Le Virtu’s owners planning second spot on East Passyunk called Brigantessa

Francis Cratil Cretarola and Catherine Lee, owners of the highly successful Le Virtu, are partnering with their chef Joe Cicala to open a casual spot at 1520 E. Passyunk Ave., where Karina’s is now, reports the Insider.

Now imagine the one on the right taking over the one on the left.

Called Brigantessa, the name of the female guerrilla fighters who fought Italian unification in the 1860s, the new restaurant will focus on southern Italian cuisine. Le Virtu’s menu comes from Abruzzo.

Karina’s, which we had heard was looking for a new location but couldn’t nail it down, will stay open there until February, when building owner Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation plans a complete remodel. Karina’s is hoping to stay in the neighborhood.

Brigantessa will shoot for a July opening complete with a wood-fired pizza oven, an enoteca (wine bar with small tapas-like dishes) and birreria (tap room).

Le Virtu Chef Joe Cicala, a co-owner, will make antipasti, panini, oven-baked pastas, pizzas and other dishes including goat, lamb and other meats that will arrive in terracotta and copper dishes straight from the oven.

There will be 20 to 30 wines by the glass and 15 to 20 beers on tap.


UPDATE: Don’t worry, Karina’s fans. That restaurant is coming to arguably an even better location across from the fountain.