In a lightbulb moment during another 16-hour workday, Peter Gilmore says, he decided to close Gilmore's, his posh French BYOB in downtown West Chester, after almost 11 years.
His last night of service was July 14. Gilmore said business was just not what it had been since 2008. "This is the time to make a change," he said. "Let's go out on top." At 56, Gilmore is not retiring. He said he would like to become a corporate chef with better hours, or a teacher.
Gilmore did not return messages seeking instruction for those holding gift certificates. Meanwhile, John Brandt-Lee will honor 50 percent of their value at his restaurant Avalon in West Chester.
ChangesIl Portico, Alberto DelBello's luxe Italian restaurant at 1519 Walnut St., has been reflagged Tiramisu after 16 years. Tiramisu, open nightly (215-587-7000), is simply a new, lower-priced incarnation of DelBello's first Philadelphia restaurant, which opened in 1991 on Fifth Street near South Street with dishes based on recipes by Italian Jews in the Roman ghetto known as Il Portico Ottavia. Tiramisu faded into the woodwork a few years ago and closed. On Walnut Street, DelBello has revived Tiramisu's menu; most entrees are $20 and under. DelBello also owns Il Tartufo in Manayunk. His brother runs a BYOB version of Tiramisu in Berwyn.
What's smokin'Gene Giuffi of Cochon in Bella Vista on Thursday ventures a few hundred feet west to open Blue Belly BBQ at 600 Catharine St. (215-238-0615), a minuscule shop in the first home of Little Fish. It will be open daily from lunchtime till 7 p.m. The Brooklyn-born Giuffi is not claiming authenticity. "Just stuff I like," he said.
Slow progress is reported on the forthcoming Bubba's Texas BBQ at Front Street and Girard Avenue, around the corner from a Fishtown outpost of Brooklyn's Fette Sau due to open next year with backing from Stephen Starr.
Briefly notedHoneygrow, the new salad/smoothie/stir-fry shop at 1601 Sansom St., signed a lease at Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center. It's expected to open by the end of the year.
Photos, menus, and additional details about these restaurants, plus dining news, can be found at www.philly.com/mike. Contact Michael Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org.