Monday, March 30, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2015, 11:39 PM
Mitch Prensky of Supper, with a batch of biscuit sandwiches at a Drexel University event on Jan. 12, 2015. He plans to open Scratch Biscuits at 1306 Chestnut St. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

The Muffin Man may live on Drury Lane, but come April, do you know the Biscuit Man will live on Drury Street?

For years now, Mitch Prensky - caterer and owner of Supper, the bistro on South Street - has been selling Southern-style biscuit sandwiches at farmer's markets, street festivals, pop-ups, and Night Markets.

Prensky is in the final stages of preparing a physical location for Scratch Biscuits, in a former shoe store and fro-yo shop at 1306 Chestnut St.  He envisions Scratch as a scalable, quick-service restaurant.

POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2015, 1:33 PM
Scott McLeod, chef at Alma de Cuba.

A celebration life service will honor the memory of Scott McLeod, 41, who died suddenly March 22 at Alma de Cuba on Walnut Street in Rittenhouse, where he worked for the last year as its chef.

It's scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, March 30 at New Liberty Distillery (1431 N. Cadwallader St.) in Kensington.

Chef McLeod had worked in Philadelphia for more than a decade, picking up awards and praise while at such restaurants as Denim Lounge and Bridget Foy's, as well as Latin destinations such as Azafran, Pasion, Cuba Libre and Alma de Cuba.

POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2015, 12:11 PM
First-responders' jackets create a glow from the cell-phone flash at Sweet Lucy's, which was mobbed all day March 25 for a fund-raiser for the family of Officer Robert Wilson.

A lot of barbecue went out the door on March 25 at Sweet Lucy's Smokehouse in Northeast Philadelphia.

The restaurant donated half of the day's sales - and employees kicked in cash as well from raffles of gift baskets.

All told, $14,205 will go to the family of Police Officer Robert Wilson III, the restaurant announced.

POSTED: Thursday, March 26, 2015, 2:29 AM
Chef Jordan "Red" Sauter in a lighter moment at The Gaslight.

Things just hadn't been totally up to snuff at The Gaslight at 120 Market St. in Old City.

Popular, yes, but at least one tepid review did not sit well with chef Jason Cichonski and partners.

Then came 2 a.m. Feb. 28, when pipes in the apartments upstairs froze and then burst, showering the kitchen and dining room with plenty of water. The restaurant closed.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 10:58 PM
At Spitalieri's opening in April 2014: Jeanie and Joanna Spitalieri, with brothers Reid Rosenthal and Chad Rosenthal, who were taping a reality series. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)

Spitalieri's, which opened on Passyunk Avenue just off South Street last April, will serve its last dinners Saturday, March 28.

"Unfortunately, we no longer can sustain the cost needed to run it properly," said Joanna Spitalieri, a South Philadelphian who came home to open the Italian BYOB to fulfill her lifelong dream. As disappointed as she is to close, she said, "we are celebrating what we did."

Three blocks away, Ulivo - also a Italian BYOB - will mark its final night March 28 after 3½ years.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 4:19 PM

Tom Vasiliades has refashioned the private dining space above his venerable South Street Souvlaki (507-09 South St.) into a cozy lounge and dining room open Thursday through Sunday for dinner.

Vasiliades' Greek specialties stay downstairs. At Upstairs at Souvlaki, chef Jorge Reyes is executing a simple menu - five starters, four entrees - that is priced for the neighborhood: salmon over dill mashed potatoes and cream caper sauce for $12, a lamb chop over white bean puree and sauteed spinach for $12; pulled pork for $10; and Asian chicken for $9.

Though the rooms are served with a bar, it's also BYOB.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 1:16 AM

Heritage - a nifty, rustic combination of bar, restaurant and jazz/funk venue and arguably the boldest restaurant project ever in Northern Liberties - is soft-opening mode, pending an April 1 official opening.

Over the course of more than a year and a half, Jason Evenchik and Terry Leach (Time, Bar,  Vintage, Growlers, Garage) have completely redone the workaday building at 914-22 N. Second St., across from Cescaphe Ballroom. It's the former home of Feast Your Eyes catering, which moved.

Wide-open, warehouse-like interior is reminiscent of the new La Colombe in Fishtown, as skylights have been punched through the ceiling. There's greenery everywhere: ringing the ceiling, behind the bar, and outside on the roof as well as in a side garden that will have seating.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 4:00 PM

Chefs Kevin D'Egidio and Michael Griffiths are looking at a Thursday, March 26 debut for helm, their locally focused American BYO. It's their debut at the helm of a restaurant, hence the name.

The spare yet comfy/casual digs - lots of wood, a turntable and plenty of rock and roll vinyl, a bookcase brimming with cookboos - are next to Taco Riendo at 1303 N. Fifth St. (215-309-2211) - that is, just off Fifth and Thompson Streets and a block above Girard Avenue in Kensington.

D'Egidio started cooking at the old Tangerine, followed by Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Will, and Stateside. He and Griffiths met at Lacroix. Griffiths also worked at Ela, Rittenhouse Tavern, and Fork.

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. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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