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Dining notes: Chef move; Garces gets a nod from Wash West

Ben McNamara is cooking at Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant.

English-born chef Ben McNamara, who was gastropub before the term was invented (New Wave Café, Dark Horse Pub, and St. Stephen's Green), has landed in Old City at Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant (120 Market St.). PBR also has installed two beer engines.

Jose Garces' planned Frohman's Wursthaus got a pass last night from the Washington Square West Civic Association's Zoning and Governmental Affairs Committee. As I've reported previously, the Chicago-bred Iron Chef wants to convert the former Letto Deli at 13th and Chancellor Streets into a beer-and-brats spot. The zoners were astounded to learn that all FW's seating will be counter/bar. No tables indoors. (Garces supposedly does want outdoor seating, but that's a separate matter.) Timetable is spring. Nothing can happen till the whole shebang (liquor application included) goes before the city zoning board.

And a little gossip: Energy Kitchen, a New York-based fast-fooder specializing in healthful fare that clocks in at under-500 calories, is scouting 1725 Chestnut St. You very well may chuckle at the notion that the space previously was a Famous Dave's BBQ outlet and a Goodburger location.