Guinness and pasta? Murph’s Bar in Philadelphia is an Irish pub that serves delicious Italian food.
The Irish-Italian spot, located on Girard Avenue, has a vague Elvis theme and serves mouth-watering dishes such as Tagliatelle Bolognese, Veal Tortellaci with walnuts and truffle oil, fried zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella, and hazelnut truffle gelato.
The Italian chef, Francesco Bellastelli, hails from Puglia. He began renting the unused kitchen space from the pub’s owners, Theresa and Greg Walton, in 2014.
“My neighbor, my wife’s cousin, and I were at Murph’s having a drink. They were regulars. I got hungry and wanted to eat, but the bar didn’t serve food,” Bellastelli told Bon Appétit. “We eventually talked to one of the owners, and he said he had an empty kitchen downstairs and asked if I would be interested in renting it.”
According to BillyPen, Bellastelli grew up cooking with his mother back home in Italy, and started cooking in professional kitchens in Milan after serving 11 years in the Italian army.
Bellastelli rents the kitchen from the bar and keeps the money he makes from food sales, which is cash only. The small dining room in the back only seats 18, but you can order the full menu at the bar. However, customers have to pay separately for food and drinks.
As for the strange mashup of Italian food in an Irish pub, he said: “In the beginning, I think people would get confused. But now they come for the Italian food and drinks. I feel very fortunate that it has been so popular, and that I found Theresa and Greg. Without their open-mindedness, this probably wouldn’t have worked.”