Philadelphia, PA - Chef Michael Gingras and Jon Raffa have opened their restaurant Nineteen Eleven BYOB on East Passyunk Avenue. Gingras was born and raised in Rhode Island and attended Johnson and Wales, and moved to Philadelphia after seeing the potential of the up-and-coming food scene and tight-knit restaurant community. Located at 1911 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Chef Michael Gingras and Jon Raffa Open Nineteen Eleven BYOB
Raffa was born in South Korea and raised in Norristown, PA. He enlisted in the Marines in 2003 and served until 2008. Upon returning to civilian life, he discovered his passion for the culinary Gingras worked at Terrain, Osteria, Oloroso, The Sterling Pig, Royal Boucherie, Forsythia, and Zeppoli. He has honed his craft at Rex1516, Mica, and FLIK Hospitality.
The two met while working in the space while the former Will BYOB was. They immediately recognized they worked well together and shared the same mantras regarding food and service. They stayed in touch, and when the space on Passyunk came up for rent, they decided to open Nineteen Eleven.
The namesake, which is the address, is a celebration of the restaurant's physical location. As South Philly residents who frequent East Passyunk Avenue, they wanted the name to reflect pride for the part of the city they are cooking food in.
The two chefs have redefined the restaurant as a destination for comfort flavors. The current menu boasts unique plays on classic dishes. The Corned Beef Tongue dish is flawlessly executed. Yet, the flavor profile is reminiscent of comfort food you'd find in a local Irish pub.
They feature a "Cookie Dough" Ice Cream for dessert where the cookie dough flavor comes from eggplant. The chefs also make it a point to seek out local artisans like Mancuso Cheese and Rival Brothers.
Experience is also a central focus of Nineteen Eleven. Raffa and Gingras appreciate their guests choosing to dine with them and strive to provide a friendly, neighborhood atmosphere. The chefs also believe in inclusive eating as a staple in providing a welcoming environment.
With advance notice, all tasting menus can be modified based on allergens, aversions, or dietary restrictions.
The two strive to create a unique experience for each guest by combining what they refer to as gracious hospitality. By incorporating modern culinary techniques, time-honored food traditions, and mindfully sourced ingredients.
The menu is a shared plates format and consists of a family-style tasting menu option called the "South Philly Feast." The menu will often rotate to reflect the season.