Chef Arthur Cavaliere, a vet of El Vez and Amada whose last gig here was as executive chef at Parc, has landed in East Falls with In Riva (4116 Ridge Ave., 215-438-4848, www.in-riva.com), a Southern Italian specializing in wood-fired pizzas and antipasti.
In Riva - as in "by the river," playing off its location off Kelly Drive and the Schuylkill - is a partnership with developer Mark Sherman. Interior designer Shannon Willis has done a smashing job with the first floor, which has a high ceiling, cinderblock walls, and a concrete floor. Beneath a wooden communal table fashioned from old doors, Willis installed a wooden horizontal chandelier, topped with old table lamps. The cozy bar area has elevated banquettes, allowing you to stretch out and dangle your toes. Patio dining in the spring will include fire pits. It's open nightly for dinner. Menu is at www.philly.com/inriva.
Paris in Chestnut Hill
Al Paris has cooked all over - City Grille, Rococo, Oberon, Guru, Circa, Zanzibar Blue, Warmdaddy's - shuttling easily among American, Southern, and Asian cuisine. Now he and Warmdaddy's Robert Bynum are harking back to America's roots with Heirloom, a rustic BYOB at the Top of Chestnut Hill (8705 Germantown Ave., 215-242-2700). Paris is drawing on old-time recipes and techniques for his solid regional-American menu, refreshingly free of today's goofy chef memes. When I stopped by last week, he was converting a 1930s spoonbread recipe to restaurant proportions. There's a State Store next door; Bynum lists wine suggestions so you can step out to buy a bottle. People are encouraged to bring their own bourbon to pair with house-made mixers, and Paris makes his own sarsaparilla, root beer, and ginger ale. It's serving dinner only, Tuesdays through Sundays. Sunday brunch will start in January.
The Marathon Grill at 1339 Chestnut St., open for 15 years, was evicted Dec. 7 over a $186,000 debt to the landlord, according to court records. Staff and patrons were ordered out at 3 p.m. As previously reported, the Marathon at 10th and Walnut Streets will shut down to settle a lawsuit between owners and investors.
The year-old Famous Dave's BBQ spot at 1725 Chestnut St. is done.
Flavor, the Thai BYOB in Wayne, is done after 20 years. Founders Win and Sutida Somboonsong say they sold the business a year ago but are on the hook for the lease.
Ocean City's Pure Tacos is opening a Center City branch this winter at 1935 Chestnut St.
Desmond Hotel & Conference Hotel in Malvern and Tom Macrina, its chef of 17 years, have parted company. Macrina is job-hunting.