New Chef And News Menus at Twisted Tail

The Twisted Tail, George Reilly‘s Headhouse Square “passion project” (a brown-liquor-heavy bar and a kitchen serving Southern-inflected comfort food) never really sparked the affections of Philly’s foodie class when it opened under the command of chef Michael Stevenson. But recently–and very quietly–Reilly has been retrenching with a little bit of that New York transplant magic that has so positively affected so many other restaurants in this city recently.

The guy he lured into the 215 area code was formerly the chef at Silk Road Tavern in the Flatiron. He was exec at Robert (the restaurant inside the New York Museum of Art and Design), worked under Marcus Samuelson at Aquavit, as a sous at Jean Georges Vongerichten‘s 66 in Tribeca and as a line cook at Oceana. In between those 212 gigs, he also stood as exec at Sampan right here in Philly, and Reilly brought him back to revamp the board and run the kitchen at Twisted Tail. That guy is chef Leo Forneas.

“He is really taking our philosophies and concept and running with it,” Reilly says. And that shows in a menu (well, four menus actually–dinner, brunch, lunch and the bar) which has been stripped down to its regional essences, offering everything from pulled pork and cheddar empanadas and Maryland crab cakes to Berkshire pork belly off the grill and dressed with salted lime, oxtail rillette, grilled beef hearts and Louisiana shrimp and grits.

Forneas and his crew have spent the past week or so fine-tuning their prep and presentation, all the while quietly allowing the neighbors and friends of the house to taste the experiments going on behind the swinging doors. Thus far, folks seem to be excited by the changes, so now Reilly tells me they’re ready to roll things out to the public.

You can check out the new board below.

Twisted Tail [Official]