Four restaurateurs from the New York area, sensing a dearth of Argentine dining in Philadelphia, are behind Malbec Argentine Steakhouse, an elegant white-tableclother opening soon at 400 S. Second St. (215-515-3899), the corner of Second and Pine Streets that briefly housed Society Hill Society and for years was occupied by the Artful Dodger.

Soft opening is scheduled for Dec. 19. (The project was previously billed as "Argento.")

In addition to a bar stocked with cocktails and wines from around the world. owners Daniel Sollosqui, Miriam Porto, Gigi Jara, and Walter Aragonez are offering a menu based on grilled meats.

Showpiece is the parrillada ($49), a two-person feast of grilled Angus short ribs, chorizo, blood sausage, sweetbreads, and skirt steak, served with two sides.

All entrees are served with fries, mashed potatoes, rice, or salad. Most prices are in the teens and $20s.

The menu also includes Argentine interpretations of Italian specialties, reflecting the Europe-to-South American immigration. You can get ravioles or cannelones, for example, as well as ñoquis, served according to tradition only on the 29th of each month.

Desserts are made in-house, including postre vigilante.

Hours will be dinner only initially, adding lunch shortly after opening.