanella South at 757 S Front Street, it did not occur to us that he would close his successful BYOB location at 10th and Spruce. But as I dined at the Cypriot restaurant on Friday night, Pitsillades confirmed he was closing up shop in Washington Square West as of May 31st. The proud chef also promised that the new location would be the same but better. He was particularly excited about the large charcoal grill and a wood-fired oven that he would be experimenting with.
Pitsillades says the Queen Village Kanella will open in June with a full bar. The Spruce Street location is currently on the market. The 46-seat restaurant (with 22 additional seats outside) is on sale for $350,000.
Times of London restaurant critic Giles Coren was in Philadelphia this spring filming his TV show Million Dollar Critic for Canada’s WNetwork. The show visited five Philadelphia restaurants in order for Coren to bestow one of them with his million dollar recommendation (because the review could be worth more than a million dollars in business).
Kanella is the sort of place I wish I could review every week: a buzzing local taverna on a lively city corner, people of all ages and ethnicities sitting at outside tables, simply decorated inside, full of laughter, friends and family, and charming staff serving a cuisine rooted deeply in a foreign culture rather than just ripping it off, with a deadly serious chef at the helm.
An eagle-eyed tipster alerted us to a liquor license transfer placard in the former home of Village Belle at 757 S Front Street. The applicant name is Kanella South. Could this be a new restaurant from Konstantinos Pitsillides, the owner of Kanella at 10th and Spruce Streets? The new license application isn’t in the system yet, so we reached out to Pitsillides but haven’t heard back yet. Back in March, Pitsillides sent us a teasing email, “Kanella will buy a new bigger space.or maybe,they just did.” At that time the chef did return any further messages for details.
A property search doesn’t return any recent sales for the address though its value did just go up by a factor of eight.
But if the name is any proof, it looks like Queen Village will be noshing on Cypriot bites while looking out over the
Brian Freedman provides the lowdown on chef Konstantinos Pitsillides’s Sunday Cypriot mezze dinner at Kanella. The menu changes each week but you can count on it to be “honest, exciting, deeply comforting experience that, on a Sunday night, is the perfect way to begin a new week.”
Kanella’s new Sunday night small-plate menu is fresh every week [Philadelphia Weekly]
Kanella, the endearingly small, five-year-old Cyprian BYO sits at the corner of 10th and Spruce, containing wicker chairs, wooden tables, and exposed brick walls graced with copper cookware. Anything more would be a disservice to the chef. Food is the focus here, and there’s a certain necessitarianism to Konstantinos Pitsillides’s cooking—an effortless persuasion that this sort of cuisine should only be prepared by him, that there is exactly one way to compose each dish, and that Pitsillides is the only chef in the world doing it correctly. Soak your bread in the brightly spiced yogurt sauce that accompanies the lamb dumplings, and let his famed “katsiki” stew’s layers of flavor unwind for a lifetime. His food is convincing, his talent is compelling, and his restaurant is still worth a visit. Or a hundred.
1001 Spruce Street
Photo by Frances Olson
First appeared in the May, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
The Beer Lass skips the burger atÂ Village Whiskey and instead goes with the pork sandwich.
Chef Dave Conn tosses the pork in a whiskey barbecue sauce then adds a creamy coleslaw atop.Â It was served with fried pickles as a side.
Village Whiskey’s Pork Sammy [Beer Lass]
Twenty-five bucks gets you a plate featuring meat from 20-pound whole baby porkers Pitsillides rubs with lard and his own spice blend before slow-roasting for up to three hours; he serves up the pork with love letter pasta tossed with cheese and sweet peas.
Out with the goat, in with the pig at Kanella [Meal Ticket]
We’ve been meaning to stop at Kanella for too long now, not just for the for the Cypriot fare but to take some good photos of Konstantinos Pitsillides‘ “vintage twitter.” The posts hang on individual sheets of paper in the window of his kitchen.
It prompts an interesting discussion, as much for the posts as their content.
Vintage Twitter at Kanella [Grub Street]
Our transcription after the jump.
Well if you believe everything or even a portion of what you read online it’s 2 bells for Kanella. But for those who prefer Sunday breakfast with ink-stained fingers, the result is 3 bells. So which result is correct? With all this praise we’re thinking it’s 3-bells.
- “Cyprus’ loss is our gain”
- “several memorable meals”
- “soulful stews”
- “uncompromising conviction of a great folk singer”
- “masterful at redeeming the nearly lost art of the braise and the stew”
- “one of the most profound dishes I’ve eaten all year”
- “humming happily after that meal”
- “I’m still savoring the list of highlights”
- “sublimely tender rabbit”
Update: Three Bells – Excellent is the correct rating.