Sunday, August 2, 2015

Beast & Ale opens in Manayunk

Tim Spinner and Brian Sirhal are behind Beast & Ale at 4161 Main St. in Manayunk - down the street from their Taqueria Feliz.

Beast & Ale opens in Manayunk

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Chef Tim Spinner and Brian Sirhal of the Feliz restaurants have veered away from Mexican for their fourth restaurant, Beast & Ale.

Beast & Ale - the name is a play on "Beef & Ale" and the concept is billed as "updated greasy spoon" - opens Monday, Aug. 25 at 4161 Main St. in Manayunk (267-437-3936) - down the street from Taqueria Feliz. The spot previously housed Bisou, Gemelli on Main, and MangoMoon.

Spinner and Sirhal also own Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington and La Calaca Feliz in Fairmount.

Beast & Ale's seating is on three levels (a bar on grade, a mezzanine and a second floor looking out on Main Street), and includes a 28-seat deck off the second floor.

Centerpiece of the menu (from Spinner and chef Matthew Savastano, the former sous chef at La Calaca Feliz) is the "Beast Burger," a double patty inspired by the thin, griddled burgers common before World War II; this includes two quarter-pound patties topped with melted American cheese, Dijonaisse, red onion, lettuce and pickles on a brioche bun. The double burgers, opposed to a single, thick patty, deliver a flavor punch through the cheese between the patties.

Menu - here - is heavier on the snacks (dips/spreads, salads, loaded fries, fried green beans) than full-blown mains. In fact, there are but three mains: fried chicken, a fish of the day and what they call steak poupard (seared sirloin flank steak, caramelized onion potato hash, fried egg, and hot sauce).

Sandwiches include a tempura fish, an avocado, and three classics - BLTs, hot roast beef, and fried bologna

Eight draft beers are on tap, as is a Forest & Main brew on hand-pump, plus many bottles and cans.  Drink menu - with 10 cocktails, 11 wines, and numerous liquors (including flights) - is here.

Canno Design was going for a convergence of hunting lodge and American-style greasy spoon. Not sure I pick up greasy spoon - being that it's new and clean and all - but I can safely say that no stuffed and mounted animal was spared. The upstairs dining room is a veritable gallery of taxidermy, and its focal point is a chandelier of antlers festooned with colorful lights. The mezzanine has a gas fireplace.

Beast & Ale opens at 4 p.m. daily. Weekend brunch will start soon.

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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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