Tom Konidaris says he was sitting at the bar of his longtime Manayunk spot Zesty's, bemoaning the state of business with a customer/adviser, who told him: "You can’t even get a monk and nun in here."
The customer explained that two trick-or-treaters dressed as a monk and nun had just walked by.
And so Munk & Nunn -- no religious connotation -- is the new name of Zesty's (4382 Main St.), which is being redone as a Mediterranean-influenced gastropub specializing in small and medium plates, sandwiches, salads, and his signature hummus and tzatziki, jumbo lump crab cake and grilled octopus. (Talk about amassing every trend in one, eh? Pizza? He's got that, too: A guy dressed as a monk and wearing a chef's hat will be baking pizzas in a brick oven by the front window.)
Opening is set for May 8.
He's focusing on a 30-seat, granite-topped bar, a radical departure from the white-tablecloth establishments he'd been most familiar with. Seating is old-world church pews. Decor includes old-world-style lighting and paintings of European churches. A glassed-in, wrought-iron gate separates the bar area from a small dining room that had been the original espresso bar.
Of course, at 67 Konidaris could have just sold out and moved to Florida.
Sample small plates: moules frites (mussels, lager-beer mustard sauce and shallots) and Birds of Prey (chicken wings with Jamaican dry rub). Sample medium plate: Munkfish & Nunn (monkfish, potatoes, mussels, andouille sausage in a saffron tomato broth) and half strip steak (served with baby spinach, seared in an Idaho truffle demi-glaze.
Munk & Nunn's hours will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. weekdays and till midnight Fridays and Saturdays (a DJ will start spinning at 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays).