Anastasi Raw Bar Ups the Seafood Scene

The restaurant brings the flavors of the sea to Manayunk's Main Street.



Photo by Tessa Marie Images.

Thomas and Mia Anastasi—fifth-generation members of the Italian Market’s Anastasi Seafood clan—are taking a chance on a presumably cursed space on Manayunk’s Main Street. The bi-level locale has hosted no fewer than four different restaurants in seven years. With Anastasi Raw Bar, the siblings hope to enjoy prolonged success by sticking to what they know best: fresh fish. 

The raw bar’s moody interior is brushed with navy blues, and its white subway tiles and industrial steel mimic the look of the previous tenant. Low-key seaside additions include sleek glass canisters stuffed with oyster crackers and horseradish atop every table.

While a second-level dining deck is available in warmer months, the focal point inside is the downstairs L bar, where you can catch a glimpse of the open kitchen. The raw-oyster selection is short-listed on dry-erase handouts, encouraging guests to order as they go. Recently, we slurped our way through a nice mix, from briny Cape May Salts to aristocratic Kumamotos from Washington. 

The most captivating display of talent from Anastasi chef Ken Wallace (formerly of Philly’s Vesper and London’s The Fat Duck) is his savory crème brûlée—silky-smooth cold crab custard flecked with lump crab, sprinkled with raw sugar, and torched. The end result is a texturally complex bar snack, accompanied by quick pickles.

Ample entrées include a Canadian lobster roll constructed with purists in mind—on a buttered split-top roll, coated in house-made mayo.

Will the Anastasis have what it takes to outlast their predecessors? Time will tell.

4161 Main St., Manayunk, (215) 482-1800. 

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