Table Talk: Beast & Ale in Manayunk

Owners Brian Sirhal (left) and Tim Spinner, also chef, at Beast & Ale in Manayunk.
Owners Brian Sirhal (left) and Tim Spinner, also chef, at Beast & Ale in Manayunk. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)
Posted: August 29, 2014

Chef Tim Spinner and Brian Sirhal of the Feliz restaurants have veered away from Mexican for their fourth bar/restaurant, Beast & Ale (4161 Main St. in Manayunk; 267-437-3936), down the street from Taqueria Feliz.

The name is a play on "Beef & Ale," and the concept is billed as "updated greasy spoon." Seating is on three levels (a bar on street level, a mezzanine, and a second floor looking out on Main Street), and includes a 28-seat deck off the second floor.

Centerpiece of the menu (from Spinner and chef Matthew Savastano, the former sous chef at La Calaca Feliz) is the Beast Burger, a double patty. Menu is heavier on the snacks (dips/spreads, salads, loaded fries, fried green beans) than full-blown mains. In fact, there are but three: fried chicken, a fish of the day, and what they call steak poupard (seared sirloin flank steak, caramelized onion potato hash, fried egg, and hot sauce).

Sandwiches include a tempura fish, an avocado, and three classics: BLTs, hot roast beef, and fried bologna.

Eight draft beers are on tap, as is a Forest & Main brew on hand-pump, plus bottles and cans. Drink menu includes 10 cocktails, 11 wines, and numerous liquors (including flights).

Canno Design went for a convergence of hunting lodge and greasy spoon. No stuffed and mounted animal was spared. The upstairs dining room is a veritable gallery of taxidermy, and its focal point is a chandelier of antlers festooned with colorful lights.

Beast & Ale opens at 4 p.m. daily. Weekend brunch will start soon.

Bardot in Northern Liberties

Eight years into the Pub on Passyunk East, Dennis Hewlett has ventured into Northern Liberties for his second bar-restaurant, Bardot (447 Poplar St., 267-639-4761). It is a world and a continent away from the P.O.P.E.

Think blues/jazz/R&B/soul laying down in the background vs. a soundtrack of rock-and-roll.

Hewlett has refit the former WineO and Ministry of Information with a walnut bar, silver tin ceiling, flocked wallpaper, and dark furnishings.

Menu by chef Rhett Vellner, an alum of Resurrection Ale House, is a European-influenced mix of small and large plates, tartines, and sandwiches.

It is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, with weekend brunch starting soon.

Briefly noted

Pizzeria Vetri's "al taglio" pizzas, as well as its signature snack, the rotolo, are being sold in the club level at Lincoln Financial Field during Eagles games.

Reading Terminal Market is getting a burger stand, which will fill the prime space on Center Court formerly occupied by Tokyo Sushi Bar. George and Kim Mickel, who own By George! and Mezze, the popular Mediterranean stand, will run it. It's on tap for late this year.


More restaurant news at www.philly.com/mike.

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