Early 2015 will bring a major change to the kitchen at Leila's Bistro in Jenkintown, as chef Sam Jacobson prepares to take the reins from chef-owner Jose Vargas. Vargas will be focusing on opening a new restaurant in Glenside called Robert's Block. A rep for the restaurant says Jacobson will begin in January, with the official changeover and launch of the chef's new menu to take place in February.
Jacobson made his name at Lansdowne's NoBL and Sycamore, where he led the critically acclaimed kitchen until 2012. Beginning late last year, he held the exec role at Southwark, departing recently as owner Sheri Wade stepped back behind the stove. In the meantime, he's been helping out chef Joe Cicala by cooking at Brigantessa.
Jacobson will introduce himself to Leila's patrons with a special four-course dinner ($45 per person) on Sunday, January 4. Reservations are open and can be made by calling the restaurant; the menu for the evening is included below.
In addition to Leila's and forthcoming Robert's Block, Vargas is owner of two more (even tinier) Jenkintown BYOs: Italian Forcella and a brand-new vegan spot called Flora.
Menu for Sunday, January 4:
Roasted vegetable salad, pickled black walnut, apple, coriander, horseradish, mint
Gagootza squash soup, maple, Fat Cat fondue, fried sage
Muscovy duck, pork & pheasant sausage, celeriac, caramelized chestnuts, spiced pears
Coconut mille crepes, bananas brulee, yuzu curd