Owner of BE Hospitality Group Fia Berisha and chef Nicholas Elmi
Nicholas Elmi believes in a minimalist approach to cooking; he avoids creating high-concept dishes, opting for direct meals made from simple, quality ingredients. It’s a culinary viewpoint refined over decades of work at esteemed French restaurants such as Le Bec-Fin. His skills scaled new heights upon opening the East Passyunk Avenue gem Laurel and the Old City eatery Royal Boucherie. Not to mention, he scored big during his television debut on season 11 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef, where he emerged as a rightfully recognized winner.
the communal parlor at The Landing Kitchen
For The Landing Kitchen, which opened in March beside the Schuylkill River on the Main Line, he instinctively knew that he wanted the interior design to mirror this approach. Fia Berisha, his business partner and owner of BE Hospitality, transformed the old Ironworks building into a straight-forward space utilizing the tenets of Nordic aesthetics—essential elements that all serve a practical purpose. “[Berisha’s] design mirrors my style of food,” says Elmi. “The meals are creative and fun without being overwrought—just a big focus on quality over quantity and presentation.”
a sampling of specialty toasts
Open 8AM to 4PM, the sun-soaked eatery, which flaunts a garden bar and indoor dining room, specializes in refined, simple American fare. The small bites pack a punch, such as smoked salmon toast made with pickled red onion, dill-caper cream cheese and everything spice, or the herb-roasted turkey breast sandwich topped with bacon, American cheese and truffle black garlic slaw. Two brands of coffee are served, Jersey City’s Modcup Coffee and La Colombe.
a view of the kitchen
For Berisha and Elmi, another major focus is the relationship between the space and the community. The dynamite duo concocted a quiet yet enticing cafe that they would wish to frequent on an early Saturday morning. More so, Elmi plans to amp up the communal appeal. “Over the summer, we will add a projection screen for late-night summer movie screenings,” he says. “More than anything else, we want to continue to endear ourselves to the Main Line.” 617 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd,484.434.8765, thelandingkitchen.com