To say Guy Shapiro and Luli Canuso have been around the block is an understatement.
They met in the 1980s at Mirabelle, a stylish restaurant on Callowhill Street where Kite & Key is now. Her family ran the Two Street Bar at Second and South Street, which later became Monte Carlo Living Room (and wound up as Paddy Whacks). She was a pastry chef at Le Bec-Fin. He went on to a diverse career, cooking for Russian mobsters, running the kitchens for the Toscana restaurant group.
Now they're literally around the block, set up near their Fairmount house with BlueCat (1921 Fairmount Ave., 267-519-2911), which occupies the sunny corner of Fairmount Avenue and Uber Street in a new mixed-use building. (MugShots coffee will be a neighbor this summer.)
Named in homage to the couple's pussycat - who Canuso says "is a domestic gray but thinks he is a Russian blue" - the BYOB features modern Latin cooking at great prices. The menu is still being fine-tuned, but expect such dishes as arroz con pollo & chorizo, a pan-seared fish of the day, the Chilean sandwich called a chacarero, salads, oxtail. Fred Vidi, who owned and operated Frederick's in South Philly for many years (it's The Village Belle now), consulted on the project.
It's open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and for dinner Tuesday through Sunday.