Two guys named Nicholas are behind the bright, snug BYOB called - wait, wait, don't tell me -
, at 2015 E. Moyamensing Ave., (215-271-7177), in the spot at Emily and Moyamensing in Pennsport that was a corner gelato joint called Caffe Carmen.
It might be awkward to duck into the kitchen and call out, "Yo, Nick." Nicholas Matteo says that when he and Nicholas Sweeney worked at Striped Bass, there were three or four Nicks in the kitchen. Sweeney became known as Stumpy, and Matteo was B.C., as in Big Country. The two went on to work at Morimoto.
Prices are modest. Last week's menu, based on what's in the market - had a vegetarian dish and a pasta at $12 and the top price was $18 for lamb chops. Two flatbread pizzas were on, too, for $5 and $6. They also sell mixers - "nothing fancy," says Matteo - to those who bring stronger stuff. It's open for dinner only Thursdays through Sundays.
, the Conshohocken BYOB, is preparing a Jersey Shore seasonal branch, dinner only, in the space that last was Scoogi's at 2109 Dune Dr. in Avalon. Opening is on target for June 4.
Chris Hora, who boasts a globetrotting culinary resume (including the Coyote Crossings), is creating a BYO called Root at 1033 Spring Garden St., in the spot on the edge of Center City that was Palate. Hora says Slow Food and sustainable agriculture will be reflected in his lunch and dinner menus. He's hoping to open next month.
Change of hands
, the matzo-ball mainstay on Montgomery Avenue in Bala Cynwyd, was sold last week by Bill Teti and his sons to the Wakim brothers, who own Al Dar next door and Evivva in Narberth. Joseph and George Wakim didn't return calls seeking info on their plans for the deli, which has been loxed in a long-running battle with Hymie's across the street. (Might they be planning to expand Al Dar?) The Tetis - son Bob and Bob's wife, Gayle - still have the Murray's operation in Berwyn. It's a walk-in deli on one side, and a BYOB called
on the other.
It's now also dinnertime at
, the months-old, industrial-looking breakfast-luncher owned by Meritage ex-chef Marshall Green and Kristin Mulvenna in the Lofts at 444, at 444 N. Fourth St. (215-925-5080). This week, they've added BYOB dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays; on this week's menu are duck breast ($22), vegan barley risotto ($17), lamb chops ($23), pan-seared black bass ($21) and braised brisket angnolotti ($24).
The outer rim of Plymouth Meeting Mall now has California Pizza Kitchen (as of Monday) and P.F. Chang's (as of May 5). Redstone American Grill is up for June 23.
Mama Palma's, the pizzeria at 23d and Spruce Streets closed by fire in mid-April, is due to return Tuesday.
Todd Lean, last chef at Deuce after a solo turn at Old City's Mandoline, is now a sous chef at Pod (3636 Sansom St.).
Owen Kamihira has hired Jen Zavala, whose resume includes Silk City, as chef at El Camino Real. That's the "Mexican border bar" themer that Kamihira is building out in the former Deuce space, across from his Bar Ferdinand, in Northern Liberties' Liberties Walk. He's hoping for a mid- to late-June opening.
Chef change at Devil's Den, the gastropub open but seven weeks at 11th and Ellsworth Streets in South Philly: Joe Turrisi is out; in is Allen Dann, whose resume includes Northern Liberties' Azure. He'll supposedly introduce more daily specials when his own menu rolls out shortly.
More next week on 10 Arts (which opened this week in the Ritz-Carlton) and Table 31 (the new steakhouse in the Comcast Center from Georges Perrier and Chris Scarduzio).