Georges Perrier has given his executive pastry chef, Cedric Barberet, a bright new playground on the Main Line. They've fired up the ovens at Art of Bread at 920 Montgomery Ave., across from the Staples store in Narberth (610-660-8222).
Besides putting out breads and pastries for Perrier's restaurants and other commercial clients, it sells at retail from a counter. Panini, quiche, and other light cafe fare, plus illy coffee, is served from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
John Wolferth, a veteran chef who made a mark at Bryn Mawr's Sola, has opened Aperto (232 Woodbine Ave., Narberth, 610-660-0160). The cozy BYOB replaces Gemelli, which chef-owner Clark Gilbert is moving this summer into the former MangoMoon at 4161 Main St. in Manayunk as Gemelli on Main. At Aperto, Wolferth's modern Mediterranean-influenced menu is priced in the teens and $20s. It's open from Tuesdays through Saturdays for dinner; there's outdoor dining.
There's a pub boomlet in the western suburbs:
La Taverna in Phoenixville is now Frank's Sports Bar & Grill (1145 Valley Forge Rd., 610-935-2778), under Tedor "Frank" Simosik, a new restaurateur who saw a need for a local sports bar. By the numbers: one deck, three pool rooms (four tables), two bars (16 beers on tap, including six microbrews), 20 flat-screens, many live bands on weekends. It's open daily from midday till late night.
Redhound Grille (128 Paoli Pike, Paoli, 484-318-8047) replaces the Big Easy Saloon. Chef-owners Shane Magee and Owen Marshall try to source local and organic food, and they dry-age steaks in-house and grind their burgers. Top entree price is $22. It's open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch, daily for dinner, and Sunday brunch. The hound theme is a nod to Magee's two Rhodesian ridgebacks.
Hogfish Bar & Grill is looking to open next month in the former Osaka space next to Flavor, at 372 W. Lancaster Ave. in Wayne.
Seventeen restaurants duked it out last weekend in Burger Brawl, a benefit for Meredith School in Queen Village. London Grill and chef Michael McNally won the people's choice award. Jennifer Carroll and her team at 10 Arts won the judge's voting. Winners of Philly.com's online poll were MidAtlantic, followed by Good Dog, and 10 Arts.
La Colombe has opened a cafe across from City Hall on South Penn Square at 15th Street.
Avril in Bala Cynwyd is down after two years; next up: El Pescatore, by Tommy Anastasi of the South Philly seafood family.
Also empty is Hoof + Fin at 617 S. Third St.