Hear the one about the bankruptcy lawyer who bought a restaurant?

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Le Castagne, 1920 Chestnut St.

When your restaurant is in capital-T Trouble, you call Al Ciardi III.

He's one of the top litigators in town, and specializes in bankruptcy. Most notably, he handled the train wreck that was Old Original Bookbinder's.

So why did he just buy into Le Castagne, the swish Italian restaurant at 1920 Chestnut St.?

"It looks like a great opportunity," he told me. "I also happen to eat there a lot." He bought out the Sena family.

Actually, this idea of a litigator's being in the restaurant business is not unprecedented.

Even at Le Castagne. Ciardi's partner is Rudolph J. Di Massa, Jr., chair of Duane Morris' business reorganization and financial restructuring group.

Ciardi said only changes in marketing and a few design fixes are planned. He said it's full steam ahead with chef Michael DeLone in the kitchen.

Also in ownership news: Linda Catelli Rosanio and Jan Talamo have sold their stakes in Catelli Duo in Voorhees to Mustang Foods. Chef Lou Imbesi remains a partner.

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