Condesa, the highly anticipated new restaurant from the team behind Philly hits Suraya and Pizzeria Beddia, opens Tuesday, October 1, inside the new Pod Philly hotel at 1830 Ludlow Street in Center City. Yesterday, Eater shared word of the opening and start of reservations, and now here come the menu details.
Like Suraya in Fishtown, Condesa is big, airy, and divided into separate sections, with 140 seats across a dining room, bar, lounge, and outdoor patio in front of the hotel (it’s Philly’s first hotel with micro-sized rooms).
The new restaurant is named for a neighborhood in Mexico City but executive chef and co-owner Nick Kennedy says the dishes draw inspiration from several different Mexican regions’ cuisines.
Similar to the way pita is used at Suraya and dough at Pizzeria Beddia, the menu at Condesa is built around blue and yellow heirloom corn tortillas. The corn comes from Masienda (more on that in the video) and is mashed up using volcanic stone:
The tortillas show up on plates of tacos — carnitas, lamb adobado, a brisket and tongue combo, fried fish, and a veggie version with braised greens, potatoes, and cheese — and alongside build-your-own platters with salsas and birria (a goat stew), fish done Veracruz style, or pollo asado. There’s also a mixed grill plate designed for two diners to share. Two tacos go for $12 to $18. The bigger dishes start at $24.
A street food section of the menu ($8 to $16) includes the likes of guacamole, surf clam ensenada, a mushroom and hibiscus quesadilla, and an octopus and bean tlayuda.
In the kitchen are chefs de cuisine Alberto Sandoval and Jerome Skaggs. James Matty, coming from Suraya, and Michal Shelkowitz are the pastry chefs. Aaron Deary, who did the cocktails for Suraya and is a partner at R&D (from the same team), designed Condesa’s drinks list with lots of tequilas, mezcals, and other agave-based spirits.
Condesa is one of three eateries at the hotel from the Defined Hospitality restaurant group, which is Kennedy, Greg Root, and Al Lucas. Last week they opened El Cafe, a street-level coffee shop next to Condesa serving breakfast tacos and Mexican pastries. Up next is El Techo, a taqueria on the 11th floor with a retractable glass roof and panoramic city views. It’s more casual than Condesa, and slated to open mid-October.
Check out the full dinner menu at Condesa:
And get a head start on dessert decisions here: