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Tough act to Swallow

The new restaurant in Liberties Walk will be a BYO called Sonata.

Mark Tropea, a Restaurant School grad who spent his last seven years as executive sous chef at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern, is cooking up Sonata, a 45-seat BYOB that will replace Swallow in Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties (1030 N. American St.).

He hopes to open in July, after a paint job, some new decorations and staff training. Tropea marvels at the new, lightly used restaurant equipment he inherited from Swallow. "It's like getting a Mercedes with a thousand miles on it," he told me.

Food: contemporary American "with a little flash, but not enough to scare people away"; entrees $22 to $28, with some higher gusts.

Name: Sonata is music composed to be played, rather than sung. "I can tell you I'm a good chef, but I want to get my point across by my food," he says.

Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays for dinner. Lunch will start if traffic supports it.