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Cameras roll as Italian restaurant opens

Joanna Spitalieri is opening a BYOB, simply called Spitalieri's, at 613 E. Passyunk Ave.

South Philly native Joanna Spitalieri has been cooking up her new restaurant since January.

Meanwhile, brothers Reid and Chad Rosenthal were casting for restaurants to feature in a reality series they are doing.


Reid (the Realtor who appeared on The Bachelorette and its spin-offs) and Chad (a contestant last season on Next Food Network Star and the owner of The Lucky Well in Ambler) are set up right now with a camera crew inside Spitalieri's new BYOB, simply called Spitalieri's, at 613 E. Passyunk Ave. (just off Fifth and South Streets).

No one is talking about the nature of the show, though it's fair to deduce that it's about setting up one's first restaurant. I heard no yelling from the kitchen from outside, so this probably is not a Kitchen Nightmares-ish outing.

This is a homecoming for Spitalieri, who grew up on Hutchinson Street near Fitzwater. She most recently lived in the Orlando area, where she helped a friend with a dessert cafe. But after her brother, Eugene, died of cancer, she realized that she needed to fulfill her longtime dream. She will employ her mother, Jeanie, as chef.

The homespun menu includes cheese ravioli with sausage and meatball ($23), bucatini aglio e oli ($15), eggplant Parm Sicilian style ($18), and a chicken cutlet platter ($20).

If you want the possibility of face time on TV, attend the opening - 3 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 29.