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“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.
Will always be my favorite place even after its closing ❤. I'll be lucky if I can find another restaurant just as great this this one
I wish that Ela's could stay in business on Bainbridge. But it is not to be. Our farewell 4-course prix fixe dinner was superb (except for the lobster risotto). Pricey but okay considering this was our "last meal" at Ela's. I understand (now) that Ela's owns another restaurant in Philly. Where is it what is it's name, please?
A wonderful final dinner at Ela. You will be missed!
It was our first time at Ela and we were very excited as we’ve heard nothing but rave reviews.we were on time for our 6:30 reservation and were surprised to see it was practically empty. 2 or 3 people sat at the bar and there was one table of 4. The hostess tried seating us right next to the party of 4, which felt very awkward in that empty restaurant. My husband requested a table one away from them and the hostess sighed, looked back over her shoulder at us and said Fine, but you need to be out of here by 8. Talk about rude and extremely unprofessional. I was dumbfounded.....not sure if our waiter was aware of what transpired, but he offered us exceptional service. Food was great, wait service great.....hostess terrible. Unfortunate for Ela, she’s the first impression of the restaurant and how it’s run. Find someone more professional.
My husband and I liked this restaurant; thus the 4* rating. But, we didn’t love it. Very small menu with about 4-5 starters and 4-5 mains. We had the octopus appetizer which was very well prepared and interesting, along with the pork main course (very large portion of of 2-beautifully prepared pork loins....which looked much like filet mignon). Got dessert we enjoyed the panne cotta. I would have given the restaurant 5* if they had: 1) more choices on the menu (if you are a picky eater, forget it!), 2) a better wine list (again very few choices), and if 3) the restaurant had more ambience. Very basic furnishing, wood chairs (no cushions) and tables, limited decor; the bar takes up 1/4 of the floor space.
We tried a bunch of different apps, octopus, heirloom tomatoes, gnocchi, crudo and they were each fantastic - I can't pick a favorite!
Tonight they were unexpectedly understaffed but the team pulled together and owner chef Jason stepped in so they pulled it off. Always love this place for the food, atmosphere and service. Been 3 times and the food is amazing. We got the chefs 6 course offering and couldn’t have been more happy!
One of my favorite all time restaurants in Philadelphia. Everything is perfect!
Ela was fantastic! Exceptional food and service.
The food was excellent! Would recommend to anyone and will definitely be back.
OUTSTANDING. Had the four course tasting menu and it was well worth the price. His hand made smoked olive oil is like nothing that I have had before. I bought a bottle to take with me home. The creative dishes were beautifully presented. No dish tasted remotely the same. Our server, Kristen, was hugely knowledgeable and easily able to discuss the whole menu with us to our content. I am upset I waited so long to go and cannot wait to go back. P.S. Have the octopus! The sauce is amazing!
I had been looking forward to dining at Ela for a while, after noting that it had been opened by a Top Chef contestant. I finally got there over the Labor Day weekend with two friends, and was not disappointed. The space is both a bar and a small number of tables, with a dark wood interior that is cozy, if a bit noisy once full. The menu offers “bites” that range from appetizer size to entrees, and the server helped identify a number of gluten-free options for me. The octopus first bite was tender and really tasty. The pork loin was served rare with a polenta and an eggplant caponata, and was delicious. The coffee pannacotta, topped with salted caramel and puffed black rice, was creamy and flavorful. The wine list is reasonable. I would definitely return here.
Amazing and creative dishes and perfect value for the 4 course tasting.
The cocktails are really good though could cut down on the ice so that you get more than 3 sips.
Everything was delicious. Didn't have anything that wasn't delicious. Staff was very friendly and the bartender was very personable. The heirloom tomatoes were amazing. I suggest anyone who loves food and lives in Philadelphia!!!
Though a weekend summer night , this place was wonderful. Not too busy but tables started to fill up as we began our meal. We chose the 4 course price fixed menu which was a definite win. The menu isn't extensive but a very nice variety for each "bite" as they call them. Portions were a perfect size and everything was cooked beautifully. Really enjoyed it and will be returning.
Well-curated cocktails as well as well-executed and inventive dishes. Standout dishes were the fresh corn veloute, octopus salad, lamb saddle and trout.
Another argument for the high quality of Philadelphia restaurants. A first-class neighborhood place with superb food, excellent, friendly service and a noise level that permits and even encourages human conversation. A modest gem. Don't miss it.
Excellent food and service! A Philadelphia dining gem!!
Ela is always delicious and inventive. It was great value mid week for three courses. Its our daughters favorite restaurant in Philly and she graduated culinary school!
Amazing menu and cocktails! I didn't take any pictures but every single dish was better than the last. Today was the first day of the summer menu and we really enjoyed everything! Crab Macaroni, Sweet Potatoes Gnocchi and Diver scallop noodles are my favorites.
This place is a completely under-appreciated neighborhood gem. How are they cranking out such careful food on a Monday night. This place ought to be booked solid every night. Absolute neighborhood gem. Service is also great, helpful, knowledgeable but not at all snobby. Highly recommend.
Great place for a date night! Service and food were excellent, a little pricey but worth it!
My husband loves it here, I think it’s okay. I read about special prefix for Monday’s, but the waitress didn’t tell us about, had to ask.
The shoulder pork I ordered was so tough that I couldn’t eat. Loooked like a pork tenderloin and was undercooked.
I go because my husband likes it there.
Well appointed decor, seated promptly, staff helped me with the menu. Food was excellent. Try the Diver Scallops!
Small spot a block off South Street. My wife and I tried the 6 course chefs tasting menu and had one of the best meals of our lives. On a regular basis, we drive into the city to try one if Philly's 50 Top Restaurants. This time we tried a recommendation from Eatery for an up and coming restaurant that was also on a chef's tasting menu list. Examples of dishes we encountered: lamb carpaccio in a spicy sesame oil, diver scallop "noodles" with chorizo & peas, and the final dish which was presented to us fresh from the oven was a game hen by the manager before being carved and then presented to us by the chef over some varietal of black rice and asparagus with a hand poured jus!! Dessert was also at chef's discretion, which was a coffee panna cotta with a chocolate cookie crumble(which my wife said was fantastic). I do not like coffee so we also ordered the cookie dough which was fresh from the oven gooey, ice cream on top with a malted meringue chip on top. All 6 courses were amazing!!! We asked how often the menu changes, they said pretty frequently. The chef will take a couple items off and replace them based on what's available and the season! A lot of locally sourced ingredients including herbs and greens in the window boxes right outside. Bottom line: we loved it and will be going back as soon as possible!!
The food is amazing. Diverse proteins and the supporting cast on on each plate are superlative in themselves. Dining options from ala carte to 4 and 6 course tasting menus. I love that dining companions can find the familar (albeit prepared within credible creativity) to those who love to try more adventurous selections. There is no better kitchen in Philadelphia than ELA's and Chef Jason Cichonski is among the very best. When foodies from NYC and DC travel to Philadelphia for their dining experiences - they include at least on dinner at ELA.
Dined at Ela multiple times. My son lives in Queens Village only a few blocks south of Ela. We have dined with he and his girlfriend, a group of our friends and a nephew who just graduated from college. Always great food, very good service and just a pleasure to frequent. I only hope it does not become impossible to get a reservation!
Great service and delicious innovative food. We had the chef’s tasting menu — each course was a delicious treat. The servers took the time to explain each item — not only a description of the food but a couple of words about how chef prepared it.
We went with the chef's tasting menu which was very nice to have as an option. Most of the 6 courses were outstanding with just a few that were not the favorite of at least one of us...but that is to be expected from a tasting menu. Overall the food was great. Service was exceptional.
The only area for improvement was the volume of the music, as it was quite loud and hard to have a conversation at times.
Food and wine was incredible! A very special dinner. We couldn't have been happier!
Started out at bar with HH. Enjoyed chatting with bartender. Meal at table followed, food interesting and delicious. My daughter especially loved the scallop noodles!!
Chef Jason Chichonski puts creativity and love into every dish. Scallop noodles one my favorite things ever. Chicken & Waffles are decadent. Good wine & whiskey selections. Staff is warm and knows the menu well. Everything at Ela is awesome.
Not worth spending in $200 just few dishes, food was not that good, ambiance and seats are terrible!Would not recommend to a friend! Am giving it 2 stars for the service only!
Great food, wonderful atmosphere, and creative contemporary American cuisine... my friends and I had a great time!
Ela never fails to please. I love the fact you can choose from first, second and third bits and double up if so desired. The chef Jason is a wonder. On the occasion you select the tasting menu, you will be more than pleased.
It was a great experience. I had a vegan meal which was awesome and the “vegan” drinks were great. ( wine is made from grapes - vodka from plants too!!!!)
It was just fine but more expensive than I would have thought. Nothing about the food really blew me away. I am unlikely to go back
Some items on the menu were not available
My husband and I thought Ela was great. The food combined interesting and unique flavors and textures and the service was very professional. We look forward to dining there again in the future!
Ela is rated 4.4 stars by 1015 OpenTable diners.