The Roman Empire gave the world so much, from the book, to roads, to irrigation, to the craft that would one day maximize Patrick Swayze's on-screen sexiness (pottery!). For a new creation of Philly's own Roman Empire, check out Ela.
The latest venture from Chef Chip Roman, Ela sits in the former Ansill digs, which were gutted and redeco'd by biz partner/young gun chef Jason Cichonski to include reclaimed wood floors and a wall-dominating bar with booze & pickle-holding shelves, all wrapped in dark wood paneling and whitewashed bricks, which's how to describe every Grizzlies-era shot put up by Jason Williams. Food includes New American firsties like hamachi with green apples & truffles and baby beets in cardamom & quince (pronounce it right, Rosie Perez!), plus bigger dishes including diver scallops & blood oranges, pork belly w/ broccoli rabe & pears, black cod in red cabbage & sunchokes, and foie gras w/ parsley root, gingerbread, and huckleberry, although “fin” is probably a better word for Jay Williams’ motorcycling career. Drinks include 25 crafts (six rotating on draft) like Ommegang Hennepin & Russian River's Damnation, a selection of reds & whites by the glass thanks to a high-tech Cruvinet vacuum system, and nobody-else-is-naming-them-like-this cocktails like the Jaws Theme Swimming (toasted cedar wood/vodka/Lillet Blanc/vermouth martini), and the gin/burnt sugar sage syrup/absinthe Jude Law & A Semester Abroad, also notable for being the only law former New Jersey Net Jayson Williams hasn't broken. Yet.
When you're done with
NBA Williamses dinner, Ela's got desserts like a hot chocolate chip cookie dough with vanilla semifreddo & bananas and whipped pumpkin pie -- you'll be so full, you'll have to take off your shirt and share the rest with your righteous brothers.