downloadPHILADELPHIA, PA – Happy hour gets the Chef Jason Cichonski treatment at his inventive American bar and restaurant Ela (627 South 3rd Street, 267-687-8512). Known for his boundary-pushing food, Chef Cichonski is doing Happy Hour His Way, challenging expectations on every level: unlike most restaurants, where early evening specials are relegated to weekdays, Ela will offer happy hour every Sunday, as well as Tuesday through Friday. Guests will enjoy an inspired menu of dishes that are only available from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., alongside affordable drink specials.
“There’s no rule that says happy hour snacks have to be boring, and there’s no rule that says you can’t have happy hour on a Sunday,” says Chef Cichonski. “And even if there were, I’d be ‘happy’ to break those rules in order to give my guests what they want: memorable food and inexpensive drinks at the end of a long day – or as an end to your Sunday funday.”
Rotating drink specials will include: $3 draught beer, beginning with local favorite Troeg’s Sunshine Pils; $5 wines, with a daily-changing white and red available; and $6 daily cocktail specials, such as Daisy, Hendrick’s gin, rhuby, cucumbers and lemon, as well as Last Chance to Lose Your Keys, tequila, rosemary, kaffir lime, St. Germaine and citruses.
Chef Cichonski’s happy hour menu will change frequently to reflect his latest inspirations. Dishes may include: a house-cured Pickle Plate, with everything from cauliflower florets to butter radishes preserved in-house and served alongside house-dried jerky; Bacon Preserved Sardines, marinated with grilled onions, honey and sherry vinegar, then lightly grilled and served in mason jars; Puffed Oyster Cracklins with “Old Bayo,” crunchy dehydrated-and-fried oysters with Old Bay mayonnaise that Chef Cichonski compares to “more addictive Cheetos”; Crispy Chicken “Chomps”, pieces of marinated chicken thighs breaded with spices and fried crispy; Tots His Way, hand-rolled potato gnocchi that are breaded and fried, then served alongside house-made hot sauce and “the sauce,” a creative concoction that combines lime, soy, mustard, roasted garlic and chopped, smoked pickles; and Soy Bourbon Burger, a nine-ounce house-ground sirloin patty with bourbon- and soy-glazed shitake mushrooms, aged Cabot cheddar, smoked pickles and a house-baked black sesame bun. Only 10 of these burgers will be available each day, exclusively during happy hour. Dishes will range in price from $6 to $14.
Ela is a serious-yet-comfortable restaurant with a menu that changes frequently throughout the year, to reflect the season’s finest ingredients and Chef Cichonski’s creative and artful presentations. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan wrote in his glowing “Three Bells: Excellent” review that “few kitchens in town can match Ela’s food value-wise for pure excitement…from the first course to the last, the chef at Ela is hottest where it matters most,” while Philadelphia magazine’s Trey Popp called the restaurant “deliciously off-the-wall…completely worth it” for offering “a transporting peek inside this rising young chef’s head.”
Ela’s happy hour will be available every Sunday and Tuesday through Friday from 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Dinner is served Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 11 p.m. and Sunday until 10 p.m. Ela is closed on Mondays. For more information, please call (267) 687-8512 or visit The restaurant can also be followed on Twitter (@ElaPhilly) and on Facebook.

Ela – Chef Jason Cichonski – Credit Jason Varney Ela- Bar_6701 Credit Jason Varney

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Redz Bar & Grille Saturdays
SmokeEaters – Thursdays

Photo by OOT

tnThis month we feature a real Dj spinner. by the name of DJ Casa ( Carlos Torres)…yes this guy loves to spin vinyl and we caught up with him at his saturday night gig at REDZ Bar & Grille in NE Phila,…
OOT-How long have you been spinning the music?
” I have been into doing the DJ thing for over 20 years….I started when I was 13 years old” says Dj Casa.
OOT-Do you just spin vinvl?
” I love to mix and using vinyl – to me this is a real DJ. I have the CD’s and Laptop but I prefer doing the real mixing. We caught him in action over at Redz Bar & Grille and this guy can lay-down the sounds. His mixing is flawless…he’s true to his craft of being a DJ. Even in this new digital world….seeing the turntables in action is a cool sight to b seen by all.
OOT- What kind of music do you like to push?
” I can play everything and anything but my real passion is Tech House”
OOT- in your own words what make a great DJ in today’s music scene?
“To me a great DJ is the person who can adapt to the crowd and can move a dance floor”
OOT – What are your favorite radio stations?
“Area and BPM on XF radio for house and back spin for hip hop.

You can see him in action at Redz Bar & Grille each saturday night and also on thursdays at SmokeEaters…
Dj Casa can also do private parties and you can make contact him by calling 215-500-0782
you can email him at: He’s a real DJ and doing it the way it use to be…see him in action whey you can.

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by Helene
Nothing like going to Tony’s Place Bar & Grille-in the summer! Just love sitting out on their beautiful patio with palm trees and colorful flowers all around-it’s like being in a tropical paradise. The 4,000 sq. foot patio can seat over 100 guests. There is also an option of dining under the covered area or you can sit at the patio bar. In the evenings the tables are lit by candle for the right ambience. And the patio is available for your own private event too!

You must come out and sample Tony’s all new summer fare menu. Here is a glimpse at what they offer: Steamed Clams, Crab Stuffed Avocado (Cilantro and Lime, with Tortilla Chips on top), Scalloped Salad (Seared Scallops over Mixed Greens, Chilled Asparagus, with Lemon Olive Oil), Kobe Burger on a Brioche Roll, or how about this wonderful entrée; Shrimp and Scallops over Risotto with Avocado Corn Salsa and Chipolte Aioli. Want a fun and dreamy dessert? How about Homemade Smores: 3 layers of Graham Crackers, Marshmallow and Chocolate Ice Cream, garnished with Chocolate Sauce & flamed Marshmallow on top! Yumm! The kitchen is open every day at 11 am and from Sunday thru Wednesday until midnight and Thursday thru Saturday until 1am. Everything on the menu is available for take-out by calling the restaurant or by ordering online Do I have your attention so far?

Atmosphere (check) Delicious Food (check) and now you ask what about the bar….Tony’s Place has a selection of 20 draft beers, 100 bottled beers, Homemade Sangria, Signature Infused Drinks like Pineapple and Kiwi infused with Coconut Rum or Vodka infused with fresh Strawberries and Basil served over Lemonade. And here is a little FYI, Tony’s has become the destination in Bucks County for the best Craft Beer. They feature Bear Republic, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Russian River, Sam Smith, Yards, Troegs to name a few. And if you get there for their Happy Hour from 4-6pm, Monday thru Friday you get 50% off select drinks and appetizers! Perfect for the hazy days of summer!

Look for upcoming events like their famous 5 course beer and wine dinners and their anniversary pig roast party sometime in August! Tony’s also has great acoustic entertainment too. Best yet it’s only 20 minutes from Business Route 1, near Street and Jacksonville Roads, in the Ivyland borough (1297 Greeley Avenue).For more information check their website or call 215-675-7275. Make Tony’s Place Bar & Grille your summer spot for their great food, wonderful drinks and an atmosphere that is out of this world!

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By: Krista Doran

pixie_dixIsn’t it funny sometimes how things just seem to work out? Sometimes we have days where nothing goes right, then all of a sudden things just seem to come together. And when this happens, these are usually the times when something very special comes fourth for us. This is what I think of when I think of this month’s featured band, The Pixie Dix.
All six members of this band had been working on the music scene in one way or another or in and out of various bands. Their lead singer, Sharon Rivera met bassist Kevin Wilkes and guitarist Carmen Pannulla at local open mics and formed a friendship. From there, they decided to put together an acoustic trio, but it wasn’t long before they realized they had something special. They decided that they wanted to play more of a variety of songs and knew that in order to do so their sound needed to be bigger, so they called on their friends Dave Taggart, Joe Silvia and Andrew Sumbillo.

I spoke to drummer Dave Taggart who explained to me, “We’re not confined to playing any certain style of music. We play an eclectic mix that appeals to a wide variety of people. We are able to offer a little something for everyone, due to each of our individual musical influences.” I have seen the band in action and they certainly do play a great mix, ranging from Journey and Michael Jackson to Adele and Alice in Chains. Their set lists are built around the song requests of their friends and growing following. Dave told me, “Its not about what we want to play. It’s more about what people want to hear. After all, if it wasn’t for the people who come to see us, we wouldn’t be doing what we love to do.”

The Pixie Dix certainly has all their bases covered with great talent. I have personally known almost every one of the members for years and can honestly say this is not only a good band, but they are all good people, too. They have a loyal and large following that keeps getting bigger with every show and they greatly respect the opportunity to be able to play music together. Although the whole band is great, their lead singer Sharon Rivera is truly a diamond in the rough. She has had no professional training as a singer, yet her voice is amazing! Sharon is very well known on the open mic circuit, and in 2011 the won 1st Place at the “Bucks County Idol” contest, held at McStew’s in Levittown. In 2012, she took 2nd Place in the Parx Casino’s “Parx Got Talent” contest. She is ego-free and I sometimes wonder if she really knows how truly talented she is. Drummer, Dave Taggart and Bassist Kevin Wilkes have been in various local bands including Zero Tolerance and Jekyll’s Hyde, while Lead Guitarist Joe Sylvia played in such bands as Ambush and Band Kamp. Guitarist Carmen Pannulla started playing at a very young age and pulls his influence mostly from folk and acoustic singer/songwriter styles. Their keyboard player Andrew Sumbillo has played in bands both locally and in CA and is the owner of The Bensalem School of Musical Arts. You can tell they love playing together, too! Their shows are lots always of fun.

You can catch Pixie Dix playing in several local rooms known for music, including The Temperance House in Newtown, Fluke’s in NE Philly and The Stadium in Levittown. Here are a few of their upcoming dates: 7/20 – Marie’s Cozy Corner in Levittown, PA; 8/4 – 5 Points Stadium in Levittown, PA; 8/18 – The BCMA Motorcycle Rodeo at The Newportville Firehouse in Levittown, PA and 8/25 – Sparky’s in Levittown, PA. They host an open mic every other Thursday at The American Legion Post 960 located at 1537 Woodbourne Rd in Levittown, which will start again on 8/1/12. They are also the perfect band to have play at private parties and will often give of their time to play at local charity events.

The Pixie Dix is a band that will brighten up any room with their wide range of music. To learn more about the band, check out their Facebook page by searching PixieDix. Be sure to go out and see them and if you would like to book the band for your bar, club or private event, please contact Dave Taggart at 215-962-7285. The Pixie Dix is: Sharon Rivera – Lead Vocals; Carmen Pannulla – Acoustic Guitar and Vocals; Kevin Wilkes – Bass Guitar and Vocals; Joe Silvia – Lead Guitar; Andrew Sumbillo – Keys and Vocals; Dave Taggart – Drums/Percussion and Vocals.

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