Quick Bites: American Sardine and New Middle Eastern

The construction is complete but it still looks like three to six weeks before American Sardine Bar opens at 18th and Federal as John Longacre’s bar waits on its inspections.

Flying Carpet has just opened at 19th and Poplar. The cafe opens early and stays open late serving coffee, alcohol and a menu of international tapas. [Meal Ticket]

In the former Mew Gallery at 906 Christian Street we spotted a sign for Al Zaytouna Restaurant coming soon. Watch here for more information on this Middle Eastern spot.

Quick Bites

We’re extremely excited for the opening of Baby Blues in University City. The West Coast barbecue joint is opening to the public on October 8th. According to Michael Klein there are some private parties the week before (we’re sure our invite is in the mail). [The Insider]

Meal Ticket takes a look inside Watkins Drinkery taking photos of food, pool tables and the starscape ceiling. [Meal Ticket]

General Lafayette Inn and Brewery has closed but the story isn’t that straightforward. The brewery lives on under the name Copper Crow Beer and an agreement of sale for the restaurant is in hand paving the way for a reopening in short order, maybe. [Jack Curtin’s Liquid Diet]

Jake’s Sandwich Board rolls out new fall menu. [Meal Ticket]

Jet Wine Bar continues to progress. Their web site sports a shot of their quite-fancy restroom. [Jet Wine Bar]

Matt White, formerly of SeaBlue at the Borgata is the new chef at Zavino. Also of note, you can now order a Zavino pizza from Bar, next door on Sansom Street. [Meal Ticket]

Jolly’s Crab House is aiming for a December opening. [Meal Ticket]

News for People’s Who Like Bad News

Kildare’s King of Prussia location will be shutting its doors this Sunday as Dave Magrogan was unable to secure a new lease. [The Insider]

Chef Steve Gonzalez is out at Zavino. His pastas were praised as much as any of his pizzas. [Meal Ticket]

Susan Schlisman’s (Devil’s Alley, Smokin’ Betty’s, Sam’s in Wynnewood) Sam’s Grill in Jenkintown has closed. [The Insider]

Privé has closed in Old City. Nama, a sushi spot is set to replace the Mediterranean restaurant and lounge. Michael Klein has details on the eviction. [Meal Ticket | The Insider]

Tonight

Zavino is now offering food and beverage pairings Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30pm. Tonight get Fried Green Tomato with olive tapenade and Mozzarella paired with a Troegs Sunshine Pilsner for $8.

Good Pizza in Philadelphia

Drew Lazor takes umbrage to the premise that you cannot get good pizza in Philadelphia in his cover story in today’s City Paper. Lazor winds his way through Philadelphia’s best pizza haunts collecting opinions and theories galore on pizza in Philadelphia.

Waiting for Good Dough [City Paper]

Around the Web

Kelly White-Phillips gets into Adsum early and enjoys several of the cocktails and the Kool-Aid pickled watermelon. [Living on the Vedge]

Two Eat Philly also gets to Adsum for an early look-see. [Two Eat Philly]

It’s the height of summer veggie season and Zavino has the specials to prove it. And the 13th and Sansom pizza and wine bar is also offering homemade sodas. [The Secret is Salt]

Midtown Lunch says the King of Falafel cart really is just that. [Midtown Lunch]

An Empty Fridge finds Fat Salmon is a pleasant surprise. [An Empty Fridge]

Table Matters heads north and finds perfection at Tierra Colombiana. [Table Matters]

Fidel Gastro raves about the lobster burger that’s currently being served up at P.Y.T. [Fidel Gastro]

Down to Earth wine snob Maria Valetta finds her perfect beer bar, the Coffee Bar inside the Warwick. [SipsBitesandSites]

House-made Sodas at Zavino

Zavino Sodas - Michael Persico

Photo by Michael Persico

Zavino chef Steve Gonzalez has added a selection of house-made sodas to its offerings.

Flavors include:

  • Vanilla, steeped with real vanilla beans
  • Lemon-Lime, a bright citrus-y concoction
  • Blood Orange, slightly sweet and full-flavored
  • Rhubarb, an unusual, tart soda

Sodas are made to order with fruit juice (or house-made vanilla extract), sugar and sparkling water and served in a one-liter milk jug for $4.

Zavino

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

larosa_pizza

Photo of La Rosa Pizza by Philly Phoodie

Pizzeria Stella’s expansion is due to open today. The former pilates studio has been transformed into a bar area plus additional seating for the popular 2nd and Lombard pizzeria. All-tolled it’s an additional 40 seats available. [The Insider]

Tonight at Rocket Cat Café its the opening of “Give Pizza a Chance,” an entirely pizza themed art exhibit. [Meal Ticket]

Living on the Vedge eats the Kennet pizza at Zavino. [Living on the Vedge]

La Rosa Pizza gets another devotee as Philly Phoodie discovers the wonders of these square pies, one topped with pepperoni, onions and mushrooms, the second a split between their famous potato pie and half sausage and green pepper. [Philly Phoodie]

Midtown Lunch has been profiling pizza on Thursdays. Last week they even tried Mama Angelina’s at 13th and Locust sober! [Midtown Lunch: Philly]

We can’t say we’re about to sprint over to Columbus, New Jersey to try pizza from Columbus Pizza, but we guess, everyone’s entitled to their opinion. [Phoodie]

Zavino Gets Two Bells

zavino_veal_meatballs

Craig LaBan finds the nightly specials to be the real treat at Zavino but what does he say about the pizza?

But I’m not on the Zavino-as-Pizza-King bandwagon quite yet. In my ever-evolving scale of micro-ratings between the “good” and the “great,” Zavino’s pies are still not quite on par with those at Stella or Osteria. They have a pliantly soft Neapolitan-style puff that could benefit from a hint more crusty snap. The array of toppings, while built on such quality elements as Claudio’s mozzarella and Kennett Square mushrooms, is limited and predictable. The bright Stanislaus tomato sauce is milled a bit too chunky for my tastes, then ladled on too thick.

The mushroom pie with béchamel was surprisingly bland. The minimalist “Rosa” was overwhelmed by too many singed leaves of whole oregano. The “polpettini” pizza was easily Zavino’s best, with soft veal meatballs rolling amid molten clouds of fresh mozzarella in a zesty variation on the basil-topped Margherita (which was also great).

Zavino [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Zavino [Official Site]

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