With the food and beverage industry still suffering from the pandemic, it’s exciting to hear about openings, for a number of reasons. In the East Passyunk neighborhood, one brand new establishment just popped up, and it’s calling one old Philly eatery home while giving locals something to deliciously celebrate.
Those who head to the former Brigantessa space at 1520 East Passyunk Avenue will find a new venue opening up from a duo who have been serving up their culinary skills all over the Tri-state area. After spending time in New York City and Philly, chef/partners Scott Calhoun and David Feola, along with GM/partner Gianna Spatoulas, came together to launch a concept that they all felt was “missing from Philadelphia’s culinary landscape.” Brigantessa has been open for takeout and delivery since the beginning of the year, but will commence indoor dining on Friday, Jan. 29 to make room for the new concept.
With roughly 90 seats available, Ember & Ash will serve what the partners refer to as a modern approach to a lost art or ‘global peasant food,’ with menu items being cooked in a custom-built, wood-burning hearth built by Grills by Demant. According to a release, the culinary team takes cooking back to its basics, and menu standouts feature ingredients that are often overlooked. Calhoun and Feola met at Jean-Georges in New York in 2010, and worked together for roughly two years. Feola’s resume includes experience at Vernick Food & Drink in the city, while Calhoun spent time at both Osteria and Lo Spiedo.
“We’re so excited to finally be opening after some delays in what was a very tough year for restaurants,” said Spatoulas in a statement. “Opening up during a pandemic is a challenge, but we have an incredible team here and we’re opening in a great location, so we’re very confident that the future is bright for us.”
So what exactly will the menu look like at this new Philly eatery? The menu at Ember & Ash features half or whole-roasted chicken with utica greens; salt-roasted cauliflower; smoked octopus with kumquats; Dirty Molé, (a dish that combines chocolate with chicken liver mousse on toasted sourdough.) The release also states that there’s Lamb Belly Loco Moco with jasmine rice, mustard greens, crispy egg, and rhubarb kimchi vinaigrette; Swordfish Pastrami & Rye with swordfish belly, cabbage escalivada and Russian dressing; Beef Shin (“for six”); and another dozen or so selections. An ever-changing selection of breakfast sandwiches — including one featuring scrapple from Elizabeth Farms — are also served every weekend on Saturday and Sunday mornings until they sellout. The restaurant also features an extensive bar program, which includes non-alcoholic cocktails and drinks to-go.
According to a release, Ember & Ash is open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. The restaurant is also open for breakfast Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but remains open throughout the day Saturday for beverage service. Philadelphians can learn more by visiting emberandashphilly.com