June 18 is the target opening of Ralic's Steakhouse, a contemporary 28-seat BYOB at 26 S. Haddon Ave. in Haddonfield. Chef is Kitchen contestant Ed Battaglia, who calls his menu "modernized classics," featuring such dishes as double-cut rack of lamb with red grapes, fennel, cous cous and rosemary oil, and the dry-aged Prime New York strip au poivre with roasted fingerling potatoes, spinach and brandied cream. It will be open Thursdays through Sundays for dinner only, as Battaglia is keeping his "day job," directing the culinary-arts program at Garfield Park Academy in Willingboro. Locally sourced menu will be priced between $10 and $18 for appetizers; from the mid-$20s to $40s for entrees; and about $10 for desserts. (Tip: Those who "like" Ralic's Facebook page automatically become eligible to win a free seat at a friends-and-family dinner on June 16 or 17.)
The chef-driven Taste of the Nation Philadelphia, a fundraiser for various causes, returns Monday, June 20 to Loews Hotel's Millennium Ballroom. This year, organizers promise an expanded cocktail program. Tickets are $85 for general admission, $135 for VIP (with an extra hour and first dibs at all the food and beverages). Tickets are on sale here.
Traffic alert: Sansom Street between 13th and Juniper Streets will be closed in the early evening of Thursday, June 9 for the first of a weekly series of events sponsored by Opa, the Greek restaurant-lounge at 1311 Sansom St. It's called Glendi ("party" in Greek). Each week, Opa will feature arts and entertainment, music and fashion. The first event will be a 9 p.m. fashion show with a runway set up on Sansom Street.
Philly.com/food reader Marie Fox of Marlton is the winner of two tickets to Saturday's Burger Brawl flip-off at Meredith Elementary. Eighteen burgers will go before the public and judges. That afternoon, we'll also hand out prizes to the three top vote-getters in our online poll.
La Colombe's spacious cafe across from City Hall on South Penn Square at 15th Street, above, opened Tuesday, May 31, next to the Freshii shop. The wall behind the counter is dominated by a streetscape mural paying homage to that wonder of espresso, Faema.