If they're around long enough, restaurants need to be refreshed.
At age 26, Panorama - Luca Sena's romantic Italian inside the Penn's View Hotel in Old City (14 N. Front St.) - got a face lift over the summer at the hands of Marguerite Rodgers Ltd.
Sena also brought in a new executive chef, Matthew Gentile, whose background includes Ela, Lacroix, and Parc.
In sum, the work has shedded decades from Panorama, as its old world airs have given way to a contemporary look. Among the only remaining aspects is the 120-bottle Cruvinet-like wine unit that Guinness considers the largest of its kind. General manager/sommelier William Eccleston brings in about 800 wines a year to rotate through Panorama's list.
Rodgers created several seating options in the bar, whose polished black granite top was honed. There's a cozy front dining area by the window, a series of high-top tables in front of the bar, and most handsome, a room framed in iron and glass that can serve a la carte as well as private dining.
Rodgers lightened up the main dining room, adding light fixtures incorporating classic materials including iron, parchment and wax, and Venetian-style window shades, made of original Venetian Fortuny fabric. The dining room beams are whitewashed, while the original wainscot in the dining room was glazed.
Gentile's new menu, all designed for wine pairings, includes house-made pastas, large plates for sharing, and many lighter options.