Roberto Cafe Becoming Ti Penso

ti-penso-400Roberto Cafe at 2108 South Street has closed and is under renovation. The BYOB will reopen under new management and with the name Ti Penso which, according to Google Translate, means “I think of you” in Italian.

When we get more details, we’ll be sure to let everyone know.

Ti Penso [Foobooz]

Update: Italian BYOB by Townsend Wentz

townsend wentz at cook

Exciting news: we have some updates on the heretofore unnamed Italian BYOB by Townsend Wentz that’s going to be at 23rd and Fairmount (formerly the space occupied by Garden Fresh).

Wentz plans to open the 50-seat BYOB in about four months (which seems like a totally reasonable time frame in that, when it takes six months, it really won’t seem like he blew past that proposed opening date by all that much), and the menu will be seasonal and heavily Italian-influenced. The highlight will be homemade pastas, which makes sense. It would’ve been weird if the highlight was going to be ice cream sundaes.

It will be open for dinner 6 nights a week. No word yet on if he plans to call the place, “Wentz,” but our fingers remain crossed. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

All Townsend Wentz coverage [f8b8z]

Total Rampage at Matyson

ramps2

I’m pretty sure by now you know that spring is here. But it’s not just the warm weather, the longer days and a sudden revival of Philadelphia’s greenery that has us excited.

We’re excited for the multiple spring menus we’ve been showing you, which debut more fresh veggies and cocktails that have us ready to ditch work and spend the day drinking outside.

But we’re also excited because spring means ramp season. It’s that almost sweet type of onion that sort of resembles a scallion, but has the odor of garlic. You can only find it around this time each year and, ladies and gentlemen, it has arrived in Philadelphia.

To celebrate the veggie, Matyson is throwing a rampage (get it?). From Monday, April 27 through Thursday, April 30, the Rittenhouse restaurant is featuring a ramp tasting menu.

The menu is five courses for $55 per person. If you’re pretty excited for ramps, than you can make your reservation here.

Check out the Rampage menu »

Blackfish BYOB Hosts Four Course Dinner

tautog-blackfish-940Blackfish in Conshohocken is hosting a four-course menu on Tuesday, April 28. The restaurant will be fittingly featuring the eponymous blackfish on the menu.

No, blackfish isn’t the killer whale, so don’t get all worked up about that documentary. But rather the tautog, a species of fish found along the eastern seaboard from Nova Scotia to South Carolina.

The menu is $49 per person and you can call and make reservations at 610-397-0888.

Check out the menu »

Mercato Debuts New Spring Menu

Mercato_SpinachCavatelli

Spinach Cavatelli

As the trees turn green once again, so do our dinner plates as restaurants transition their menus to lighter and brighter fare.

Mercato, the longstanding Italian BYOB on the 1200 block of Spruce Street, just introduced its spring menu, with new appetizer, pasta and meat dishes.

The new market salad includes ricotta salata, shaved asparagus, fava beans, strawberries, bibb lettuce and balsamic. Their pasta dish is a spinach cavatelli with veal ragu, pecorino romano, cream and fava beans. They also have a grilled spring onion risotto with (you guessed it) fava beans, mint, fennel, meyer lemon and pecorino romano.

Mercato also recently left OpenTable for Yelp’s reservation system. You can make reservations on their website here or give them a call at 215-985-2962.

Check out Mercato’s full menu »

Like a Nice Cabernet, Every City Wants a Sip of Philly’s BYOB Culture

Philadelphia BYOB laws

Delicious, and affordable. | Shutterstock.com

There are more than 200 BYOBs in Center City alone, some of which count among the very best restaurants in Philadelphia. They’re an essential part of the city’s dining culture, and a legit engine of neighborhood economic development. Many people, including Craig LaBan, have credited BYOBs with shaping Philly’s dining scene in a unique, patron-friendly (no 3X markups!) way.

And none of it would be possible without the state’s permissive laws on restaurant patrons bringing in alcohol. The state’s BYOB law has given restauranteurs who can’t hope to afford one of the limited number of liquor licenses a chance to open new dining establishments nonetheless.

Diners aren’t so lucky everywhere in the country. Over a dozen states, including Ohio and Wisconsin, ban BYOB policies. Last year, the city of Atlanta cracked down on them, enforcing a little-understood policy that requires any establishment with patrons providing their own liquor to buy a special license from the city. Read more »

Helm To Open Mid-March

helm-drawn-logoThere comes a time in every baby bird’s life when he must leave the safety of his mother’s nest and strike out on his own. For two up-and-coming Philly chefs, Kevin D’Egidio and Michael Griffiths, that time is now. The duo is opening up a BYOB called Helm at 1303 N. 5th Street (just north of Girard), hopefully in mid-march.

Between the two chefs, they have quite the culinary pedigree. D’Edigio has worked at (the now closed) Tangerine and Lacroix, was the sous chef at Will and the executive chef at Stateside. Griffiths has been the sous chef at Lacroix, and worked at Ela, Rittenhouse Tavern, and most recently at Fork where he left his sous chef position at the end of last week.

According to Griffiths, Helm is going to be low-key. “This is definitely not fine-dining. It’s going to be a more casual, fun atmosphere,” he says. The blackboard menu will change daily based upon the most seasonal and available vegetables, and as such, will be “largely vegetable based.” Entrees will be in the low-to-mid $20 range.

Foobooz can’t wait to see these two flap their wings.

Helm [Foobooz]

Laurel Goes Exclusively to Tasting Menus

Photo by by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Photo by by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Starting in May, Laurel will be moving to only offering tasting menus. Currently, Nick Elmi’s East Passyunk BYOB offers the option of a la carte during the week with tasting menus only on Fridays and Saturdays. Elmi tells us, 70% of weeknight guests are now choosing the tasting menu and “it really doesn’t make sense for a small space like ours to carry a full menu.” Elmi says it has always been the goal to go tasting menu only at Laurel, and the restaurant’s reception has allowed him to speed up the process.

The number of courses and pricing remains the same, 7 courses for $85 per person.

May reservations will be available beginning on Tuesday, March 3rd, starting at noon.

Laurel [Foobooz]
50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia – 2015 [Foobooz]

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