Jose Garces' latest - 24 Wood Fired Fare - is a casual, all-day grill attached to the chef's corporate offices at 2401 Walnut St.
Garces says the concept was inspired by a trip to Tuscany.
The location - on the Walnut Street bridge over the Schuylkill - is a killer, as it's not only close to Rittenhouse and Fitler Squares but it's on the doorstep to University City and can serve bikers, runners, and walkers on the Schuylkill River Trail. There's also plenty of parking, accessible by stairs from 24th and Sansom, which is below the elevated Walnut Street at that point.
24's highlights - in no particular order - include an open kitchen, wood-fired pizza from a Renato oven, pasta dishes, a large takeout menu, $5 parking after 5 p.m., a "Nightly Aperitivo Time" (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.), cocktails with wood-fired ingredients, a 100-percent Italian wine list, wines on draft, a 7 a.m. start time with breakfast stuff, cold-pressed juices, Garces Trading Company coffee and specialty drinks available all day, outdoor seating overlooking the Schuylkill, and the culinary stylings of chef de cuisine Maria Schmidt.
In addition, Garces' test kitchen, Estudio, is available for private events.
24's design, from Carl Massara & Associates, is billed as modern industrial, with reclaimed wood and deep wine and chocolate tones. The space gets natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows, with exposed ceilings and polished concrete floors. A 30-seat circular Carrera marble-topped bar is capped in barrel panels and accented with red wood counter seating. Black leather banquettes are individually lit by custom iron light fixtures, and vintage white aluminum pendant lights, exposed ductwork, and original mushroom concrete columns punctuate the space.
Breakfast is cafe-style. The restaurant shifts to full service for lunch and dinner, with lunch beginning at11:30 a.m. daily. The "Aperitivo Time" happy hour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. includes 12 Italian wines by the glass, 38 wines by the bottle, 20 craft beers, seasonal cocktails, bar snacks, and comp small plates.
Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and till 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There also is a children’s menu.