By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,321)
Once there was a huge, dark walnut tree in a forest just outside of Philadelphia. But, it fell. Today it’s the stunning bar, stools and tables at the newly opened and long-awaited restaurant – In’finiti Fermentation & Distillation, 250 Commercial Street. Remember the address because the outside sign is not yet up. It’s at the head of Union Wharf.
That’s not all that is intriging there! “It’s a brewery and distillery – all at the same time,” said Kelly Franklin, the charming restaurant manager. “Right now we have two of our beers on tap. Within a few weeks, we’ll have 6 to 8 of our own beers.” Meanwhile, there are other popular beers on tap. MHN.com sampled the primus primus, its first batch there and thought it was WONderful. Same goes for the mixed mushroom & green bean tempura ($7.00). It was DElicious! The distillery will be up and producing gin, light rum, whiskey, etc. in the near future, according to Franklin.
The “Tapas” – small portions – vary in price from $5.00 to $13.00. An example of the high end is “tuna tataki on local greens.” There is also a charcuterie board consisting of rabbit rillette, pork pate, duck prosciutto, house-made mustard, pickled alliums, toast for $12.00. There is a lunch menu and a separate dinner menu with equally tantalizing entrees. The chef is Noly Lopez who was busy and unable to chat with mhn.com at the time.
The restaurant seats 85 with 40 of those seats at the bar said Don Michaud, the father of the owner Eric Michaud. Don and his other son, did most of the construction, which formerly was the Macomber Photography Studio on the waterfront. As to the interior, it definitely has a nautical bent, but it’s open to individual interpretation. For mhn.com it might resemble the boiler room of an oceangoing ship. The authentic portholes are a nice touch, but do not afford much sunlight to offset the dark wood and dark walls; particularly for sun-deprived locals.
Over the weekend, the new restaurant was very busy, according to Sarah Jump, the bar manager. Social media and word of mouth have been the primary mode of getting the word out about this innovative Restaurant. Since today, Monday, was less busy mhn.com had a chance to visit with the management – all women – and they are all DElightful women. (Perhaps their sunny and bright dispositions helps to compensate for the dark interior. Three of them live on the Hill and one in Bayside. Maybe that’s why!) It’s open seven days a week from 11:30 am until 1:00 am. for lunch and dinner. In the warmer weather, there will be outdoor seating on the deck. Eric Michaud is also the owner of the Novares Res – a popular craft beer destination with a beer garden – off Exchange Street.
Last December, mhn.com had an opportunity to visit with Eric when he was heavily into the construction. He said then: “There will be nothing like it in New England when it opens.” He’s kept his promise – and then some!
For more background information, please visit Post # 1,243, dated 12/18/12 herein.