On the books for five years, Urban Outfitters' Devon Yard development is finally set to open Thursday, with an Anthropologie and Terrain. We're most into the food options: branches of Amis Trattoria and Terrain Cafe. This week's dining stops include a Center City bistro with a scene, plus two South Philly newcomers. Need food news? Click here and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Email tips and questions here. If someone forwarded you this free newsletter and you like what you're reading, sign up here to get it every week.
Amis arrives in Devon
Amis Trattoria keeps evolving since its founding eight years ago under the Vetri Family, with Brad Spence at the stove. While the flagship on 13th Street in Washington Square West is still an edgy spot set to a rock-and-roll soundtrack, the newer iterations – created under the Urban Outfitters ownership – have a more polished feel. You can see that in Westport, Conn., to an extent at Bar Amis at the Navy Yard, and now on the Main Line at Devon Yard, the URBN destination opening Thursday next to the Devon Horse Show. Bright and vaguely industrial, the new, much roomier Amis retains the kitchen counter/open kitchen feature, and includes a separate barroom and enclosed porch. Spence has retained the services of Kristina Wisneski to execute the menu. New here are Roman pizzette – simple, crispy-crusted 12-inch pizzas. It's open for dinner daily. Across the way is Terrain Cafe, which greets the day with coffee and segues into an American menu under chef Ryan Bloome; it's open for brunch daily and for dinner Wednesday-Sunday.
Where we’re enjoying happy hour
Vedge 1221 Locust St., 5-7 p.m. weekdays at the bar only
Philly's premiere vegan restaurant is one of the toughest tables in town. Happy hour gives you a fighting chance to enjoy Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby's snacks, such as green beans and smoked mustard ($6), and the colorful Chioggia beet tartare with black garlic tahini and za'atar ($7). Two $7 cocktails (one rum/gin-based, the other tequila), two $4 beers, and two $7 wines are fine drink options.
Where we’re eating: L’anima, Maison 208, Irwin’s
Chef Gianluca Demontis and Rosemarie Tran, who own Rittenhouse's Melograno and Bryn Mawr's Fraschetta, plopped down into Graduate Hospital two months ago with L'anima, a sleek/chic Roman BYOB that spills out onto a patio off the corner of 17th and Carpenter. Seafood is the specialty, and Demontis makes everything himself, including cheeses and pasta. Be sure to share a chewy-crusted signature flatbread-like pinsa. It's open for dinner Tuesday-Sunday.
Nightspot beneath a retractable roof or serious restaurant? Maison 208, which arrived last year at 208 S. 13th St. in Washington Square West, is both. Chef Sylva Senat clearly enjoys himself, offering clever twists such as diver scallops accompanied by prosciutto and hush-beignets, as well as "taro lollipops" – fritters filled with kobe beef and a pate curry inspired by his Haitian roots. First-floor dining looks out onto the Gayborhood streetscape. Upstairs at what's called The Social, the bar throbs with energy, including live music on weekends. Open Monday-Saturday for dinner, Saturday-Sunday for brunch.
They're kicking it old school at the Bok Building in South Philadelphia, the former Bok Vo-Tech that's been re-imagined as a work space for creative types. The eighth-floor Bok Bar, whose northward views of Center City make it a must-stop, has been joined by Irwin's, a chic Mediterranean bar-restaurant on the south side. Do share chef/owner Paul Garberson's reasonably priced plates (manti, stuffed mussels, lamb kofta) and for a real treat, order the entire mezze board ($38) – 11 dishes including crispy Castelvetrano olives, raw sunflower seed falafel, and carrot fritters. Open for dinner Wednesday-Sunday.
This week’s openings
Amis Trattoria | Devon
P.J. Clarke’s | Center City
I'm hearing "within two weeks" for the long-delayed outpost of the NYC classic bar, taking the Sixth and Walnut Street corner of the Curtis.
South Philly Barbacoa | Italian Market
The taqueria has reemerged, on a South Philly corner.
Terrain Cafe | Devon
American bistro is part of Urban Outfitters' Devon Yard development next to the Devon Horse Show.
The Thirsty Soul | South Philadelphia
Church-themed bar at 16th Street and West Passyunk Avenue boasts a confessional with a secret door. Opens Aug. 16.
Valente’s Italian Specialties | Haddonfield
Primarily a to-go shop with cheeses, meats, and breads at 7 Kings Court.
This week’s closing
Staropolska | Port Richmond
With the shutdown of Krakus Market comes the demise of the Polish restaurant up front.
Food critic Craig LaBan is away this week. Hold your dining questions.