While construction continues on his steakhouse on East Passyunk Avenue, chef Luke Palladino took off for Italy last month.

Having lived and worked there for five years - mainly in Venice - Palladino visits as often as his schedule allows.

While in Venice, Palladino met with the restaurant community, including food purveyors and fishermen. He also met with wine producers and distributors to collaborate on some additions to his wine program, most notably Enrico Fantasia, international wine broker and expert on Italian wines.

Meanwhile, all kinds of work is underway on Palladino's, at 1934 E. Passyunk Ave., the lower end of the Avenue, the former Colombo. It's due to open in November.

Palladino's current holdings are at the Jersey Shore: Luke Palladino Seasonal Italian (opened 2010), 80 Seats, Upscale Italian, Linwood; LP STEAK (opened 2013), 30 Seats, upscale Steakhouse, Northfield; and catering.