Collingswood just might have more Italian restaurants per capita than most of South Philly.
(693 Haddon Ave., 856-833-0808), a pretty, white-tablecloth BYOB that opened last week across from the firehouse at Collings Avenue, is the latest entrant, following
Cafe Antonio, Joe Pesce
Bistro di Marino
and assorted pizzerias.
The roots of Il Fiore ("the flower") lie in Albania, homeland of owners Landi Daku and chef Titi Shinil. The men, who immigrated to Italy, later worked at Bistro La Viola in Center City.
Menu is reasonably priced; lunch dishes top out at $13, and dinner entrees start at $10 for pasta and run to $15 for veal. It's open every day for lunch and dinner. Among dessert specialties is tiramisu, made in-house with Tia Maria and amaretto and not the more common Kahlua.
Two quick-serves have joined the Center City mix:
Goodburger, the first Philly location of a New York burger joint, serving burgers, fries, beer and wine, and plating food on real china, at 1725 Chestnut St. (215-569-4777). Founder Nick Tsoulos is partnered with Pete Pashalis, who also owns Pietro's Pizzeria and the posh Estia. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays, till 11 p.m. weekends.
Union Gourmet Market & Cafe
(1113 Locust St., 215-238-8800), which has table service along Locust Street in the Western Union building, rolled out last week. You may know owners Felix S. Maietta and Theresa Fera-Maietta from the Down Town Club. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Two recent closings:
, the yearling at 1617 E. Passyunk Ave., and
, which lasted 41/2 months inside the Academy House (1420 Locust St.). Kaizan management plans to reconceptualize and reopen in the fall.
in Cherry Hill's Village Walk has added outdoor seating and Sunday brunch.
, in Old City and Atlantic City, is branching out to Orlando, Fla., this fall. The 500-seater, with banquet space for 1,000, will be in Pointe Orlando at 9101 International Drive. And talk about bringing the Cuban concept close to the source: Barry Gutin and Larry Cohen also are negotiating for a fourth location, at Gulfstream Park, north of Miami in Hallandale Beach.
May's Conde Nast Traveler includes its "Hot List" of the world's best new restaurants. Philly's already-much-lauded
in Center City and
in the Cira Centre made the grade, as did
in Bethlehem - yes, Bethlehem - which opened last fall. Erin Shea, whose husband-partner Lee Chizmar is chef, says a friend who's a New York publicist got Bolete on the editors' radar, and someone came in for a review. As you'd imagine, phones have been ringing since the issue was released last week.
Philadelphia International Airport topped DRAFT magazine's list for airports that serve award-winning local microbrews. The May/June issue blurbs: "Thanks to
, Philly features the rare jewel of a big-selection airport bar in not one, but four terminals. The rock'n'roll-themed restaurants in terminals B, C, and D pull 48 taps (24 in F) with a mix of local micros and big-brewery lagers."