New Orleans native John Mims has spent the last few days wading through a sea of people at his newly relocated Carmine's Creole Cafe & Blues, now open at 818 W. Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr (610-520- 9100).
Then again, he used to wade through a sea of people in each of Carmine's two previous incarnations: a former deli in Havertown (1999 through early 2004) and a former house in Narberth (from early 2004 through late '06). But these were small venues, seating about 40.
The bar has been raised in Bryn Mawr. Literally. Mims has a liquor license at his 70-seater. Bands have a small spot in the window and play each night (Tuesdays through Sundays). Carol Moog was there last weekend, and is due there tomorrow and Saturday.
Mims' Creole menu is still shaking out, but most entrees are about the same as they were in Narberth ($18 to $22); there's also a bar menu.
What's comingComing in mid-February: Brandywine Prime, Seafood & Chops, marking the huge restoration of the Chadds Ford Inn at Routes 1 and 100 in the Brandywine Valley. Chef-owner is Dan Butler, known for Wilmington's Toscana and Deep Blue. Chef de cuisine is Keith Rudolph, former exec chef at Georges' in Wayne. Menu will be contemporary American cuisine with a focus on seafood and in-house, dry-aged beef. Along with a large wine selection will be a BYOB option every day. More details at www.brandywineprime.com.
Old City's Swanky Bubbles, which specializes in champagne and pan-Asian food, will open its second location "in early February" at 482 Evesham Rd. in Cherry Hill's Short Hills Towne Center, where Olive was.
Sylvie Galiazzi, a Normandy transplant who's run Les Crepes, a stand in Collingswood Farmers' Market, for six years, says she's a few weeks from opening a restaurant nearby, at 712 Haddon Ave. in Collingswood.
Chiarella's, which closed recently after 36 years in Wildwood, is about two weeks from opening as a BYOB in South Philly. Location: 1600 S. 11th St., the spot at 11th and Tasker that used to be Frankie's Seafood Italiano. Italian menu will include steaks, seafood and chops. Running it will be Robert Chiarella with his fiancee Michele Santilli, plus his sister Dina DeFino and her husband, Thomas DeFino.
Briefly notedNew York Magazine praised the Manhattan outposts of Buddakan and Morimoto as among the 10 best new restaurants, and the Manhattan Tony Luke's pork sandwich with broccoli rabb is listed under best dishes under $10.
Hugo's Inn in Kennett Square, shuttered since last summer, is awaiting a sale, says retiring owner Hugo Maucher.
Musical chefs: Chris McConathy, mentioned here last week as chef at the new Cosimo in Malvern, reports that he left last Tuesday. Owner Anthony Mastroianni says he is looking for a replacement.
Contact columnist Michael Klein