For 31 years until it closed almost a year ago, the Fountain at the Four Seasons Hotel was the city's power room and its destination restaurant.
The hotel at 18th Street and the Parkway opens this week as the Logan. The restaurant, Urban Farmer, opens any day, and the transformation by Sage Restaurant Group is like night and day. Billed as a steak house, it is sprawling, rustic-chic-meets-contemporary, and clad in whitewashed wood paneling.
A cozy lounge has upholstered chairs, curio cabinets, and light fixtures resembling brass chicken wire. A colorful bar sits beneath oversize light fixtures, with wooden and marble tables.
The entrance is now on Logan Circle, the better to separate the restaurant from its hotel location. Windows have been punched into the facade for better views. The kitchen has been opened up toward the bar.
Steaks are butchered and dry-aged in-house; dinner entrees start at $27 for rotisserie chicken, ramble through the $40s, and top out at $75 for a 12-ounce 7X Wagyu steak. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, happy hour, and dinner.
Taste of Argentina
Four restaurateurs from the New York area, sensing a dearth of Argentine dining in Philadelphia, are behind Malbec Argentine Steakhouse, an elegant white-tablecloth restaurant soft-opening Saturday at 400 S. Second St. (215-515-3899), the corner of Second and Pine Streets that was the longtime home of the Artful Dodger. Owners Daniel Sollosqui, Miriam Porto, Gigi Jara, and Walter Aragonez offer a menu based on grilled meats and focus on parrillada ($49), a two-person feast of grilled Angus short ribs, chorizo, blood sausage, sweetbreads, and skirt steak, served with two sides. The menu also has Argentine interpretations of Italian dishes. It's open for dinner only initially.
The lox are changed
Steve Rosen has sold Casino Deli on Welsh Road in Northeast Philadelphia. He started there 45 years ago, as a 13-year-old working for his father, Marvin, who had managed Barson's Deli at that location. The Rosens bought the place in 1980 and took Casino as the name. Rosen is now doing off-premises catering with another former deli man, Paul Kaplan, whose family owned Kappy's Deli Land in Huntingdon Valley. The new owner's plans for Rosen's building have not been disclosed; the name will not remain.
PIG, a quick-service restaurant specializing in pork and its byproducts, opened this week at 712 W. Girard Ave., next to the flagship location of Tiffin. Running things at the pink-painted 25-seater is chef and longtime caterer Joseph Shilling.
MilkBoy, the cafe/bar/live music venue in Center City, will add a location in the spring at the corner of Fourth and South Streets, which everyone remembers as Lickety Split. The building's last occupant, 2nd State Lounge, closed over the summer.
More restaurant news at www.philly.com/mike.