29 Dec ASHLEY! ASHLEY! ASHLEY! Chant: Bartender Of The Month
“I’m a strong believer in building 30 minute relationships”
For this Bartender of the Month, we took a walk in the park over to Scarpetta in Rittenhouse Square. Upon our arrival, Management at Scarpetta escorted us throughout the restaurant. Starting with their white marble bar top just beyond the entrance is a perfect display of delicious spirits and a fantastic wine list. Surrounding the bar you will find a comfortable yet stunning lounge for a pre-dinner drink or appetizer. We made our way upstairs to the polished dining room with vast double pane windows over-looking Rittenhouse Square. The food was filtering out of the kitchen for their holiday lunch crowd, every plate exactly how Ashley Chant had described the restaurant as a whole; flawless.
Our team at Stateside Vodka took some time to talk with the seasoned Bartender. Ashley applied for a career with Scarpetta by attending their job fair looking for a more structured working environment. She explained that she was looking to work for a corporation that was “bigger than the city.”
Ashley has been behind the bar for 12 years, and it all started at Fireside Bar and Grill in Ambler. “Fireside is everyone’s favorite neighborhood bar. It’s like ‘Cheers’.” she said, smiling. “I give so much credit to Fireside. It taught me volume and how to have a sense of urgency yet still make sure everyone was taken care of.”
After her four-year run at Fireside, Ashley moved to North Carolina for a period of time. “The North Carolina scene was BOOMING and it helped me fully understand what nightlife was. The bar I worked in closed the learning curve I needed for craft bartending.” Ashley knew she ultimately wanted to be back in Philly and now felt confident tending bar anywhere.
After two years of learning a multitude of techniques, Ashley found herself at Rouge, just across the park from Scarpetta. In her fourth year with Rouge, Ashley received an invite to work at the newly renovated Blue Bell Inn. “Blue Bell Inn gave me the chance to show my creative side with the bar program.” She explained to us how she loves trying new ingredients. “I imagine how it could taste and then give it a whirl behind the bar. Sometimes it is a total fail,” Ashley laughed, “but sometimes it is a complete winner and that is certainly rewarding.”
Following a good run in the burbs, Greg Dodge, a mentor of Ashley’s, asked for her to open up Tredici as one of their bartenders. “At that point I had some experience under my belt with craft cocktails.” Ashley told us that Tredici was the perfect place for her and she would recommend it to anyone. When Scarpetta’s job fair surfaced, she knew she wanted to find a home within a larger corporation. “I wanted to see what the corporate structure was like and how it impacted the workplace. There is no question in consistency. Scarpetta is set up for success. It puts us at ease as a staff. We feel like our superiors care about our experience just as much as the customers.”
When talking to Ashley about the places she has worked, we noticed a sense of pride when she finally got to Scarpetta. Ashley let us in on her personal research of cocktails in general. “Scarpetta has helped teach me that the subtleties can make or break a cocktail. It is the difference between then and now.”
We followed that sentiment by asking about Stateside. “Stateside has a sweetness to it. It is very smooth and I love the bottle. We use the bottles for all the fresh juices and water for the tables. Our customers ask what we carry that is local. Every time I suggest stateside. My favorite thing to make with it is a classic martini with a lemon twist. It is a perfect price point and it lends itself to citrus so well.”
Ashley certainly had an extremely impressive background in the hospitality industry. Now at home at Scarpetta, she says she feels like she is in the right place to continue to improve. “I’m a strong believer in building 30-minute relationships with people.” She made us one fantastic martini and then we parted ways. You can find Ashley at Scarpetta every week for lunch and dinner.
Scarpetta is located at 210 W. Rittenhouse Square in the Rittenhouse Hotel