Love these new bistros that are open not only for lunch and dinner but for breakfast, too - spots such as Parc, a.kitchen, and the new Hickory Lane in Fairmount.
Next up, due in January, is Rex 1516, at 1516 South St.
Husband-and-wife team Evan Malone and Jill Weber of the year-old Jet Wine Bar are heading across the street for this Southern-inspired restaurant. Malone, president of NextFab Studio, is designing and his crew of designers, engineers, and artists are working on the interior, which has a faded-mansion feel from its distressed woodwork, wrought-iron and wood chandeliers, and antique mirrors. Weber compares it to the bar scenes in The Shining, but nothing sinister.
The face of the bar uses reclaimed wood paneling from the Frank Furness-designed Rittenhouse Club with a white marble top. Guests will face repurposed architectural ornament from Church of the Savior on Penn's campus designed by Charles Burnes Jr.
Executive chef Regis Jansen, an Alabama transplant who has worked locally at 1601, The Latest Dish, and Royal Tavern, will of course use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible* and offer vegetarian/vegan options. He'll also bake all his bread.
You'll see Creole elements in his crawfish pie, fried tomato sandwich with jalapeno mayo, vegan meatloaf, and a stuffed pork roulade.
* Just once, I'd like to see some chef admit that he just thaws stuff out of a Sysco box.