Former Saint James in Ardmore will become Parlor Pizza Bar
Rob Wasserman, owner of Rouge and 500 Degrees, has announced his plan to turn his Saint James into a family friendly pizza restaurant called Parlor Pizza Bar in early March. The restaurant will be located at Saint James used to be, at 30 Parking Plaza in Ardmore.
Parlor Pizza Bar’s menu will center around artisan wood fired pizzas, as well as pastas and salads intended for families and groups. The restaurant will also be serving draft wines by the glass, with reasonably priced options starting at $6 a glass.
Otto Architects is remodeling the space, bringing in a crimson and gray palette. A Ferrari red pizza oven imported from Modena, Italy will be the focal point of the dining room.
Parlor Pizza Bar [Foobooz]
Photo via Brigantessa
We expect a lot from restaurants these days. If they don’t transform liquids into powders or barrel-steep cocktails with homemade bitters, they’d better serve chickens that roamed freer than our children do. So when a forneria bowls you over even before the door whooshes shut as you enter, it’s time to ask what really matters most.
I’m not the only winter-bitten soul to feel that way crossing the threshold of Brigantessa, where great blasts of heat from a Vesuvian-ash pizza oven ripple along a bar teeming with platters of sausage-stuffed long hots and oil-poached swordfish and wood-grilled octopus salad. Chef Joe Cicala’s sophomore effort on Passyunk Avenue has been rollicking since it opened in October.
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Gran Caffe L’Aquila opened a week ago at 1716 Chestnut Street. The bi-level space is open from morning to night, offering Italian coffee, pastries, gelato, panini, wine and more. The restaurant shares more than just the name with the Abruzzo Gran Caffe L’Aquila. Local restaurateur Riccardo Longo has brought in World Cup of Gelato winner Stefano Biasini and Michele Morelli in on the project. They ran the Gran Caffe in L’Aquila, Italy, that was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 2009.
Upon entering the downstairs space you’re greeted with a gelato counter with 24 flavors. Beyond that is a coffee and pastries bar, followed by a panini case. Next to those options are the drinks and the cashier. In the back is an Italian-style (no seats) bar for enjoying wine and a bite. The opposite wall offers seating in two-and-four-tops.
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Adam Erace has a new favorite Vetri restaurant and it’s Lo Spiedo. The newly opened restaurant at the southern end of Broad Street impresses the City Paper critic with its cocktails, its burger and its pasta. Surprisingly, he isn’t in love with the entrees that come off Lo Spiedo’s namesake spit but he has does have praise for other dishes coming off chef Scott Calhoun’s wood-fired grill.
Scott Calhoun is a stud that deserves as much of the credit as his mentor. I couldn’t quit the Lancaster native’s smoky spit-roasted cabbage in a crock of Gorgonzola fonduta, or the sponge of cornbread soaked in rotisserie drippings. Al dente rigatoni tossed with spit-roasted tomato sauce and ricotta salata had such depth of flavor, I barely believed him when he told me it was vegetarian.
Vetri’s latest, Lo Spiedo is firing on all cylinders at the Navy Yard [City Paper]
Lo Spiedo [Foobooz]
Whole Roasted Fish (in “crazy water”)
Chef Luke Palladino has made a name for himself at the Jersey shore and he is now opening on Passyunk Avenue in Philadelphia. The former Columbo’s at 1934 E Passyunk Avenue has been transformed from a sandwich joint to Palladino’s, an upscale Italian restaurant with bar, open kitchen and 80-seats inside. The location, visible from Broad Street also makes the restaurant a gateway to East Passyunk. An opportunity, Palladino’s has taken advantage of with its striking striped exterior and large vertical sign. The opening is set for Thursday, December 18th and reservations are now available.
Inside, Palladino’s has a large bar with windows that will swing open to the avenue in nice weather, an open kitchen (also visible from the street) and a dining room with padded walls, banquettes and dark wood. A collection of striking Fornasetti plates hangs vertically at the entrance to the dining area.
The kitchen features a wood-fired grill as well as an Italian oven that will be used exclusively to bake focaccia. The extensive menu will consist of seasonal Italian cuisine, wood-fired steaks, chops, seafood and handcrafted pasta.
Photos and the full menu »
Illustration by Kagan McLeod
First things first, I have to thank you for being so good to Philadelphia since the last time I wrote you. I asked for a lot of things on behalf of the city last year — outdoor drinking and BYOs and soup and more delivery options — and you came through in spades.
This year, my requests for Philly are a little bit darker. Rather than asking for things we need, I’m asking for things to go away. This is mostly because we’ve had such a good year already, and because our neighborhoods are so full of amazing restaurants and chefs doing the best work of their careers. Hard as it might be to say, what Philly is due for is a cull. To keep the scene healthy. And Santa, sometimes hard choices need to be made.
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In a region overrun with Italian restaurants, this trendy goombah-and-gravy joint from Philly expat and Florida/Vegas restaurateur Steve Martorano is one of the best and most fun, even if it is majorly gimmicky. You won’t find anything here that needs explanation. The Famous Meatball & Salad is exactly what it sounds like. There’s chicken cutlet parmigiana, spaghetti pescatore and Sunday gravy. It’s like dinner at your grandma’s, only with tight-dressed hostesses, Italian gangster movies on the flat-screens, a maître d’ who’ll jokingly tell you you’ll be sleeping with the fishes if you don’t watch it, and a bumping, liquor-fueled dance party that erupts late in the evenings and on weekends. So, actually, not really like dinner at Grandma’s at all, unless we had very different grandmas.
Teca opened last night at 191 Newtown Street in Newtown Square. It is the second Teca, the original is in West Chester. At the helm is Chris Scarduzio who came on board after receiving a call from his friend Alberto Guadagnini.
It is Scarduzio’s lone restaurant as the chef winds down Mia in Atlantic City and walked away from his East Passyunk project.
Teca will feature an extensive menu with Neapolitan pizzas and contemporary Italian dishes. Check out a few photos from the opening night, and take a peek at the Teca Newtown Square menu.
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Palladino’s, the new restaurant on East Passyunk from Luke Palladino, is getting into the Cyber Monday hub-bub by announcing that they are now accepting reservations. The first day reservations are available is December 18th. So if you want to say you were first, make your reservation now.
East Passyunk Avenue’s Paradiso Restaurant and Wine Bar is turning ten and they’re going all out. To celebrate, the restaurant will be hosting a 10-course dinner with the top chefs of East Passyunk working alongside Paradiso’s Lynn Rinaldi.
The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. on December 1st and is priced at $125 per person – a really crazy deal when you realize that Lynn Rinaldi, Will BYOB‘s Chris Kearse, Laurel‘s Nicholas Elmi, Palladino‘s Luke Palladino, Tre Scalini‘s Franca DiRenzi, Noord’s Joncarl Lachman, Townsend‘s Townsend Wentz, Fond’s Lee Styer, Izumi‘s Corey Baver, and Belle Cakery‘s Jesse Prawlucki-Styer will all be cooking for you in one place, on one awesome night.
Oh, and we have the full menu, too