— From the pages of FLL#37 • Written by Sue Barry • Photos by Will Marks
“This is meat on the bone with a hole,” exclaims Fun 101.3 radio personality Dennis. He is describing the meaty, untraditional Pork Osso Bucco which arrived to our table as an entrée at a recent Firepit Kitchen + Bar dining experience. Osso bucco literally translates from Italian to “hollow bone.” This slow-braised, tender pork shank partners with herb roasted root vegetables, rosemary scented Yukon gold potato puree and chestnut jus. Radio partner Michelle declares the dish her new go-to “winner winter dish,” putting one of the Richmond Square’s dining destinations on her “favorites” map. And, Dennis does not fail to try the indulgent part of the dish—the bone marrow.
Husband and wife Nick and Holly Skiadas opened the Firepit Kitchen + Bar within the past year, and Michelle likes the way they also incorporate their Greek roots into many of the contemporary dishes they serve. As an example, let’s look at their Prince Edward Island (PEI) Mussels Saganaki appetizer. These flavorful bivalves are paired up with grape tomatoes, white wine, fresh herbs, and crumbled feta. “The feta makes this dish,” says Dennis. Soaking up that sauce with flatbread, Dennis treasures the way the feta slightly melts with the other ingredients, adding to the luxurious, silky character of the sauce. Homey Fried Greek Mac and Cheese shows up with a traditional Greek hard cheese (Kefalotyri) made into a béchamel sauce with robust tomato marmalade. According to Michelle, the flavorful Ground Veal Slider morsels are perfectly balanced with balsamic onions, sautéed spinach, and roasted garlic aioli.
“What can you do to a salad to make it more special?” asks Dennis, until he learns that Firepit serves a salad made with local apples, roasted pistachios, pomegranate-ginger vinaigrette, and a bolstered side of warm brie croutons. “I am adding pistachios to all my salads that I make at home,” Dennis says, acknowledging their distinctive flavor and crunch. When biting into the croutons, he tastes the cinnamon spiced coating immediately, while the brie flavor hits him later. Michelle tries Firepit’s Greek Salad with baby greens, crisp romaine, high quality pitted olives, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, pepperoncini, and crumbled feta, all dressed with a fresh oreganoinfused vinaigrette.
Looking around, Michelle likes the flowing space and decor, but Dennis just zooms in on the beer fridge. A simulated fire pit is the backdrop behind the bar. Firepit’s Grilled Kebabs make their debut to the delight of both Michelle and Dennis. Caramelized and smoky Tenderloin Tips arrive as perfectly medium rare, the meat melting tenderly on seared skewers, accommodated by couscous taboulleh salad and sautéed squash. Both radio friends intend to come back in the future for the other kababs— chicken, shrimp, pork, and lamb. Sweet and nutty with a springy center, Firepit’s Seared Sea Scallops are like heaven to Dennis on a bed of bacon-leek polenta and a side of tender crisp asparagus, with a dollop of grilled tomato coulis. Dennis refers to the polenta as a, “horn of polent-y.”
A buttery Sugar Cookie Cheesecake, which tastes exactly as one would expect it to taste, is savored by the radio crew at the end of the evening. The married team, executive chef Tim Miller and sous chef Becky Frankowski, visit the table at the end of the night and Dennis and Michelle give them the deserving praise. But, Dennis wonders, “How long do you braise those pork shanks?” Becky explains that brining takes two entire days and the braising process takes three hours in lard. “Wow, that’s why they are so good,” says Dennis. As we get up to leave, we notice many other patrons dining on that “meat on the bone with a hole,” and enjoying the marrow as an added bonus.
Firepit Kitchen + Bar
605 Richmond Drive, Lancaster PA