Peter McAndrews Takes Over Bridgid’s

Peter McAndrews

Peter McAndrews

Peter McAndrews’ (Paesano’s, Modo Mio, Monsu) first cooking job in Philadelphia was at Bridgid’s more than 20-years ago. And now he’s back in charge of the Fairmount mainstay. He’s installed Patrick Collins as the chef. Collins has worked on 13th Street for Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney as well as for George Sabatino. This isn’t the first time McAndrews has turned back towards Bridgid’s. The chef consulted there in 2012. But this time he’s taken over the whole operation.

The menu is Italian, offering a menu of Chichette, small plates for just $5 each, 3 for $13. The new Bridgid’s will also offer a selection of ten-or-so house-made pastas for $10 to $12 a plate. Entrees will have a seafood focus and top out at $18 per plate. As is McAndrews m.o., expect bold flavors and wine friendly dishes. Speaking of wine, McAndrews is offering 8 white wines and 11 reds by the glass. McAndrews says he wants Bridgid’s to be a “true Italian restaurant, intriguing and affordable,” a place to have a good time with a good glass of wine or two.

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Zahav and Vetri Throwing Collaboration Dinners

zahav-vetri-interlockedOn Monday, May 11th at Zahav and Tuesday, May 12th at Vetri, the two restaurants are hosting collaborative dinners. The dinners will feature the cooking of chef Adam Leonti of Vetri Ristorante and chef/co-owner Michael Solomonov of Zahav.

Each night will feature identical seven-course tastings exploring Eastern and Western Mediterranean cuisine, served in each restaurant’s private dining room.

The dinners, which are $200 per person (plus tax and gratuity) include a collaborative beverage pairing between Vetri’s Bobby Domenick and Cook N Solo beverage director, Brian Kane. Each ticket is $200, plus tax and gratuity.

See the menu and make reservations »

Estia Greek Taverna Opening in Marlton


Estia Greek Taverna – Dining Room

The Pashalis family that owns Estia in Philadelphia is in expansion mode. Brothers Pete and Nick along with Pete’s brother-in-law, John Lois are bringing their take on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine to Marlton in early 2014. Estia Greek Taverna will replace the former Pietro’s (which they also own) at 140 W Route 70.

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Where We’re Eating: Agno Grill

Assembly line ordering at the counter.

A quick, healthy meal that tastes good? It wasn’t so long ago that such a thing in Center City was more rare than a cabbie with good manners. But now, with HipCityVeg, Pure Fare, and Pure Fare’s new cousin, Agno Grill, healthy can finally come with some legitimate flavor. Ordering at Agno is done Chipotle-style, at the slick yet rustic counter. Decide if you want a spinach salad, a black rice bowl or a wrap (either grain-free or rolled-up collard greens). Choose your protein, or just go with the grilled veggies. The wraps (as well as everything else at Agno) are gluten-free. Next, three fresh toppings with Mediterranean roots can be added; finish with one of 10 or so sauces, and when you’re done with all that lunch-based decision-making, wash it down with a fresh lemonade or house-made soda to celebrate being satiated for under 500 calories.

Agno Grill
2104 Chestnut Street

First appeared in the September, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

First Bite: Agno Gill’s Build-Your-Own Mediterranean Meal


Agno Grill, the build-your-own adventure Mediterranean meal spot at 2104 Chestnut Street is now open. The organic, vegan friendly and 100% gluten-free restaurant comes from the team behind Pure Fare even provides nutritional information about their entire menu on their web site.

First you choose your base (spinach salad, black rice or a in-house designed gluten-free wrap). Next up is the protein, chicken, steak and tuna are joined by vegan friendly falafel and grilled vegetables. From there you personalize your meal more by adding three toppings and two sauces.

A side of pita chips and hummus is also offered as are housemade sodas and other drinks.

Photos and more details » 

Zoe’s Expanding into Philly Area


Zoës Kitchen, a fast-casual Mediterranean chain, is opening up stores all over the Philadelphia area. The chain has already opened its doors in Newtown, Collegeville, and Marlton. On Thursday, May 23, Zoës will open another store, right on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr, next door to the recently opened Pinkberry and Cosi . Zoës’ menu includes soups, salads, tons of sandwiches, plus a few simple Mediterranean dishes. Zoës offers a catering menu and a gluten-free menu in addition to its  everyday menu. The locations in the area are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday.

You can view the menu for the Bryn Mawr location here.

Zoës [Official Site]

Pure Fare Bringing the Mediterranean Agno Grill to 2100 Block of Chestnut


The former El Fuego on Chestnut Street is getting a new tenant. Agno Grill is promising to bring “a new kind of Mediterranean” this spring. We confirmed that Pure Fare’s Kriti Sehgal is behind the project and she promises us details next week. Until then, we’ll just have to imagine what’s new and Mediterranean.

Agno Grill
2104 Chestnut Street
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UPDATE: NoBL Set to Reopen with Smaller Menu and Nothing Over $14

NoBL, which closed last month to reconceptualize has done just that and is reopening December, 12. The restaurant is still Mediterranean and the menu is smaller, featuring salads, mezze, everyday entrees and specials. Prices at the BYOB top out at $14 and a carafe of sangria mixer is $10.

The menu will change weekly, with all the specials and mezze being swapped out. The everyday Entrees will be consistent for regulars to repeatedly enjoy.

Former chef, Sam Jacobson who was also the chef at Sycamore has given his notice so it is kitchen by committee for now. Owner Stephen Wagner is very hands-on in the kitchen for now, but will not be assuming the title of Executive Chef.

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Hummus Grill Coming to Center City

Inquirer critic and Michigan native, Craig LaBan, was excited. He had his Tigers in the World Series, and the Famous Detroit Coney Company taking over the Santa Fe Burrito Company’s 11th Street location. But the tail-end of 2012 proved to be full of upsets for LaBan; his Tigers blew out of the Series in blaze-less glory, and the 11th Street Coney dog concept fell through.

Instead, Ardmore and University City’s Hummus Grill, just signed the lease to the space, and they’re hoping to complete renovations by March of 2013. And since they bear the award for 2012 Best of Philly Shawarma Platter, maybe this is something worth getting excited for again.

Aksum Ups Game for Fall

Now that fall has officially fallen, Aksum Mediterranean Kitchen is rolling out a new menu to match. Featuring seasonal changes to both the dinner and  brunch menus. Aksum is welcoming autumn with full force and Eastern Mediterranean flair.The dinner and lunch menu boasts new appetizers like the Wild Mushroom Bisque and the Roasted Beet Salad, which will certainly kick your meal off to a hearty start. New entrées like Tender Braised Lamb Shank and Grilled Seitan with herb and wild mushroom faro have been added to the menu. End your meal with Carrot Cake or some Oreo Beignets.

Check out brunch »

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