Brittingham’s executive chef Joseph Frost is a modern-day kitchen crusader deserving of time in the spotlight. Good-natured and with prodigious culinary prowess, the long-time Georges Perrier protégé returns to his roots to raise the bar for pub-inspired cuisine at the reinvented Lafayette Hill pub and restaurant.
Main Course: You’ve spent some serious time nurturing classical French-specific menus under Perrier—at georges, Brasserie Perrier, Le Mas Perrier. What attracted you to go a different direction and join Brittingham’s?
Joe Frost: I have never worked with a restaurant from the ground floor up, nowhere where I was a ‘cog in the works; one of the engines.’ With Brittingham’s, I had a complete open vision, and was able to see my dream vision for the kitchen become a reality. To be able to build a restaurant’s reputation from the ground up is the opportunity of a lifetime.
Main Course: How does your classical French training come into play with the mod-American pub menu at Britt’s?
Having French technique as my foundation [for cooking], I have the ability to reinvent familiar pub dishes—it helps me take this cuisine to the next level.
Main Course: Can you throw us an example of how you’re elevating a common bar bite?
We recently debuted a new flatbread, The New Englander, with chopped fresh clams and mozzarella, roasted garlic and bechamel.
I grew up eating New England chowder, so I wanted to take that familiar taste and put a twist on it—make it into a flatbread. I always want to keep our comfort food familiar and simple, so when you bite into it, you can mentality picture what it was intended to be like.
Main Course: We’re impressed by the wide range of enticing—yet approachable—pub options: from appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, even adult shakes. What one dish do you hold on a pedestal?
Our pub pretzels pay homage to something I used to eat with my dad. As a kid, we’d sit and dip pretzels in Utz cheese out of a tin can. I wanted to bring that familiar taste into our kitchen.
So, we’re baking the soft pretzels every day; we’re whipping up pub cheese from-scratch. This rendition of pub pretzels is fresher than you’ve ever had—but familiar. We want to be a pub that’s your ‘home away from home.’
Main Course: What’s your goal across the board with the culinary program at this revival of Brittingham’s?
We’re a bistro and pub that’s really trying to push boundaries in the pub [world]. The term ‘gastropub’ is overdone—maybe we’re a pubstro. (Laughs.) We want to be your regular night of the week spot, and we want to be approachable and allow you to feel at home.
Still need to explore the newly improved Brittingham’s? Starting today (Friday, March 7), they’re kicking off 11 days of St. Patrick’s Day festivities, which unfold through Tues., March 18. From live Irish music and dancers, a Guinness pouring competition, a kegs and eggs brunch, a whiskey dinner, and more, you’ll want to celebrate with Britt’s (schedule here).
Find Brittingham’s at 640 East Germantown Pike in Lafayette Hill, or for more info, visit brittinghams.com.