Quick Bites

Yogorino has its grand opening tomorrow at 20th and Locust. There’s just one smooth tart flavor and lots of toppings. Check the reversible cups. The size changes depending on what end is up. More on Meal Ticket. [Meal Ticket]

Za Vino will be the name of the pizza and wine bar concept headed to 13th and Sansom. [The Insider]

Drew Lazor has some details on Bar, the bar from Jason and Delphine Evenchik who own Vintage and Time. Bar games like foosball and MegaTouch, no food, mixed drinks in pints. [Meal Ticket]

Meritage, a Foobooz Jobs poster has hired former Susanna Foo chef de cuisine Anne Coll to run the kitchen at the Center City South restaurant. [The Insider]

Elevation Burger has opened its first Philadelphia-area location in Wynnewood. [Main Line Restaurant Guide]

Good Food Market is opening a sophisticated convenience store in Chestnut Hill. The spot will also serve $20 for-two dinners. There’ll also be delivery and curbside pickup. This people, is how you react when your Wawa closes! [Meal Ticket]

The seemingly cursed corner of Chestnut and Strawberry has claimed Korean BYOB, Meju. Now lets get those Jose Garces taco stand rumors going again! [Meal Ticket]

Pearl has closed after 16 months. [The Insider]

Quick Bites

Yogorino opened over the weekend at 20th and Locust. There’s just one flavor for now and for the germaphobes, the toppings are kept behind the counter out of the reach of the unwashed masses.

The popular Tiffin is adding a third location, this one in Elkins Park. Additionally, Tiffin Etc., the Indian pizzeria is about 3 weeks out. [The Insider]

Plenty of restaurant slippages in Michael Klein’s restaurant openings update. Village Whiskey and Pickled Heron are now looking at late summer (August). And the Tap House is saying October. [The Insider]

Leila Cafe is serving up Middle Eastern food at the former Wasabi House at 13th and Pine. [Meal Ticket]

The former Kami Sushi at 1526 Sansom now has a sign in the window promising Sushi Cafe is coming soon.

Akoya, the restaurant portion of Pearl is making like Pearl and taking the rest of the summer off. [The Insider]


Akoya, A Pearl

akoya_dish

Look past the velvet rope and bouncers and you might notice that Akoya is trying to making a name for itself in the shadow of it’s nightclub sibling Peal upstairs. David Snyder has the results thus far.

[T]here’s plenty to like about this retooled spot in terms of food. I loved the fact that the menu assembled by chef Greg Garbacz ([orignal chef, Ari] Weiswasser’s former sous chef) is loose and flexible, one of the more intuitive and navigable small-plates menus around. Geeks could call it open-source dining — the noodle and hot dish sections provide guests with the comfort of the conventional three-course route, yet the snacks, small plates and yakitori categories provide a wide berth to play and share. This is all at reasonable prices.

Pearl Vision [City Paper]
Akoya [Official Site]

Beating Expectations At Akoya

Akoya

Despite the bottle service and velvet ropes of Pearl being upstairs, Adam Erace says Akoya is all about the food. 

 

Buttery miso-glazed pork belly kebabs were perfection for only $7. Tender short rib sliders (braised in pho paste) were a $12 trip to Vietnam. Indonesian- style spare ribs cured in-house and tossed in vibrant kecap manis ’cue sauce: not so bad for $10—especially considering the accompanying mound of soulful, sweet soy baked beans mined with scraps of char sui pork. That East/West harmony blended so seamlessly, calling it fusion would be an insult.

With similar Asian flavors and dedicated tempura and yakitori sections, Akoya’s menu comes a little too close for comfort to Michael Schulson’s at Izakaya. But looking past that, Garbacz delivers better food—and the staff better service—than you’d ever expect in such swank surroundings.

 

Akoya [Philadelphia Weekly]
Akoya [Official Site]

Tricked You!

Akoya Now Open

How do you get passersbys to notice you’ve redone your restaurant concept? Well, someone at Akoya, the newly formulated Japanese bar at Pearl, had the wise idea to post a flourescent orange sign that looks like a liquor license application in the window.

Inqlings: Lights, camera, action – checks? [Philly.com]

Quick Bites

Yesterday, The Insider posted its 2009 restaurant forecast with lots of tasty morsels from big to small. Among the new to us, S & H Kebab House will be a Turkish kabob BYOB at the former Overtures. VargaBar is the name for the Valanni backed redo of Azul. Saute and Slate are aiming to be open by the end of the month and Girasole, is not dead after all. [The Insider]

As you may have noticed in the ad to the left, John Mims, formerly of Carmine’s and Les Bons Temps is going to be opening Mims in Wayne, where he’ll be serving contemporary New Orleans comfort food.

Neil Stein to South Street? Could it be? [Ice Pack, City Paper]

Table Talk higlights the new MangoMoon in Manayunk. It’s “warm but dramatic,” featuring Thai small plates and no Pad Thai! [Table Talk, Philadelphia Inquirer]

Pasqual Cancelliere, who ran Butcher’s Cafe with his father before selling the spot, is coming back to 9th Street with 943 , a Argentine and Italian themed restaurant. [Meal Ticket]

Pico de Gallo is expanding but not going far. The 15th and South Mexican is opening across the street in a larger space and will be turning the existing Pico into a cheaper takeout and delivery spot. [The Insider]

We do love ourselves some crêpes, so we’re ready to check out the new Crêpe Maker in 30th Street Station. [Meal Ticket]

Quick Bites

Teresa’s Next Door FINALLY has a web site. Here’s hoping they keep those beer lists up to date. [Liquid Diet]

We’ve known Marty Grims was bringing another branch of DuJour Gourmet to Commerce Square. But now we learn he’s going to be running the pan-Asian concept also planned for 20th and Market. [Meal Ticket]

Pearl is rebranding its first floor restaurant as Akoya. Chef Greg Garbacz will be introducing an Asian pub menu starting January 5th. There is quite the story behind the Akoya name. [The Insider]

Molecular archeologist, Dr. Patrick McGovern who was behind Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch, Jiahu and Theobroma beers has been axed by the University of Pennsylvania. [Beer Radar]

Ex-Pearl Owner Dives Back In

We came across this little ditty tucked into Dan Gross’s column today:

…Vice stayed limber with shots of Patron in the DJ booth with promoter Brett Perloff throughout his set. Perloff, who recently parted ways with the Stein family at Pearl (1904 Chestnut), in which he was a partner, says he’ll open a high-end boutique bottle-service bar in the Rittenhouse area next month. He was mum on a name or exact location, since the joint is another bar now.

Our first thought was, really?! Does the Rittenhouse area need another high-end bottle-service bar in this economy? Of course, then our inner Restaurant Yenta took over and we started to wonder… where exactly that Rittenhouse location might be? Where would you put it?

Dan Gross [PhillyGossip]
Chef Ari Weiswasser Leaves Pearl [KleInsider]

Asian Fusion Lounge Gets Two Bells

Pearl
Craig LaBan discovers that Asian Fusion still has some life left, especially in the hands of Pearl’s Chef Ari Weiswasser.

Not that Pearl’s “pan-Asian” concept exactly offers fresh turf for an ambitious young chef to roam. The menu touches every cliche in the Asian fusion playbook, from tuna tartare to miso-glazed black cod, tempura-fried rock shrimp, and calamari salad.

But it is in the execution that Weiswasser’s pedigree shines through, his years in the rigorous kitchens of Restaurant Daniel, Gilt, Striped Bass and Le Bec-Fin giving new life and a little elegance to these old water chestnuts.

There is an extra succulence to the Peking duck spring rolls, for example, thanks to two duck preparations for the stuffing (involving lots of molten duck fat), a dash of sweet corn puree, and a finishing inner wrap of Thai basil that gives each bite an herby freshness.

Two Bells – Very Good

Pearl [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Pearl [Official Site]

Euro Mystery Solved! No Effect on Dollar!

A sharp-eyed tipster cleared up the mystery of what exactly a Euro is, in the context of hospitality jobs. Via craigslist:

Pearl is hiring Barbacks and Euros (bottle service busser). Need the ability to work in a high volume bar and lounge. Please stop in and fill out an application 12pm-5pm, Monday – Friday.

Of course! “Euro” is so much more glamorous than “bottle service busser” which is way more glamorous than a plain old “busser.”

If you’ve ever been a busser, you undoubtedly know just how glamorous the job really is, no matter what you call it.

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