Jason Cichonski and Chip Roman are going with 11/11/11 for the opening of Ela, their rustic-meets-modern bar-restaurant in Queen Village that will counterpoise their fancier, "progressive American" Mica in Chestnut Hill. Roman made the map with Blackfish in Conshohocken.
The chefs have taken the former home of Ansill and Judy's Cafe at Third and Bainbridge Streets (267-687-8512) for a restaurant suitable for drop-ins and destination diners.
They're calling the approach "serious yet comfortable," describing an approachable menu of innovative dishes, such as hamachi with green apple, horseradish and truffles; baby beets with brie, quince and cardamom; sweet potato soup with porcini and coffee caramel; popcorn panacotta with paddlefish caviar, asparagus and shrimp; foie gras with parsley root, ginger bread and huckleberry; diver scallops served with root vegetables, blood oranges and black sesame; duck magret with pretzel spaetzle, brussels sprouts and smoked butternut squash puree; gnocchi with maitake mushrooms, cauliflower and Japanese pumpkin; black cod served with red cabbage, sunchokes and whole grain mustard; pork belly with broccoli rabe, pears and served with a sour dough risotto; hot chocolate chip cookie dough with vanilla semifreddo and banana; and whipped pumpkin pie with pumpkin seed praline, candied ginger and figs. Dishes will range in price from $8 to $23.
They plan as many as 25 craft beers (with six rotating on draft), cocktails, and 20 domestic and imported wines available by the glass via 16-bottle Cruvinet system.
Stokes Design used dark wood paneling, reclaimed thin-board pine flooring, steel ceiling fans, whitewashed brick walls and metal-and-glass shelving behind the bar; a 15-seat bar running the length of the room; bright and airy main dining space, home to 40 seats at wood-block tables with red chairs. A second dining space, used for a la carte dining and for private events, is adjacent to the kitchen and offers additional seating for 20 guests.
It will be open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m.