Teddy Sourias of Craft Concepts (BRU Craft & Wurst, U-Bahn, Uptown Beer Garden, Finn McCool's Ale House) announces three bell-rated chef Jonathan Petruce will serve as Executive Chef at Cinder, coming to 1500 Locust Street. Petruce recently worked with Craft Concepts as the pop-up chef for the summer at Uptown Beer Garden. The first draft of Petruce's menu will include elevated versions of casual favorites - and including Al Pastor Pizza, Pistachio Pizza and Saison Mussels. As the kitchen team takes shapes, construction enters final phases and staff training begins, look for Sourias to announce this week a final opening date - which should be for early to mid November. For more information about opening dates, final menu and construction updates, visit www.cinderphilly.com, @cinderphilly on Twitter and Instagram, and facebook.com/cinderphilly.
"Jonathan was an easy choice for us to take the helm of the Cinder kitchen, given his familiarity with the company from Uptown Beer Garden, his interest and vigor for the products that we are focused on, plus the esteem of his experience," said Sourias. "We are very excited to see the finesse and style he brings to this concept, which we have all worked extremely hard on. It is our hope that he can help us create something that is truly special."
This past summer, Petruce was brought in to consult with Craft Concepts as the pop-up chef for Uptown Beer Garden's second season. At Uptown, Petruce expanded food offerings and fired up the grill with elevated street food and skewers. The new menu, along with a major increase in tables, extended season dates, expanded bars, new special events and other changes, helped Uptown have a record year for both revenue and attendance.
After Uptown closed for the season, Petruce was tapped to help complete the team for Cinder. At Cinder, Petruce will take the lead in the kitchen - where the offerings will focus on rustic pizza with creative and classical toppings and ingredients, plus local cheese and charcuterie boards, a variety of mussel preparations, elegant-yet-approachable appetizers and small plates. Dishes will be created in the open kitchen immediately visible from seating in the dining room, and the menu will aim to pair with the extensive sour and cider list pouring on taps.
"I've been wanting to run a pizza-focused kitchen for many years, so this definitely is an exciting opportunity," said Petruce. "Look for a menu with some traditionally casual food but in a fun and upscale way - like al pastor pizza, cheeseburger pie, jalapeno poppers and fried chicken thighs. I'm looking forward to keeping the food as interesting as the great beverage program Teddy and Alex (Bokulich) have lined up."
When Cinder opens, Petruce's menu will focus on four key areas:
- Wood Fired Pizzas - top quality ingredients and exciting combinations
- Artisinal Cheese & Charcuterie - emphasizing local producers
- Mussels- four different preparations inspired by our "core" draft styles
- Small plates- 'haute cuisine' that's also easy and approachable
Early confirmed items on the menu so far include:
- Al Pastor Pizza -- Marinated pork shoulder grilled over fire, tomato-red pepper sauce, mozzarella, diced pineapple, jalapeno, finished with fresh cilantro, radish, pecorino and extra virgin olive oil.
- Pistachio Pizza -- Cream bechamel sauce topped with mortadella, shallot, pistachio, rosemary, finished with pecorino and extra virgin olive oil.
- Saison Mussels -- P.E.I. mussels, chickpeas, dried apricot, saison, garlic, shallot, saffron, oregano, butter
- Tuscan Kale Salad -- Tuscan kale, pickled butternut squash, candied pepitas, madras curry, star anise, cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil.
Other final menu selections will be announced as Cinder's opening gets closer - and as the opening tap list is finalized by Director of Operations and Beer Manager Alex Bokulich.
Final draft categories that will pair with the food menu will include these 32 lines:
- Wild Ales - 8 choices
- Farmhouse & Abbey Ales - 6 choices
- Natural Ciders - 6 choices
- Crisp & Golden - 6 choices
- Rich & Malty - 6 choices
"What has evolved from our months of late-night brainstorms and Odyssian text threads is a concept that hybridizes our favorite elements of Belgian beer bars, wine bar/pizza kitchens, and good old American Craft gastropubs," said Bokulich. "Our beverage and food programs are anchored with what we believe to be 'proven winners' that will keep folks coming back on a regular basis, but interspersed with creative and adventurous offerings that can challenge even the most discerning of palates. The addition of Petruce will help with our end goal as we design something sophisticated and exciting that we can all be proud of."