Jason Cichonski is one of Philly's brightest young talents, and he's about to open his restaurant on 3rd and Bainbridge Streets. He and Chip Roman (Blackfish, Mica) have teamed up yet again, but this time Cichonski is the face of the spot with his own concept and menu.
"I'm going to do medium-sized plates, and the cuisine is Modern American," said Cichonski. "There has to be a better way to describe it, but I can't think of it. We'll figure that out later."
Cichonski headlined at fine dining establishments Lacroix and Mica, and we're very excited he's bringing his talents to a new audience. While we have been privileged enough to sample his food before, dining at Ela won't be reserved for expensive special occasions.
"Working at a different price point will make this a challenge that I look forward to," said Cichonski. "The younger food crowd is very passionate in Philly, and I can't wait to cook for them."
Expect about 15-20 plates, and a separate menu for the bar with signature snacks. Cichonski will have a tasting menu available each night, as well.
Chef Cichonski said they're on track for an October opening date. The restaurant is called Ela, after his late mother, who was born and raised in Poland.
"She was a great cook. My family said that's where I got my cooking chops," said Cichonski. "But, it's not like she raised me to be a chef. I just decided I wanted to cook one day. And that was that. So, I thought it would be great to name my first restaurant after her."
While Roman loved the name Ela for the restaurant, he also liked Cichonski's first suggestion.
"I just threw out Guns and Butter, and he loved it," said Cichonski. "It's a reference to a macroeconomic model about the difference in spending between defense and civilian goods. But he thought it was catchy. Too bad we're not opening a Western line dancing BBQ joint." [The Feast]