Malvern's new Cosimo (209 Lancaster Ave., 610-647-1233) has a dual identity.
The restaurant, replacing the Japanese steak house Yamashiro, has an American menu from executive chef Chris McConathy; figure on $25 to $34 for entrees, served nightly. Locals have found the main draw to be the wine bar: There are 40 by the glass, as well as five craft beers, plus an intriguing bar menu (including cheese plate) priced at $9 to $15.
Owner is Anthony Mastroianni, who did management turns at Cafe Chicane and the Dilworthtown Inn.
A Viola duet
Ramazan Hima was turning away so many people from his Bistro La Viola
(253 S. 16th St.) that he opened a larger, second location. And he did not go far. La Viola Ovest
is almost directly across the street in a so-far-unmarked storefront at 252 S. 16th St. (215-735-8631, one number up from the original's). Both operations are midpriced, homey, cash-only Italian BYOBs. Similar menus, too. A peek at Ovest's shows chicken pomodoro, while the original serves veal pomodoro. Ovest is open for dinner only and is closed Mondays. The original serves weekday lunch plus dinner nightly.
On the market
A large ad in USA Today last week offered a "Philly restaurant landmark for sale" because of an "unresolvable dispute with the landlord." The ad is blind, but describes the place as a "neighborhood institution since 1956" and the first independent restaurant to win the National Restaurant Association's Employer of Choice award in 2003. Must be Roxy's Sandwich Grille
in the Ivy Ridge Shopping Center in Roxborough, whose Super Fresh market has been undergoing reconstruction since 2003. The Web site www.hotbizforsale.com
offers a slide show of the construction zone set to the Daniel Powter hit "Bad Day." Asking price: $300,000.
South Philly's Anastasi Cafe (1235 E. Passyunk Ave., across from Pat's and Geno's) has hit the market, according to a real estate listing advertising the "turn-key restaurant operation with liquor license" for $2.5 million.
Stephen Starr tells me that he'll install a gastropub in the space at 706 Chestnut St. that was Blue Angel and Angelina. He's using the Spotted Pig in Greenwich Village as inspiration. No name yet. It's about a year away.
The Fellini Cafe location at 2216 Walnut St. has that certain out-of-business look, complete with disconnected phone.
Tre Scalini's final night at 1533 S. 11th St. will be Saturday. It is scheduled to open in larger quarters at 1915 E. Passyunk Ave. next Thursday.
The Ristorante Primavera location at 146 South St. has closed, but its casual menu is being served next door at the partners' fancier Monte Carlo Living Room (150 South St.). Two menus, in other words.
Bobby Chez, the seafood take-out, plans to replace a shuttered Wawa at Hurffville-Cross Keys and Tuckahoe Roads in Sewell later this year.
The Joseph Ambler Inn in Horsham is running BYO Friday nights with no corkage fee through March.
The Agave Grille & Cantina in Ambler now serves Sunday brunch, a buffet ($13.95 per adult and $6.95 per child).
The Gypsy Saloon and Stella Blu in Conshohocken have gone smoke-free.
Patou in Old City, trying to fill the house on Tuesdays, has waiters do a coin flip when they bring out your dinner bill. Call it right, and the food portion is on the house.
Culinary Institute of America grad Michael Schulson, exec chef at Buddakan in New York City, returned to his alma mater last month to address 45 recipients of associate degrees.
Contact columnist Michael Klein
at 215-854-5514 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/