If you recall spots such as Odeon, Bistro Bix, TPDS, and Les Bons Temps, you're familiar with their building's two-story storefront, whose twin balconies romantically overlook the bar.
Get set for a pleasant surprise when you walk into the new incarnation - Tweed (114 S. 12th St., 215-923-3300), opening Thursday with a farm-to-table, Continental-influenced American menu.
The balconies and grand staircase are there, sort of. They've been streamlined and brought into the 21st century, as has the entire restaurant. Owner Edward Bianchini said that after he took over the building last year, he realized that more than mere cosmetic work was necessary.
UrbanSpaceDevelopment, whose projects include APO, Noble, Sampan, and Capogiro, gutted and redid the dining areas.
There are tweed fabric designs by Paul Smith and Ralph Lauren everywhere - on the banquettes as well as the coat-closet doors.
Bianchini, a native Philadelphian, spent two decades on the French Riviera with the hotel-restaurant Hotel Les Muscadins before partnering at the Lenox Room in New York.
A chef at the Lenox Room was David Cunningham, who left New York for the Philly area after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (Daughter Veronica was born on 9/11.) Cunningham's resume includes Petrossian Paris, Lespinasse, and Le Bernardin, plus the Yardley Inn and a brief stint at Bookbinders.
His Tweed entrées are priced from $8 for half-portions to $29 for a New York strip steak. The wine list is heavily French; 13 beers are on tap. (Menus: http://go.philly.com/tweed.) As is typical of Euro restaurants, all food is sourced within 100 miles, Cunningham says.
Dinner is from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Bar will be open till midnight, with a bar menu available from opening until closing daily. Weekend brunch will start Sunday. Lunch, Tuesdays through Fridays, will start Tuesday.
Jose Garces, creator of Amada, Tinto, Distrito, and Chifa, has been shifting his flavor profile further Stateside with his newer spots, Village Whiskey and Garces Trading Co. His next spot, opening in September in the Cira Centre, will be JG Domestic, Fine Food & Spirits, whose menu and drinks all will be sourced from the United States. Chef Dave Conn of Village Whiskey will run the kitchen.
Mike Stollenwerk of Fish (and formerly Little Fish) will put the fish back in Fishtown this fall with Fathom Seafood Bar at Girard Avenue and Shackamaxon Street. It will be a raw/seafood gastropub.
There's a new chef at the three-month-old Ro-Zu, Ralph Pecca's bento-box-size Japanese BYOB at Seventh and Bainbridge Streets (267-273-0885): Hung Pham, formerly at West Chester's Kooma. It's open daily from 4 p.m. Menu is at http://go.philly.com/ro-zu.
Chef Jeffrey Power has launched a new, somewhat lower-priced menu at Dettera in Ambler. It's at http://go.philly.com/dettera. A three-course theater menu and bar menu are in the works.