Ela
Ela

Ela

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.elaphilly.com/
  • Phone: (267) 687-8512
  • Hours of Operation:
    Restaurant Hours: Sunday 5:30-9pm Monday-Friday 5:30pm-10pm; Saturday 530pm-11pm

    Bar Hours: Sunday 10:30-2:30 and 5:00-12pm; Monday-Thursday 5pm - 12am; Friday and Saturday 5pm - 2am

    Bar Menu Hours Sun 5pm-7pm & 9pm-12am, Mon-Thur- 5pm-7pm & 10pm-12am, Friday & Saturday 11pm-1am

    Happy Hour: Sunday- Friday 5pm - 7pm and Wed & Thurs 10-12pm

    Sunday Brunch 10:30am - 2:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Global, International, International, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Jason Cichonski
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: available upon request
  • Special Events: Private parties and dinners
    For more info email: info.ela@romanrestaurantgroup.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bainbridge Street
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Private lot on the lower corner of 3rd and Bainbridge;
    Private Lot located between 4th and 5th street on Bainbridge street. Parking Garage on 3rd street just north of south street.
    On-street parking where available.
A word from Ela
In November of 2011, chefs Jason Cichonski and Chip Roman partnered to open Ela, an inventive new American bar and restaurant in Philadelphia’s Queen Village neighborhood. Ela showcases 27-year-old Cichonski, who Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan called “one of our most exciting young chefs,” is combining an approachable menu of innovative dishes with an extensive wine and craft beer program and inspired cocktail list in a rustic-modern setting.
“Creatively, it’s wonderfully freeing to prepare food that doesn’t fit into any one genre or style; this is seasonal food, using exceptional ingredients, prepared perfectly,” says Chef Cichonski. Ela is a serious-yet-comfortable restaurant with a menu that that changes frequently throughout the year, to reflect the latest offerings.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Ela reviews from OpenTable diners
106 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (87)neighborhood gem (69)special occasion (43)romantic (37)hot spot (32)good for groups (16)notable wine list (13)vibrant bar scene (12)great for brunch (9)late-night find (3)great for outdoor dining (1)great for lunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Better for Philly than cheesesteak!
    calicoboy
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Exceptional everything. service, cocktails, wine, dinner, dessert, coffee. Four of us dined (four-course dinners) and enjoyed and even shared a taste of all of our dishes. The cocktails were very interesting and imaginative, and the wine list was impressive by its simplicity and lack of ostentation, obviously designed by taste rather than "star" value. Bites 1 and 2 varied amongst us but 3 of us ordered the pork shank which was extraordinarily meaty, tender, complex-flavored and huge. The shanks were so fall-off-the-bone that they resembled a long day in a slow cooker. Our fourth dinner relished the short rib. My wife, a tea drinker, rates a restaurant based on how the tea is served. Steeped in a small pot: 100%. ELA passed that test. ELA is nice people who like to cook and serve.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Marlene
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Service was excellant, food outstanding, would definetely recommend to anyone with a palate for "not the norm" ! Will definetly return!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • EatswellVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Overall great food. The short rib and the scallop noodles were outstanding. Beet salad was also a hit. Small intimate atmosphere. The waitress didn't rush us but yet provided attentive service. Definitely would eat here again. Very cozy on a cold winter night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Portions too small.
    katiegirl
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We paid a large sum of money and left hungry. A child sitting next to us remarked "THIS IS SO SMALL" when the waitress brought him his plate. Gotta love children because they tell the truth that everyone is thinking.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Simply exceptional
    NYCFoodie
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Everything was perfect, service was great and food was incredible. We had the tasting menu and every course was perfectly prepared I would highly recommend this restaurant and declare it one of my top favorites which is a hard category to get into to.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pennmom
    Pennmom
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Overall excellent dining experience. The scallop dish was especially outstanding! Loved the celery soup. Chocolate ganache dessert was decadent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    jonack
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The food is fantastic and unique. The atmosphere is fun, the dining area isn't huge but the intimate feel adds to the experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Joe c
    Elalover
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    What a great place. Rarely do you find a great space, vibe, service and superb food from 1st plate to dessert. This has it all!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hmmmm
    LarInPhilly
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Good food, not sure it is worth the price. Miniscule portions. I like less food as part of my diet but this takes it to a real minimum. Of course it is a balance of good food and good value. The food is good, the price is too high.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing food, service was just okay
    Danielle
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    The food was amazing. Everything we ordered was absolutely perfect. I'd go back for the food in a heartbeat. But the service wasn't great. Our server was incredibly nice Just distracted I guess. First round of drinks, apps and dinner came out fine. But our second rounds of drinks didn't show up until after we finished our entrees and we didn't see her the ENTIRE time we were eating to even ask. We had to flag someone else down. You shouldn't go 30 minutes without seeing your server. After they cleared our plates we sat for 20 minutes waiting to even be offered dessert. The place is nice though the chairs are uncomfortable. Also the bartender shakes the drinks WAY too loudly. Double handed vigorous shaking so you can't hear anything.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Over rated.
    Liv2eatVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    The best part of the meal was the $5 slice of pizza I bought on South street after leaving Ela. I went based on the reviews. VERY misleading. If you have a tiny appetite, you will do fine. Flavors are different, which does not equate to good or great as some reviews suggested. I had the short ribs that were very salty. There were only 4 tables occupied but service was still slow, not sure if that was the fault of the kitchen or waitress.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food and Service
    MarcpcVIP
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Ela has been in our neighborhood for 3 years but they have never cooked better than our dinner last night. The service was special and their Monday night 3 course price fixed dinner is a steal with great choices and delicious food. The wine list has special bottles at 50% off on Monday and the Barbera was great. We're going back next Monday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Romans restaurants never disappoint
    Melisa
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Finally got to Ela tonight, long being a fan of Blackfish and Mica. What a fine spot in Queen Village. Nice ambiance for a quiet Sunday night dinner. Knowledgable staff, small portions, and superb food. Found the bar eclictically stocked and everything extremely delicious
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Best
    Rebs
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    This was single handedly the best dining experience I've had. The food was phenomenal and creative. I want to know how to make that pumpernickel polenta.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lives up to the hype
    OutAndAboutPHLVIP
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    My wife & I tried Ela for the first time on Mon and will definitely be back. The cobia Crudo was a memorable flavorful medley of fresh fish. The scrapple confit was one of the best new dishes I've had all year. My wife thoroughly enjoyed the celery root soup and the salmon. The chocolate ganache with banana & marshmallow was also out of this world! We went on Mon night when there are several nice bottles of reds that are 1/2 off and a 3 course price fixe is only $39, which my wife opted for. The service was also outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Buena Vista's Best
    FrFindsFineFoodFabulous
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    We've been fortunate enough to have dinner at ELA at least once every 3 months since they've been open. The high level of the cuisine and service is astounding. From the care and interest of the bartender to the every changing menu to the absolutely finest ingredients and preparation it's a pleasure. For first timers: This is a great place to have dinner with others or just a nice dinner for two. Allow a couple of hours. Have a cocktail at the bar before your reservation. Try at least 2 courses + dessert. It's a place to be savored and not rushed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unique Brunch Menu
    kjkjkjkj
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    I chose Ela from a list of local restaurants found on the Walnut St. Theater website. I really like the atmosphere inside. I got the gnocchis w/ lamb bacon & my mother the short ribs eggs benedict. Would have like the eggs cooked a slight smidge more, you should know they coddle all eggs as their cooking method. I prefer poached where the warm gooey center oozes out, but the whites don't drip off my fork. Be sure to specifiy that if you are the same way! Also the smoked bloody mary was awesome, as was the pear mimosa! Give this restaurant a shot - it is cute & unique. Also, if you subscribe to the Walnut St. Theater you get free desert with purchase - be sure to mention. Hope this helps.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So Many Flavors!
    Elizabeth
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    My mom, sister, roommate and I dined at Ela Saturday evening. We had an 8:30 reservation and were not seated until about 9:10. We did arrive late and didn't check in with the hostess until 8:40, but it was still a long wait for a reservation. Our waitress was so nice though and apologetic, and the chef sent out a fun fish meatball dish for each of us to try to make up for the wait, so I will say they made up for it. This was really a fun dining experience, I thought every single dish had so many layers of flavor, and they were all truly so unique and not quite like anything I had tasted before.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Noisy
    Flores
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    excellent food & great service but it got too noisy mid way through dinner
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Uninspired Food, great cocktails
    JackieVIP
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    While the Monday night tasting menu is a much better deal than the normal offering, the food is uninspired and not particularly exciting or good. Excellent cocktails though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unique and flavorful
    northshorefoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Wonderful spot for a great meal. Scallop, duck, pork shank were supurb...so was the cookie dough dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Large room, tiny portions
    PolarBear1970
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Our server strongly recommended the tasting menu. We only wanted a little bite, so we picked a few things. The portions were disappointing, even though we paid entrée prices. Although tasty, they made us regret trying a new restaurant.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful meal
    Foodie
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    We celebrated a birthday and enjoyed our meal very much. Do not miss the pork entree - it's amazing. Will sure come again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb Experience
    Furby
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Last year my wife & I stumbled onto Ela & fell in love with their food & service. We have gone about ten times to Ela & are always happy. We bring friends/family and they are happy as well. This past dining was even more special as my wife and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. Ela made sure to make it extra special by asking us where in the restaurant we wanted to sit, provide an extra special twist to their Chefs tasting menu, and give us champagne. Our waiter, Zach, is awesome and we enjoy chatting with him. The food is crazy good. My recommendation, if you like great food. If you like to try new things, go here. I also recommend the Chefs tasting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best meal ever
    JoeMc2419
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    went with the Chefs selection and had the best meal ever, Scallop noodles was mind blowing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great night out
    Empresstam24
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The food here was great. It was creative and well put together. We had the 5 course tasting menu for $55. I thought that it was a great price for the quality of food that we were served. We truly enjoyed our evening out and would definitely recommend this restaurant to our friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience.
    SCPJMH
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    It's hard to be impressed eating dinner out anymore. But the food here was a big notch above what my wife and I could create ourselves. We tried many new foods and certainly many new combinations. The relaxing atmosphere was a pleasant accompaniment to it all. It was also pricy but worth it. Thanks for a great experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful meal
    DebH
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Great drinks and a decent wine list. We had their small bites. Try the kale salad and the heirloom tomato sald absolutely wonderful. The scallop noodles and octopus were very good. My dessert was okay but my husbands was very good. Definately worth a try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect dinner
    ChefBunk
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    Professional chef here. Wanted to thank everyone at lea for a perfect meal. The execution of all this dishes were flawless. Service was also perfect. Also enjoyed several cocktails. Thanks a whole bunch, you should all be proud. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic Meal
    Cweb103VIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    While service was a bit slow, everything else was fantastic. Awesome bar program with great cocktails and approachable wines. The food was high level and inventive. We split a 5 course tasting plus the gnocchi and an extra dessert. Everything was delicious. Scallop noodles lived up to the hype, as did the warm cookie dough. Favorite dishes of the night were the gnocchi and the hiramasa crudo. We will not hesitate to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food/ Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We tried the 5 course tasting and really enjoyed our choices. Our server was wonderful and attentive! The noise level was a bit beyond energetic at times but did not really interfere in our conversation. We sat in the smaller room in the back and it was perfect ambience and not too loud. We definitely recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Foodie's Delight
    Lisa
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Had an amazing meal at Ela, dining with my husband. We loved the tasting menu, which gave us an opportunity to sample a variety of dishes. The Peach soup was a great start with layers of flavor. Then enjoyed the creamy richness of melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi. The salmon was served with a variety of root vegetable, which were full of flavor. I enjoyed everything immensely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing Food and Drinks
    rginphilly
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    My g/f and I went here for dinner one night. The food and cocktails were absolutely amazing. This is our new favorite place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Haute cuisine meets neighbrhood gem
    JungmannVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    This restaurant has something for everyone--from small plates to haute cuisine entrées. I knew it would be good because I trust the friend who recommended it. Im a foodie and it takes a lot for me to be impressed: I was blown away! What's more, I have a lot of food allergies and they bent over backwards to accommodate each one. They succeeded marvelously. The quality of the kitchen far exceeds the neighborhood gem atmosphere. Service was impeccable and knowledgeable. GO. BE WOW-ed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • More than Tapas
    pittstown
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    They emphasize a pick 4, or pick 5 courses, with several choices for each "course", and they are tapas size servings. There were 4 of us, and everyone had something different -- and we shared bytes of most courses. everything was outstanding! We were in the back, where there are only 3 tables and it was pleasantly quiet, albeit near the kitchen. The main restaurant shares a room with the bar, so I expect would be noisier.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best meal I have had in Philly
    SynC
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    This was hands down the best meal I've have ever eaten. There were 4 of us and we all shared everything. Even my husband, who is a very picky eater, cleaned his plate. I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • awesome
    AlwayslookingfornewVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    As someone that frequented July's years ago, this new restaurant outlook is terrific. The ambiance is excellent. Food was terrific, especially the scallops made into pasta. A place you must try. Biggest issues, noise level was a challenge as well as parking unless a lot is available.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ela was excellent
    bjb1VIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    We had very good food. As expected it leans a little toward precious, but everything was perfectly cooked and beautifully presented.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • another winning meal
    KaraVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We always love Ela and this weekend was no different. We had friends in from out of town, and everything was perfect. The scallop noodles were a wonderful surprise for our guests - they are amazing every time! As always, the service was impeccable with knowledgeable staff, explaining everything, but without the pretension you find at some places. Every morsel, from the focaccia to the baked chocolate cookie dessert, perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Type of place to discover
    Footahead
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    First time at Ela. A very enjoyable dining experience. Menu interesting, creative, and appears to be updated frequently. Ambience was relaxed with just the right amount of background noise. Service was a tad too attentive, but was relaxed considering it was a busy Friday evening. Biggest drawback is parking in the area (found lot but expensive).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.