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Ambrosia, an Italian BYOB, opens near Fitler Square

The restaurant replaces Sandy's, a neighborhood fixture at 24th and Locust Streets.

Ambrosia, an Italian BYOB, replaces Sandy's at 24th and Locust Streets.
Ambrosia, an Italian BYOB, replaces Sandy's at 24th and Locust Streets.Read moreCOURTESY AMBROSIA

Ambrosia, an Italian BYOB, now occupies the Fitler Square corner spot occupied for 40 years by Sandy’s, a neighborhood diner with sweet owners. But anyone fearing that the breakfast-luncherie at 24th and Locust Streets was turning into a dinner house would be wrong.

Owners Fredi Loka and George Profi are planning breakfast and lunch at their simply decorated 45-seater. The men are Albanian immigrants each with decades of Philadelphia restaurant experience — Loka with La Vigna, Casta Diva, and Il Villagio in his cooking background. Profi owns Profi’s Creperie at Reading Terminal Market.

They bake bread and make pasta in-house. Menu includes salmon belly, scallop, and beef carpaccio among the crudos, such starters as grilled octopus, calamari, mussels, burrata, and grilled artichokes; seven pastas ($10 to $27) including squid ink tagliatelle with mussels, clams, and shrimp; ravioli filled with fava beans, ricotta, and mint with a brown butter sauce; and pappardelle with short rib ragu; and eight entrees including chicken Milanese ($21), roasted monkfish ($27), salmon with spring vegetables and a whole-grain mustard sauce ($25); and pan-roasted airline chicken ($23).

For now, it’s open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. daily. Breakfast and lunch will begin in May. There’s no active website or Facebook — just a stub on OpenTable. Phone number is 215-703-2010.

The neighborhood is enjoying an Italian boomlet with the impending reopening of Mama Palma’s at 23rd and Spruce Streets as Palma’s Cucina as well as the May debut of a city branch of Cotoletta, the Italian in Bala Cynwyd, which is opening a bar-restaurant at 23rd and Pine Streets. Add to that Trattoria Carina at 22nd and Spruce Streets and Sotto at 151 S. 24th St. (under the Walnut Street overpass), and it’s a veritable pasta party over there.