Mike Stollenwerk, one of Philly's most visible seafood chefs before stepping out of the scene nearly two years ago, is back with 26 North BYOB (26 N. Third St., 267-239-5900).
With the revived Bistro 7 down the street - where Michael O'Halloran has gone for romance with a renovation of his 11-year-old dinner-only, French BYOB - this is an intriguing time for the slice of Old City north of Market.
At 26 North, the Jersey Shore-bred Stollenwerk (Little Fish, Fish) is working in an industrial, Old City-chic sort of dining room, with the requisite Edison bulbs (though kept dim), exposed-brick walls, slate tile floor, large newspaper-page reproductions, white subway tiles, reclaimed wood, and marble eating counter.
Five of the eight entrees on his opening menu are unfussy preparations of fish, priced in the $20s. It is open for dinner Monday to Saturday, from 5 p.m. Weekday lunch will start soon.
Ting Wong (138 N. 10th St., 215-928-1883), the Hong Kong-style duck house in Chinatown that closed this month for a renovation and what was billed as the return of the old owners, has reopened. Though ducks still hang up front, it's now a white-tablecloth eatery beneath a fancy tray ceiling ringed with lights that change color, and a new menu where the prices are not all $7 and under. It's still cash only.
Bluestone Lane Coffee, an Australian-inspired cafe from New York, has taken over the coffee bar at the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, 17th and Locust Streets. It's the first non-New York location for Nick Stone, a Melbourne-born New York financial worker who missed the coffee scene of his hometown. Besides coffee, the shop sells a light menu, including a signature avocado smash sandwich, salads, a chickpea wrap, and hot coconut quinoa porridge. It is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. A second location, at 1700 Market St., is on the way for late winter.
Spring will bring the tentative opening of a second (and larger) Garage location, as it will take the corner of Frankford and Girard Avenues in Fishtown. Like the original, built in an old auto garage across from Pat's and Geno's in South Philadelphia, this Garage will have no pretense and many canned beers. The Fishtown location will have a dedicated kitchen for a visiting lineup of chefs and two large roll-up doors.
Vetri Family has named Joe DeLago chef at the flagship Vetri location on Spruce Street. DeLago, a Culinary Institute of America grad, has been with the company since 2010 - three years at Vetri. DeLago's predecessor, Adam Leonti, has a Dec. 2 opening date for Brooklyn Bread Lab, a test kitchen and baking lab in the borough's Bushwick section.