Stephen Starr and Chris Painter may have passed on the former Ansill space at Third and Bainbridge for Il Pittore, but things there are humming along nonetheless. Lacroix alum (and Chip Roman protege), Jason Cichonski, who was last scene bringing Chestnut Hill’‘s Mica up to speed, is hard at work, mostly by himself, doing some light demolition and re-imagining the space for a fall debut. He doesn’t have a specific date in mind, but expects to have all systems go by “mid-October.” A title for the project still eludes him, but he says he’s riffing on something similar to his mother’s name. And the food? First he says “American progressive,” but back peddles a little to clear up any preconceived ideas of what that might mean. “We’re not going to throw foams and gels on plates just for the sake of doing foams and gels,” Cichonski told Grub Street. “Let’s just say it’s going to be good food without any technical or cultural baggage.”
“Expect the same sense of service and refinement as Mica and Blackfish,” Cichonski added. “But in a little more relaxed environment.”
Right now he’s making mostly cosmetic and esthetic changes to the space, tearing out the back bar, widening the entrance to the back dining room area , and moving the bathrooms. When complete the restaurant will offer 75 seats (including the bar), a cheese, charcuterie and raw bar station at the bar, and an open kitchen.
Bar snacks and a strong cocktail program will factor into the restaurant, as will the 16 bottle Cruvinet he found in the building’s basement. Cichonski said he may entertain the idea of doing some tasting menus, too, but not until after he’s been open for a few months.
“Chip recently reminded me that I’m cooking for customers, not my ego,” Cichonski said. “So I want to gain their trust first.”
Earlier: Concepts and Deals Make Mica’s Chip Roman Feel Cheap
Related: Stephen Starr Finally Finds a Home For Il Pittore