Tuesday, July 28, 2015

N.Y.'s Serafina opening a branch in Philly

The celeb haunt is going into the new 10 Rittenhouse.

N.Y.'s Serafina opening a branch in Philly

A Serafina in New York.
A Serafina in New York.

The luxury high-rise 10 Rittenhouse is getting a bigtime New York restaurant operator.

It's Serafina, which as I reported last fall, had been talking seriously to ARC Properties Inc.

Serafina owners Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato have five locations in Manhattan, plus three other New York restaurants: an Eric Ripert-backed Japanese fusion called Geisha; Brasserie Cognac; and a Mexican concept Mañana. The Midtown locations seem to be celeb haunts.

Serafina, serving simple Northern Italian food (much prepared on a wood-burning grill; entrées priced from $17 to $28.), will open this fall, according to plans, and will take the entire first floor of the 18th Street and Sansom Street frontage. (The news might be heartening to the nostalgists upset when Lombardi's Pizza closed on the 18th Street side several years ago to make way for the project.)

Designer Julius Babilonia envisions a large bar area that will overlook the dining room. An oven will be elevated to give diners a view of chefs preparing pizzas in the fresco-filled dining room. Bright yellow umbrellas will be seen on a sidewalk cafe, and a first floor bakery will offer juices, coffee, and pastries.

ARC Properties CEO Robert J. Ambrosi said his colleagues went to NYC to woo Assaf and Granato, who were delighted to visit Philly after finding that the nearby Di Bruno Bros. shop carried Serafina brand tomato sauce. The partners bought jars of the sauce and handed them out during a business meeting.

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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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