Sometime before the end of June, Ventnor City, NJ will get a new dining option in Cardinal Bistro, essentially a Philly-style BYOB down the shore.
The father and son team is led by 24 year-old CIA Hyde Park-grad Michael Brennan, who's bopped around some of Philly's elite kitchens since his first stint at Le Bec-Fin in 2010. Brennan began his career as a busser at Le Bec-Fin, and after a move to Lacroix, he worked his way into the kitchen from coat check up the ranks to saucier. After culinary school, Brennan moved South Carolina, opened a restaurant, worked his way around the city, and then moved back home about a year ago.
Brennan, a chef in his early-20s, claims, "It's now time that I want to create something for myself."
Cardinal's menu hopes to "showcase beautiful produce in the best way possible", and given its proximity to the ocean, it'd be safe to assume much of it will be seafood-focused (but not exclusively). Brennan's especially excited about his version of the ciopinno, a classic Italian-American seafood stew (picture here) spiced up with a chili-spiked tomato broth.
The bistro will have outdoor seating, a 10-seat chef's table, and a living wall with fresh herbs. He and his father are doing the restaurant's build-out themselves and they're hoping for a late June opening.