Unless you tripled up your mask while driving in an Uber, you very probably missed the two openings of restaurants from two of Philly’s most renowned culinary collectives – Anejo Philly in the Piazza from Glu Hospitality in connection with the Hell’s Kitchen, New York Añejo Restaurant Group, and, Char Kol from the Schulson Collective on 15th and Sansom Street, along the exterior of their Harp & Crown and Giuseppe & Sons spaces.
Michael Schulson and Nina Tinari of Schulson Collective with Chef Matt Rudofker (known for his time with NYC super-chef David Cheng) are running the socially distanced, outdoor Char Kol Korean BBQ through the summer and fall’s warmer times as a pop-up – so eat now, or be gone. Oh, and you’re the chef too, since Char Kol’s brand of Korean BBQ features cooking apparatus at each table in the guise of personal tabletop grills.
Grab an apron, along with your mask, and start grilling thinly sliced marinated meats (pork shoulder, ribeye, beef short rib, chicken, pork belly, and more), and a selection of banchan (small bowls of house ferments, marinated vegetables, composed salads and cheesy corn) over your own pit and grill, filled with 100% hardwood charcoal. You can do all of this in lettuce wraps if you choose. And, there’s also a section of Mandu (Korean dumplings), Bibimbap, Gyoza and other traditional Korean dishes in the offing – none of which you need to cook yourself. And thankfully, cocktail creator Kareen McCafferty is pouring Singapore Slings, traditional sake and grapefruit cocktails, and other Korean-ingredient filled booze drinks so that you don’t have to make them yourself.
All that is Char Kol is as weather permits. Make reservations here and visit their website here.
The same weather warning is true of Añejo Philly now that it has an outdoor seating component that was transformed from nearly nothing in the last week. The actual Añejo Philly designer Mexican restaurant and tiny Tequila bar in the Piazza were days away from opening its physical spot – all 2,800 square feet – when COVID-19 hit, and Philly’s eateries went into quarantine closure mode.
Executive Chef and Partner Ricardo Camacho, pointing out that Añejo Philly is his first restaurant located outside of New York City, wrote that, “Now that indoor dining is delayed we are moving full steam ahead this week. The paint is literally still drying outside on our brand new parkette along Second Street, where it joins blocks and blocks of open-air parkettes and sidewalk cafes in the city’s most exciting outdoor dining scenes. The time has come and we are excited to play host and meet our neighbors and visitors.”
That means innovative Mexican small plates for 18 tables and 50 plus outdoor seats, with an additional six to eight tables and 35 seats coming soon to the inner courtyard of the Piazza. That means Pork Belly Tostada, Crispy Cauliflower Tacos, Duck Enchiladas, and Esquites washed down with Mescal and Blanco Tequilas of the highest grade.
Reservations and menus here.