Shake on it: Kensington Quarters in Philadelphia
The moment meat lovers have all been waiting for has arrived: Kensington Quarters will be opening its doors this fall. In Fishtown, one of Philadelphia’s increasingly hip neighborhoods, husband and wife Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello have partnered with butcher Bryan Mayer to open the new restaurant and butcher shop. The restaurant will reside along Frankford Avenue and will offer a selection of the region’s finest meats in its butcher shop while guests savor drinks and dinner by executive chef Damon Menapace.
“Our Philosophy at Kensington Quarters is centered on a handshake between industry experts,” says Michael Pasquarello. This handshake represents the guiding principle of Kensington Quarters, and so they commissioned the neighborhood’s own graphic designers and tattoo artists of True Hand Society to design the logo for the restaurant. Mike Ski, the creator of the logo, will also paint a large mural depicting the handshake along one wall of the dining room. As Mayer adds, “We respect each other’s craft and knowledge, trusting that our passions will guide our principles and that each of us will adhere to the highest standards and most responsible practices.”
The butcher shop will make locals feel as if they were in the Italian market of South Philly, minus the smell. Mayer, a butcher and instructor, has made trips out to farms and has stayed involved throughout the entire process to ensure the animals are being raised as nature intended: free of chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, and GMO feed. Mayer has also ensured that the animals are treated honorably and humanely in the slaughter process. The butcher shop will also include a cut-to-order personalized selection and will foster conscious consumption.
Chef Menapace’s menu will highlight Mayer’s selection of meats while focusing on sustainability, freshness, and the best of the region’s seasonal ingredients. Known for his rustic farmhouse-style cuisine, the chef will use open flames of wood-burning grills and brick ovens, and his dishes will incorporate an impressive list of house-cured charcuterie like salami and terrines. Along with the food, Kensington Quarters’ drink program will have a 20-tap system that will pour 12 beers and eight organic and biodynamic wines. A bottle list of 20 to 25 selections as well as a reserve list of cellared wines and beers will also be available. Cocktails will be made with non-GMO-based cordials as well.
The Pasquarellos are already well-known in the Philadelphian community, as Kensington Quarters will be their fourth restaurant, in addition to Café Lift, Prohibition Taproom, and Bufad. The restaurant will be open for dinner seven days a week, and the butcher shop will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Sunday until 6 p.m.
Fette Sau now has a savory competition; Steven Starr versus the Pasquarellos, if you will. Who will be the meat of our flannel-wearing neighborhood? You can decide.