Down on Broad Street, away from the glare of Upper King’s glamorous nightlife and big-ticket restaurants, Alex Lira and a small crew that includes EffinB radio co-host Phillip Michael Cohen have stripped the dining experience down to a few essentials: delicious food, great wine, and good times. The 30-seater, which starts its day as a bakery and finishes as a restaurant, barely has a kitchen. The cook, sometimes Lira and sometimes the other Phil Lawrence, works behind the bar and serves up oysters, delicious toasts layered with whipped EVO ricotta, beluga lentils, and whatever fresh produce they have on hand, and a rotating collection of entrees that feature fresh fare from area farms. It’s hard not to order all three courses displayed on the letterboard menu along with a dozen oysters and a bottle of wine when all told it will cost you less than a Benjamin. It’s like Restaurant Week in there every night of the week, except there are no loss leaders. Recent main courses have included ramen made with Keegan-Fillion pork, curry with braised chicken thighs, housemade egg noodles with chili, broccolini, garlic, hazelnuts, and ham. And if you’re really lucky, Lira might dish up a pork trotter, a dish that regularly appeared on the menu at The Lot when he was in charge of that kitchen. These days, Lira seems happy to keep it simple and serve the kind of food you’d pay a lot more for in other parts of town. And we’re happy to let him. —Stephanie Barna Dish, Winter 2018
This tiny spot on Broad serves a tiny menu with a heavy side of sarcasm and recently was named one of Bon Appetit's 50 Best New Restaurants in America.