Fall Restaurant Openings Update
It’s already been a good fall for restaurant openings with Coeur, Stargazy, South and Kanella South all opening early in the season. But that’s just the beginning. Here are the other restaurant openings that we’re really excited about.
943 South 9th Street, Bella Vista
Joncarl Lachman of Noord just opened Neuf, his second restaurant–this one with a bar and the French influenced flavors of Northern Africa. Lachman is especially excited about the bouillabaisse which will be a dynamic experience with the broth presented first and the fish added. The chef, who has spent lots of time researching in North African neighborhoods of Paris, is also looking forward to the braised goat leg with sweet potatoes, dried apricots, roasted vegetables, crushed mixed nuts and spiced tomato broth.
Behind the bar is Jesse Cornell, who was named the Best of Philly bartender for 2015. The wine list is a collaboration between Cornell and Lachman (who admits to being a bit of a cork dork). There are lots of wines from the Rhone region of France, and bottles from as far away as the Canary Islands. Also, there’s plenty of bubbles as sparkling wines have been a focus since opening night.
The bar at Neuf is already becoming a destination with its happy hour program (pushing Chartreuse, of all things) and a special menu offered after 10pm once the lights go down and the music gets turned up.
743 S. Fourth Street, Queen Village
True, we were hoping to see a debut for Scott Schroeder’s Queen Village spot this summer, but we’re patient…to a point.
Hungry Pigeon is described as “a hip, casual diner by day and damn good restaurant by night.” Breakfast will feature Schroeder’s buddy Pat O’Malley’s pastry skills with croissants, muffins and danishes. Add to that quiches, egg sandwiches, English muffins, and biscuits and gravy from the kitchen, and that’s one third of the day handled.
Each service will be a little different as the owners navigate changing concepts throughout the day. Lunch will focus on Schroeder’s healthier cooking (salads, sandwiches and soups featuring lots of vegetables and grains—all stuff he’s been practicing lately at American Sardine Bar). Both breakfast and lunch will be counter service and will offer Ultimo coffee.
Then there’s dinner, which will see the Pigeon changing to table service. It’ll be family-style with small to mid-sized plates, and will still maintain a focus on vegetables
The Hungry Pigeon is currently looking at an opening early this fall.
114 S 13th Street, Midtown Village
Sure, it’s been delayed a bit, but this new 50-seat Mediterranean concept from the Zavino crew is still looking at opening this fall (and hopefully soon). Expect menu influences from France, Spain, Greece and Italy (and a full bar as well) when Tredici flips on the lights at 13th and Sansom Streets.
1720 Sansom Street, Center City
Susanna Foo is coming back to Center City after leaving Walnut Street in 2009 and she’s opening what’s rumored to be a straight-up Chinese restaurant with her son, Gabriel. She’ll be moving into a big, two-story space on Sansom that once held Genji, and an opening some time in October opening was the last we heard.
1200 South 21st Street, Point Breeze
The team behind Café Lift, Prohibition Taproom, Bufad and Kensington Quarters is adding another name to the list with Buckminster’s—a French-Asian concept going into the space at 21st and Federal in Point Breeze. And the chef they’ve got on board? Rob Marzinsky, who did his time at Pub & Kitchen and Fitler Dining Room before taking off to wander around Asia.
Now that he’s back, he’s using the food he ate overseas as an inspiration for the menu at Buckminster’s. And as a bonus, he’ll be working with Kensington Quarters butcher Heather Thomason, so we know he’ll be getting his hands on some good meats to start things off.
4301 Baltimore Avenue, West Philadelphia
With Coeur already up and running, owners Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft and Brendan Kelly can now focus their full attention on Clarkville, scheduled to open some time in October in the former Wurst House/Best House Pizzeria space across from Clark Park in West Philly.
We still don’t know a lot of details about the place, except that chef Justin Bennett from Local 44 (another Maida/Hartranft/Kelly outpost) will be behind the grills as exec, and that he’s planning on taking full advantage of the pizza oven and big ol’ stand mixer that got left behind by the former occupants. In addition to various pizza-like objects, he’s also planning on doing vegetables and small plates to keep the vegans and vegetarians happy.
2015 Walnut Street, Rittenhouse Square
Though it doesn’t look like much right now, Revolution Taco (from Carolyn Nguyen and Michael Sultan who also run the Street Food Philly and Taco Mondo food trucks, and Alan Krawitz of Say Cheese) is looking at a late October opening for their first brick-and-mortar location.
Right now, they’re looking at getting started with a menu focusing on 12 kinds of tacos, three burritos and a variety of empanadas, all of them utilizing global flavors (hence the name, get it?). Think Peking duck tacos with plum sauce and ginger slaw; or a Neshaminy Creek beer can chicken taco with Carolina barbecue, blue cheese slaw, and fried shallots. For vegans? Smoked portobello and oyster mushroom tacos with corn, beans, and avocado chimichurri.
1100 Pattison Avenue, Xfinity Live
Jason Cichonski (of Ela, The Gaslight and Bravo TV’s Top Chef) is the man behind 1100 Social–a recycling of the former Spectrum Grill space, transforming it into a brand-new eatery that just opened two weeks ago.
The new restaurant has expanded with an outdoor patio with a heated dining area and fire pits. The bar offers a variety of hand-crafted cocktails. And Cichonski himself is launching a new menu of shareable plates inspired by a blend of Mexican and Asian flavors interspersed with classic dishes.
So, you know, if you happen to find yourself down at Xfinity Live for any reason over the next few months…
1720 Fairmount Avenue, Spring Garden
The Earth Bread + Brewery crew (with some help from Stew and Julie Keener of Baggataway Tavern) is opening in Spring Garden, with their new spot, Bar Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga). It’ll be a combination brewpub and neighborhood restaurant, with wines on draft, 10 taps with 6 house beers and 4 rotating guest beers, and food meant to pair with whatever you’re drinking. Last we heard, they were looking at a late October opening,
La Casa De Tu Madre
736 South 8th Street, Bella Vista
A late entry onto this list, the former Growlers at 8th and Fitzwater is closing for a re-do. When it reopens (which should be any day now, according to owner Jason Evenchik), it’ll be a Mexican bar and restaurant with chef Michael Thomas remaining behind the grills, doing foods from the Yucatan peninsula paired with local craft beers (at least until a distributor can be secured to get some Mexican imports), tequila and mezcal.
2244 Fairmount Avenue, Fairmount
Back in April, Townsend Wentz gave us an estimate that he’d be opening his Italian BYO in about four months. We suspected he’d done that so that when it became six months, we wouldn’t be able to say it was delayed by too long.
But here we are, almost in October, and A Mano is still just a dream for the neighbors at 23rd and Fairmount. There’s no firm word on an actual opening date yet, but here’s what we do know: A Mano will be heavily Italian influenced, featuring homemade pastas and dinner service six nights a week.