Guests of Kensington Quarters would often come in jonesing for a steak, but steaks were reserved for nightly specials and Sunday Steak Nights. When your entire restaurant concept is founded upon whole-animal principles, buying a whole cow can only yield so many specific cuts. After he removes the deli counter, however, owner Michael Pasquarello told Eater his restaurant will become more accessible to its guests than ever before.
Philly’s first and only hybrid butcher shop-restaurant is switching things up. Since its inception two years ago, KQ rocked sort of a business-in-the-front, party-in-the-back atmosphere — the entranceway butcher/retail shop transitioned into a full-fledged dining room in the back complete with an open kitchen, knock-out food by chef Damon Menapace, kick-ass wine, and summertime patio seating (not to mention an upstairs event space, too).
“The restaurant-side just got so busy. We could use the extra space.” Pasquarello decided to construct a small wall in place of the deli case (the build-out will be finished by the end of the week) separating the butcher’s block from 16-18 brand new seats. And that’s okay, KQ’s regulars wanted a little more out of the restaurant than they did the butcher shop, anyway. Pantry items like eggs, chicken, milk and deli meats often outsold those hunky roasts and butcher cuts typically reserved for special occasion home-cooking.
Besides the additional seating — and this is important — everything else about KQ will stay the same. They’ll still do all the butchery in-house (for the restaurant and its sister restaurants and partnerships), they’ll still sell straight-from-the-farm pantry items and deli meats, daily (you can even grab some to-go after your meal), and if you’re looking for something specific from butcher Jake Wilson, just email firstname.lastname@example.org for special cuts and roasts requests. Give him at least a day’s notice.
Really, the only big change here is the new menu with more steaks, chops, and roasts to go around, plus a new family-style $100 “mixed grill”. It feeds four, so bring friends.