There’s an Italian-inspired market and cafe coming to Philly, and it’s likely serving up your new favorite treat.
Paffuto is opening up a brick-and-mortar storefront after serving up hungry Philadelphians with its sweet and savory fare through pop-ups since November 2021. Opening up in the former home of Bibou (1009 S. 8th St.) owners and co-chefs Daniel Griffiths, Jake Loeffler, and Sam Kalku will open the doors to their new space next week on Wednesday, Dec. 6.
Later on (likely in January) the venue will also be offering dinner service, but for now, the 1,400 square-foot, 22-seat restaurant will open as a daytime café, offering breakfast and lunch every Wednesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Paffuto will also soon make the move from a BYOB to offering drinks through a partnership with Mural City Cellars.
“We are confident enough to know that we are ready to open thanks to a collective of people who we’ve learned from,” said Loeffler in a statement. “We will be welcoming in industry friends and doing a ton of collaborations, as we are very aware that we wouldn’t be here without the local support we received from all of the collaborations we were fortunate enough to be involved in over the past two years. Through incredible connections, experience, and guidance, the three of us are ready to do this.”
As a release states, Paffuto, which means “plump” in Italian, will see the three chef/partners splitting all of the work in and out of the kitchen — and each one has spent time making their mark in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphians may have seen Loeffler working in top kitchens such as Vernick Fish, Tabachoy, Rouge, Kensington Quarters, and Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel, while Griffiths has worked at standouts like Laurel, Talula’s Garden, BBQ Smokehouse in the Bok Building, Jean-Georges Philadelphia, and Tabachoy. Kalkut from New York, attended CIA (the Culinary Institute of America) with Loeffler, and worked at Jean-Georges with Griffiths, as well as Boka in Chicago, and Kensington Quarters in Fishtown.
“All three of us grew up with Italian culture, so it was obvious for us to make Paffuto an Italian-focused concept,” said Griffiths in another statement. “Both Jake and myself have families from Southern Italy, which was a common thread for us, and Sam’s dad grew up in the Bronx, so all three of our lives featured a ton of Italian food growing up and to this day.” Loeffler recently spent some time in Italy doing research and development for the launch.
The vibe of Paffuto was crafted by Cait Borkowski, who also recently designed the Portuguese fan-favorite Fishtown venue, Gilda. But soon, the establishment is planning on adding some additions, like outdoor seating in the spring.
The starting menu will feature five sandwiches, including four regular, breakfast and lunch options, and one weekly special, the release states. There will be a panzerotti (a savory turnover) section on the menu, featuring three regulars, one breakfast-styled, plus weekly specials. Other menu highlights for Paffuto also include broccoli Caesar, white bean salad, house-made focaccia, meatballs with burrata, and a variety of grab-and-go options.
On the sweeter side of the menu, Philadelphians can also sink their teeth into rotating pastries that span cannolis, tiramisu, biscotti, cookies, maritozzi, and more. Additionally, coffee beans will be sourced from Elixr Coffee Roasters, and bread (including hoagie rolls and kaiser rolls) will be provided by Sarcone’s Bakery. Local provisions will also be available, including selections from Fishtown Pickle Project, Mural City Cellars, and more, blending the idea that this community spot truly reaps the fruits of its locale.
The limited breakfast menu at Paffuto will be offered from 8:30 to 11 a.m., with a breakfast panzerotti, egg and cheese sandwiches, coffee, and pastries being served up. More items and events are also in the works.
“We’ve put a lot of careful thought and time into our menu and into the purveyors and makers we will be working with,” finished Kalkut in a statement. “We’re fully committed to be hyperlocal and supporting as many Philly businesses as possible, since that’s how we got here.”
For more information on Paffuto, visit paffutophl.com