Hot Chef: Joe Frost cooks comfort food at the revamped Brittingham’s

Joe Frost is executive chef at Brittingham's.  Credit: Courtney Apple
Joe Frost is the executive chef of Brittingham’s.
Credit: Courtney Apple

In Lafayette Hill, the Irish pub Brittingham’s was known to many as a landmark. In April, the restaurant shut down while new owners Randy Feinberg and David Eckelmeyer began renovating and reinventing the entire place. In the meantime, executive chef Joe Frost was creating a menu. The focus is clearly comfort food, with a “TV Dinner” on the menu, but the feel is refined. Brittingham’s reopened last month and according to Frost, business is wonderful.

Have you been involved with opening a restaurant before?
I was part of the opening team for the Ritz Carlton, but I was 21 then. It’s a different animal now that I’m older.

What is the process like creating a menu?
Long! With the construction taking up so much time we had a lot of time to play around with different ideas and rework some things. A friend owns a restaurant in Wayne and let us use some of the space and the kitchen during the day. It was a lot of fun.

How has the restaurant changed with its second incarnation?
I think it has a broader appeal now. It’s more approachable. It had its niche, but it almost became too much of a tiny clique and shut out the rest of the world. It was too much of just a regulars’ place, which can make you feel unwelcome when you’re not a regular. We wanted to make it warm and inviting for everybody.

The menu at Brittingham’s is elevated comfort food. Where do you look for comfort food inspiration, and how do you make it more refined?
It’s what I want to eat; it’s familiar. My concept is that it still needs to taste like what it’s supposed to taste like, just taken to another level. Meatloaf should still taste like meatloaf. We’re cooking it almost like pate, and you can taste the wild mushrooms in it. Our cheesesteak tastes like a cheesesteak. So many places try to revamp it. I went out to lunch at some place in Villanova where they did that. It was a great sandwich, but it didn’t taste like a cheesesteak. At one of the restaurant’s training sessions I told everyone working that I’m going to make everything from your childhood and make you mad at your mom for not making it this way.

Do you have a favorite ingredient?
Pork, plain and simple.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.