When Kanella owner Konstantinos Pitsillides left his cozy, bustling Washington Square West corner spot for a more grandiose location in sleepy Queen Village, he left his loyal patrons scratching their heads. It was successful the way it was... why leave?
But the move was all part of the plan, a plan for a bigger space (meaning additional seats); a bar, in lieu of a BYOB; a wood-fire oven and charcoal spit — new toys for the chef aching to, finally, really show off his talents.
Eater restaurant editor Bill Addison took notice, posting the Cypriot restaurant onto Eater's second annual Best New Restaurant List 2016:
Unlike the original, the restaurant that opened four months ago in Philly's Queen Village has a liquor license (try "The Cypriot," a cocktail powered by Masticha, a mastic-seasoned liqueur), a charcoal grill (ideal for kebabs), and a wood-burning hearth perfuming whole branzinos with its flames and smoke. The restaurant may bear the same name as its predecessor, but it's a wholly evolved entity, one too spectacular to exclude from this list.
Plus, good news for the original location: Pitsillides will return to open Kanella Grill, a Cypriot street food restaurant.
Read more about Addison's thoughts on Kanella, as well as the other 20 restaurants the made the cut, here.