Kanella’s Spruce Street Location Closing at the End of the Month

Photo by Frances Olson

Photo by Frances Olson

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.

Check out the sale flyer »

Five-Course, Four-Chef D’Artagnan Charity Dinner At Le Cheri

Meats from D'Artagnan

Meats from D’Artagnan

D’Artagnan, the meat and charcuterie purveyor to many of the best restaurants around the country, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a charity dinner party at Le Cheri. Yes, tickets are expensive. But we’re talking five courses with paired wines being prepared by some of the best chefs in the city, in celebration of one of the top purveyors in the business.

And the menu? It looks kind of amazing.

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About Last Night: I Heart You THIS Much…

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome once again to the drama, the suspense, the creativity (and the aftermath) of Philadelphia’s own cutthroat culinary competition! February 4th brought the 34th edition of Open Stove to COOK, this time a head-to-head fight to the death* between Geno Betz of Paradiso and Dominic Santora of Kanella.

There was laughter. There were tears. There were chicken hearts and candy. And luckily, I was there to document it all. So here’s how the night played out.

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Philadelphia Restaurant Received “Million Dollar Review”

Coren at Vedge. He called Vedge "the best vegan cooking I have ever had."

Coren at Vedge. He called Vedge, “the best vegan cooking I have ever had.”

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).

Coren visited Vedge, Cheu Noodle Bar, Avenue Delicatessen, The Mildred (now closed) and Kanella. In the end, Coren heaped the most praise on Kanella, the Cypriot BYOB by Konstantinos Pistillides.

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.

Read the full review of Kanella on Huffington Post’s Canadian edition.

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Middle Eastern Restaurants and Food in Philadelphia

Shawarma platter at Hummus; Pastries from Manakeesh | Photos by Neal Santos

Shawarma platter at Hummus; Pastries from Manakeesh | Photos by Neal Santos

Middle Eastern flavors have long been a rich vein mined by chefs working in any number of styles. And Middle Eastern restaurants — whether of the wheeled or brick-and-mortar variety — have been a staple on the Philly scene for decades. But while you might think there’s nothing to this cuisine beyond chickpeas and falafel, here are six places that will prove you wrong.

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Kanella Looks To Be Expanding Southward

village-belle-papered-windowsAn 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 Mediterranean Delaware.

It’s a Sunday Tasting Menu that Won’t Break the Bank at Kanella

Photo by Frances Olson

Photo by Frances Olson

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.”

Open Stove XXI: Now We’re Legal

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It is hard to believe sometimes that we have been doing Foobooz Open Stove Nights at COOK for as long as we have. But by the somewhat suspect accounting of the COOK staff, Wednesday night was our 21st outing and we celebrated it with two great teams, a potato-based challenge, shots of potato vodka, and cases of beer from those potato-loving Czechs behind Pilsner Urquell.

It was a wild night, full of drinking and rivalry and potato chip garnishes and coxcombs. But when the dust settled and the scores were tallied, there could be only one victor. And while only 20 or so people actually got to see the competition first-hand, we’ve come home with photo evidence of how things shook out (which is good, because everyone’s memories are probably a little bit fuzzy right now). So if you couldn’t be there yourself, click through the jump and check out what happened once the shots were poured and the tater tots hit the tables…

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