One of the happiest surprises of the summer was the unexpected return of chef David Ansill, who is ready to start showing off his talents once again. Ansill, who took over the executive chef gig at Bar Ferdinand, announced he will begin his tenure at the restaurant with a special Thursday night tasting menu, which starts tonight. From 5 p.m. until 11 p.m., Ansill will be presenting a multi-course dinner (the menu shows 8 courses) for a paltry $40. For an extra $20, there is a wine pairing available.
Ansill became one of Philly's iconic chefs in the early 2000s with his restaurant Pif (which is now Bibou) and then Ansill Food + Wine (which is now Ela), before shuttering. Ansill had a revival of sorts at Ladder 15, where he updated their bar food menu with his European sensibilities and brought in a new crowd of Ansill disciples. He's now ready to start the next phase of his career.
Bar Ferdinand is a perfect match for Ansill, and is, in a way, the restaurant version of the man himself. Owner Owen Kamihira's tapas joint opened in Philly with a bang, but has hit a few rough spots along the way, and lost some of its early buzz. But, the food and atmosphere has always been solid, and is ready for a new chapter. Chef Ansill will inject some new life and renewed interest in a restaurant that really deserves it. Congratulations, and good luck to both David and Owen.
Sample Chef's Tasting Menu, featuring the Tomato
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, crab
Oil Poached Cherry Tomatoes, olive purée
Spanish Tuna, tomato saffron conserva
Local Tomatoes, mint, olive oil
Pan Con Tomate, jamon serrano
Grilled Mackerel, tomato water, artichokes
Lamb, pine nuts, roasted tomato rioja