“I don’t have an official title,” Jonathan Petruce told me when I got him on the phone after yesterday’s review of Cinder went up. “I don’t really have a restaurant either…”
But what the former Cinder chef does have is a new job with Michael Schulson‘s restaurant group. He got it on Wednesday, he tells me. And he hasn’t even really started yet. But he knows one thing: “[Schulson] wants his places to be as close to perfect as possible. And I’m there to help him implement that.”
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Teddy Sourias and Jonathan Petruce in front of Cinder | Photo via Cinder
Cinder, the Teddy Sourias (BRU Craft & Wurst, U-Bahn, Uptown Beer Garden, Finn McCool’s Ale House) bar focusing on intriguing beers, ciders, wild ales and the food of chef Jonathan Petruce softly opens today at 4 p.m.
For today’s soft opening, Petruce’s full menu won’t be available and some of the beers might not be in stock yet, but it will be your first chance to check out the space, food and drink.
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We’ve been watching developments at Cinder for quite a while now. And while we always knew this was going to be Teddy Sourias‘s ode to the cider and sour beers that have been firing the craft brewing scene lately, we didn’t know a lot more than that.
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The fire’s out at Petruce.
The writing has been on the wall for awhile now at Petruce et al. The space has been for lease, the et al has scattered. Opening bartender George Costa left the business for central PA fly fishing, general manager Tim Kweeder left for Kensington Quarters and even Justin Petruce left his brother Jonathan to go work for Kevin Sbraga in Jacksonville, Florida.
The restaurant made it through a return engagement of Book of Mormon performing across the street at the Forrest Theater and Valentine’s Day but is now darkened.
The restaurant received excellent reviews but never seemed to receive the following needed to thrive.
Petruce et al remains on the market and will be available for events and collaborations for the time being.
Petruce et al [Foobooz]
They just got the ovens lit up two days ago. Last night, they did the first menu test for the servers–which, according to Justin Petruce (who’s running this namesake joint, along with brother Jonathan) did not go smoothly.
“It was kind of a shitshow,” he laughs. Not everything on the menu worked. Not everything came out on the plate as good as it sounded on paper. So today, he’s tinkering. His brother is tinkering. The whole kitchen crew is tinkering–playing with the new, wood-burning ovens and adjusting the amount of black garlic that goes with the pork and getting turnips ready to go in the oven–while, down in the bar area, George Costa tries to get the POS system working, gives up and starts buffing and polishing the floors instead.
It’s a prep day at Petruce et al. With four days left before the first paying guests come through the door, the brothers are re-thinking the menu, worrying about an inspector that’s due any minute and looking ahead to tonight when, at 6pm, they’re going to be doing another dinner–friends and family this time–where the food has to be…well, better.
Still, even with all of this going on, they let me in to snap some photos of the space, the ovens, the supplies, the prep lists, and just generally get in everyone’s way. So you wanna get an idea of what Petruce is going to look like when it opens this Friday? Then just check out the photos after the jump.
Petruce et al, pre-opening photos
Michael Klein is reporting that brother chefs Justin and Jonathan Petruce have signed a lease at 1121 Walnut Street. The brothers have both worked as sous chefs at the dearly departed Mémé and Justin was the highly regarded chef de cuisine at Fish while Jonathan was a Restaurant M and Little Fish.
The restaurant, Petruce et al will focused around two wood-burning ovens. Check out Klein’s column for another fun coincidence about the space.
Brothers opening Petruce et al on Walnut Street [The Insider]
For any of you cooks out there looking for a spring time change-up, we just got word that Little Fish chef-owner Chadd Jenkins (who bought the joint from former owner Mike Stollenwerk in 2011) is looking for some help in the tiny little kitchen at his Little Fish BYOB.
“There’s no drama. No one’s getting fired or anything,” Jenkins told me. “I’m just looking for some help. Someone to help out. Some new ideas.”
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