Scarpetta–the fancy-pants New York transplant taking over the old Smith & Wolensky space at the Rittenhouse Hotel–opened for business yesterday with a couple surprises. The entire space has been stripped of all memory of the old steakhouse’s heaviness and (let’s say…) venerability. The dinner board is short and tight, customized for Philly’s tastes (by two veteran Scarpetta chefs who have been living and working here for months in anticipation of opening day), and offers lots of options for vegetarians.
But the biggest surprise? Our Scarpetta has a bar menu–something that none of the other 4 locations have. And the chefs (there are two of them, Jon Oh and Jorge Espinoza) put it together because they quickly came to understand how important eating at the bar is in this city.
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Soft Polenta with golden beets, tellegio, pinenuts, pecorino cheese, and crispy oregano
A familiar name is now the executive chef at Pennsylvania 6. Mathew Zagorski, who was the main man at Hickory Lane and Rouge also worked at Striped Bass and Lacroix back in the day rolls out his first full menu today at the Midtown Village restaurant.
The menu takes advantage of Zagorski’s experience with classic French technique and applies it to Pennsylvania 6′ American bistro concept. And of course there is a burger on the menu. The menu also includes crudo, shareable dishes like crab cake with Andouille sausage, plates like pasta with lamb shoulder ragout, a selection of steaks and chops plus sandwiches. Prices range from $12 for salads and starters up to $42 for an 18-ounce rack of lamb.
Pennsylvania 6 will also continue its raw bar program, including its buck-a-shuck oysters for happy hour weekdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Highlights from the menu »
Spot Burger at 2821 West Girard Avenue | Photo by Arthur Etchells
SpOt Burger which opened its brick-and-mortar storefront in Brewerytown back in January has rolled out the first major revision to its menu. The Best of Philly winning cheesesteak is there as well as the impressive Jawn and Sloppy Joe, as are the burgers that range from the SpOt burger with bacon, cheddar, pickles, coleslaw and SpOt sauce to the over-the-top Umami burger made with mushrooms, grilled onions, lettuce, ssamjang, pickled daikon, cucumber and teriyaki. New however is the of option mini beef or chicken burgers served with cheese,pickles and onions.
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Coeur has received positive reviews since its opening but here come some changes. Opening chef Andy Tessier has left the restaurant and Justin Bennett has been named the new executive chef. Bennett is also exec chef for Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly at Local 44 and Clarkville.
Menu staples like the rotisserie chicken and smoked brisket sandwich remain but there is now escargot, bone marrow, raclette fondue, grilled pork chops and more. And get this, poutine is now on the menu of this Montreal-inspired restaurant.
Another cool thing on the menu is Coeur’s Sunday special of half-priced sparkling wines.
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Philly Roast Pork Stir-Fry | Photo by Arthur Etchells
Honeygrow is on the verge of rolling out a new menu at each of its stores. The rollout of the new menu will begin with the reopening of the original store at 110 South 16th Street. A date that hasn’t been set but is still a couple of weeks away. From there, culinary director David Katz will oversee the rollout the rest of the stores. The new menu will include new salads and stir-frys.
Among the most interesting »
The new brightened interior of Southwark.
Chris D’Ambro and Marina De Oliveira quietly reopened Southwark over the weekend but today they shout it out to the mountains that the Queen Village restaurant is open for business.
For fans of the old Southwark, rest assured that the bar is the same as it was when Kip Wade commanded the bar. The rest of the space has been lightened up and the linens removed from the table.
D’Ambro has been in the restaurant business since he was a 19-year old at Vetri. Since then he’s his Savona in Gulph Mills, Sovana Bistro in Kennett Square and both Talula’s Table and Talula’s Garden. It was at Talula’s Garden that he met De Oliveira.
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Happy wingaversary. The Fat Ham turns two with wings and an expanded menu.
The Fat Ham, Kevin Sbraga’s University City Southern comfort food restaurant is turning two on Wednesday, December 9th and he’s celebrating with a night of wings. Sbraga will be offering offering a variety of wings including:
- Country Captain Wings with curry and Chow Chow aioli
- Lavender Honey Wings with pink peppercorn
- Salsa Verde Wings with smoked green tomato and pork rinds
- Mustard BBQ Wings with mustard, hickory, and brown sugar
The six wings go for $7.50 during the celebration, they’ll normally be $10.
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26 North, BYOB by Michael Stollenwerk
Last night was the official opening of Mike Stollenwerk’s latest restaurant, 26 North. The Old City BYOB features a seafood-centric menu of Stollenwerk’s greatest hits. Yep, skate wing with truffled spaetzle is on the menu, as is salmon belly and seared octopus. The space feels particularly large for a BYOB. The 48-seats in the long space with high ceilings provides plenty of room between tables. A marked difference for the chef who first got noticed in the tiny kitchen and restaurant of Little Fish. In addition to the seafood hits, 26 North also offers lamb for meat lovers and a vegetarian entree.
The space features exposed brick walls with dark wood accents. The wall art features pages from the Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications. A marble bar in the center of the room is a leftover from when the space was going to be a coffee shop but will be put to good use, especially at lunch.
The restaurant is currently dinner only but weekday lunch will be starting shortly with a “Hand Helds” section.
Check out the opening menu »
Buckminster’s, the “neo-bistro” from Michael Pasquarello (Kensington Quarters, Bufad, Prohibition Taproom, Cafe Lift) with chef Rob Marzinsky in the kitchen is set to open at 21st and Federal on Sunday, November 15th.
We have an early look at the menu that tops out at $21 per plate and includes items inspired from Marzinsky’s recent travels and heritage.
And though dinner service kicks off on Sunday, Buckminster’s is hosting an open house with complimentary food and a cash bar on Saturday, November 14th from 6:30 pm. to 10 p.m.
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Free Dan Dan noodles with the purchase of any meal through Friday.
DanDan opened over the weekend at 126 S 16th Street. The restaurant serves Sichuan and Taiwanese cuisine in Center City for lunch and dinner.
For now the restaurant is operating as a BYOB, but soon enough the restaurant will have a full liquor license. The restaurant is run by Kevin and Catherina Huang, former operators and managers of Han Dynasty’s University City location. As such, the dan dan noodles are a must order (even better, they’re free with any purchase through Friday). Even after bringing leftovers back to the office, several staff members put the noodles slightly ahead Han Chiang’s renditions.
Highlights and full menus »