Jose Vargas and Jennifer Brennan-Vargas have not sat still since the 2007 debut of their Mayfair BYOB
, recipient of two bells from The Inquirer's Craig LaBan.
First, the Vargases relocated in 2008 to Richboro. Then last year, they moved to New Hope's Four Seasons Mall with Thyme, but that one lasted a New Hope minute after what the couple call real estate issues.
They have alighted farther inland, operating a restaurant in the circa-1720 farmhouse at Nostalgia, the wedding and banquet facility on Route 202 in central Bucks County. The connection: Nostalgia owners Joe and Gail Morosky were Rylei customers.
The Restaurant at Nostalgia (136 E. Butler Ave., Chalfont, 215-589-4310), serving dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays, exudes 18th-century romance in its two dining rooms through fireplaces and candlelight. In warmer weather, there will be garden and patio seating on the grounds.
The traditional American menu includes entrees priced from $25 for the striped bass (with melted leeks and lobster sauce) to $30 for an organic New York strip (with red wine sauce and potato galette). The bargain, though, is the four-course $40 tasting menu - choice of starter (such as pan-seared scallops, escargot, foie gras, risotto, gnocchi), a soup or salad, entree, and dessert. There's a full bar, with a small wine list. (Menu and wine list are at www.philly.com/nostalgia.
Peter McAndrews and Nathan Baynes of the
sandwich shops and the Italian BYOB
have gone the Sicilian route in the Italian Market with
(901 Christian St., 215-440-0495), a cash-only BYOB open for brunch and dinner Wednesdays through Sundays. Monsu displaces the South Philly branch of Paesano's, whose reopening at 1017 S. Ninth St. is expected this week. Chef Damien Messina is cooking such homespun fare as gnocculi, sweet and sour tripe, bucatini with sardines, and fish including tuna and swordfish. Everything on the menu is $20 or less.
is the new name of the Chip Roman/Jason Cichonski project coming together at 8609 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill. They're targeting next month.
Owen Kamihira of Bar Ferdinand and El Camino Real is looking to a spring opening for a sandwich shop next to Bar Ferdinand. There's no name yet, but he's planning 12 to 15 sandwiches, 10 to 12 beers, and picnic-style seating.
Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington has opened for weekday lunch: $12.95 for two courses.
Say farewell to
(20th Street and Rittenhouse Square),
(126 Bala Ave., Bala Cynwyd), and
(184 Buck Road, Holland).