The Philadelphia-area restaurant scene continues its expansion, and the password is pasta.

Dough figures into some of the higher-profile projects on the fall and winter slate, including Via Locusta, a fancy Italian near Rittenhouse Square from Michael Schulson, Nina Tinari, and Jeff Michaud, as well as Fiorella, a pasta joint on the edge of the Italian Market from Marc Vetri. This follows the recent debut of Cicala, the sumptuous white-tablecloth Southern Italian at the Divine Lorraine Hotel from chefs Joe Cicala and Angela Ranalli-Cicala.

Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook, meanwhile, will follow today’s opening of Merkaz, the all-day Israeli sandwich restaurant, with Laser Wolf, a Zahav-ish Israeli grill restaurant, in Kensington.

Here is a selected rundown of what’s coming. As always, stay tuned here and here.


Cogito Coffee | Washington Square West

You say Washington Square West lacks coffee? This Croatian-based java joint adds to the mix, setting up at 105 S. 12th St., next to another Euro import, DaMo Pasta Lab. Dec. 2

The Institute | West Poplar

Veterans Charlie Collazo and Neil Campbell have moved the neighborhood landmark a couple of blocks away into a newly rehabbed building at 525 N. 11th St., north of Vine Street. Dec. 6

Adobe Cafe | Bella Vista

Popular Southwestern cantina has moved from East Passyunk to the corner of Eighth and Fitzwater Streets in what has been a series of bars. Dec. 8

Dig | Rittenhouse

Healthful fast-casual eatery partly bankrolled by Danny Meyer, formerly known as Dig Inn, is coming to 1616 Chestnut St. Dec. 9

Alice Pizza | Center City

The Roman-rooted pizza al taglio specialist, now at 15th and Locust Streets, opens a smaller outpost at 1234 Market St. mid-December

Small Oven and Porco’s | Point Breeze

Chad Durkin returns to 2204 Washington Ave., where he was pastry chef at the erstwhile Kermit’s Bake Shoppe, with two concepts: a pastry shop/cafe next to a takeout window from which Italian sandwiches will be sold. mid-December

Oori | Pottstown

Korean-influenced cooking from chef Michael Falcone comes to 2228 Pottstown Pike, near Owen J. Roberts High in South Coventry Township. Week of Dec. 16

Blind Barber | Center City

Bryce Harper’s barbershop/speakeasy-style bar comes to the Hale Building at 1326 Chestnut St. mid-December

Dmitri’s | Northern Liberties

Greek seafooder reopens after exterior renovations to the building at 944 N. Second St. mid-December

Stove & Tap | Frazer

The popular Lansdale pub branches to Chester County, where it opens in the front of Lincoln Court (245 Lancaster Ave.). mid-December

Big Catch | East Passyunk

Poke comes to 1840 E. Passyunk Ave., next to Stargazy. mid-December

Wine Dive | South Street West

Wine shop-slash-eatery from the Cambridge/Hawthornes crew at 1506 South St. mid-December

Via Locusta | Rittenhouse

Michael Schulson and Nina Tinari, backed by Jeff Michaud, setting up a pasta-focused Italian at 1723 Locust St. mid-December

Fairly soon

Spread Bagelry | Society Hill

Montreal-style bagels come to Fifth and South Streets, the former Johnny Rockets. late December

Fabrika | Fishtown

Lavish Eastern European cabaret and restaurant at 1108 Frankford Ave. late December

Deke’s BBQ | Wayne Junction

Cool new location at 137 W. Berkley St. late December

January and beyond

Fiorella | South Philadelphia

Marc Vetri says “New Year’s-ish” for his pasta bar at the former Fiorella Sausage at 817 Christian St.

Top Chef Quickfire | Logan Square

Fast-casual eatery inspired by the Bravo cooking show, at the Comcast Center. mid-January

Lucky Well | Spring Arts

“January” is the new, always-moving target for Chad Rosenthal’s BBQ/blues bar at 990 Spring Garden St.

Laser Wolf | Kensington

A “Zahav-ish" Israeli-style grill from Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook at 1301 N. Howard St.

The Little Lion | Old City

Fire-damaged American bar/grill at Third and Chestnut Streets is supposed to come back in early 2020

Bridget Foy’s | Queen Village

After being reconstructed on the same spot at Second and South Streets, this fire-ravaged bar-restaurant is looking at February or March for a reopening.