Kennett Restaurant: Close to Perfect New Bar

If I was opening up a new bar/restraunt in Philadelphia, it would have most of the qualities of Kennett, the recently-opened establishment at 2nd and Christian at the old Lyon’s Den.  It’s tough to find fault with a place that hits all the current hot trends in the food and beer world.

Small plates?  In the words of Charlie Sheen, “Duh!”  Farm to table and locally sourced food?  Of course.  Pizza?  Yep, in a wood-fired oven, no less.  Burger?  Three different varieties, including lamb and veggie.  Craft beer?  16 taps and 13 bottles worth, including such top beers such as Founders Breakfast Stout and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald.  Cocktails?  A full page on the menu.

All these qualities are in a relatively quaint space, which holds about 25 in the dining room and another 15-20 in the bar area.   Of course, having all these qualities is meanings if the execution is off.  Fortunately, Kennett, whose name is a tribute to the name of the old establishment at this location from 1924, does the job.

The food is excellent.  First courses  include brussel sprouts and sunchokes that are pan fried and caramelized.  The mixture leaves a nice lasting taste.  I tried the hamburger, which is highlighted by bone marrow (another up and coming trend), pickled onions and anchovy mayonnaise.  At medium rare, the recommended temperature, the burger is juicy and cooked with a nice sear.  The bread holds up quite well, and the burger absolutely hits the spot.

As far as the pizza, there are only four choices, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, allowing the restaurant to specialize in those limited options.  The salumeria includes salami, tomato, fresh mozzarella and sicilaian olives, made out in the dining room by the pizzaoiolo.  Pizza size is the typical Neapolitan size.  It’s cooked for only about 3 1/2 minutes in the wood-fired oven and features a very nice char on the underside.  The crust also comes out very soft but not to the point where it fails to hold the toppings.  Needless to say, it’s very tasty.

Another nice bonus is the very friendly service and demeanor of the stuff, from the host to the waitresses to the chefs.

The best comparison, as far as the menu, is Barbuzzo, though with much less food options (but better beer and cocktails).  You’ve got good vegetables, excellent meat and pizza worth ordering.  And if it was in my neighborhood, I’d come here quite a bit.  Highly recommended for a visit.

  • Kennett Restaurant
  • 848 So. 2nd Street Philadelphia
  • 267-687-1426
  • http://www.kennettrestaurant.com/
  • In a nutshell: Hits all the hot trends in food and drink and very similar menu options to Barbuzzo, with terrific pizza in particular.
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