by Erin McNelis
After holding a think tank session and trial runs with Chef Esther Kwak, the owner of Forcella BYOB in Jenkintown Bruce Alfero has announced a new menu for the summer. True to the restaurateur’s philosophy of providing fresh, seasonal, produce-driven meals, the summer’s new offerings at Forcella include all the tastes of the season.
The restaurant offers a four-course tasting menu Tuesday through Saturday, a three-course tasting menu Tuesday through Friday, and an a la carte menu Tuesday through Friday. Standouts on the menu include two new first course dishes: Asian Pear and Grilled Plum Salad with mixed greens, grilled plums, parmesan crisp, wontons with an orange sesame dressing; and the Bruschetta Trio, a house-made crustini topped with garlic-tomato basil, whipped herb ricotta, and spinach-walnut pesto.
Two new items available for the second course are the Sweet and Spicy Ginger Shrimp Lettuce Wrap made with fresh gem lettuce, rice stick noodles, avocado, with a sweet and spicy ginger glaze; and the Seafood Paella, made with fresh seafood that changes weekly, seasonal vegetables, rice and saffron-garlic broth.
“We like to keep our food fresh and simple,” says Alfero. “Everything is homemade.” Alfero, who has been in the business on and off for 16 years as well as a professional poker player, has the experience to have traveled and acquired a good sense of the kind of fare people want. “We want our food to be fresh and interesting, but also familiar,” explains Alfero. “We aren’t really trying to keep up with the super trendy places. We just offer really great food and great service.”
The 18-seat establishment takes care to offer service at an exemplary and personal level. Alfero prides himself on the level of service his restaurant provides. “We try to make personal connections with people,” says Alfero. “This isn’t just a sit, eat, and leave kind of place. We want to make you a part of our family.” Each guest gets a chance to meet the chef, accomplishable because of the intimate size of the restaurant, which adds to the down home experience of the place.
Chef Esther Kwak studied at Walnut Hill College but is predominantly self taught. She makes all the pastries, breads, and desserts in-house. “She has a love for it that is representative in her food,” says Alfero. “People respond to that. They see how much love she has for cooking, and it comes out in her dishes.”