A little smooch for Ardmore
Besito (105 Coulter Ave., Ardmore, 484-417-6825) - translated as "little kiss" - replaces Suburban Square's long-running Plate, and the space has been transformed entirely.
On the regional Mexican food chain, Besito's prices and date-night atmosphere make it comparable to Distrito.
There's a private dining room, a full bar stocked with beer, sangria, and cocktails (and about 70 tequilas), plus an outdoor patio with a fireplace, tableside guacamole, and entrees from $17 to $29. It's open for dinner daily; lunch begins Nov. 23.
Opa owners on Jewelers Row
Brother and sister George and Vasiliki Tsiouris, who pay tribute to their Greek heritage with Opa and its Drury Beer Garden (1311 Sansom St.), will tip their caps to the workers of the gold and diamond trade at their next restaurant, opening in late November.
Craftsman Row Saloon, on the former longtime site of Coco's at 112 S. Eighth St., will have an easy-to-grasp concept: hearty staples in a comfortable environment open for lunch, dinner, and nightcaps. Rich Freedman, sous-chef at Opa and a cured-meat and sausage specialist, will be chef. Craftsman will be open daily from lunch through 2 a.m.
Gennaro's Tomato Pie has wrapped operations on Jackson Street near South Philadelphia High, and the pizzeria has moved into the Passyunk Square home of sibling Italian restaurant Grace & Pat's (1533 S. 11th St., 215-336-3636), two doors from Fond and across from the Singing Fountain. Now operating as Gennaro's, owner Mike Giammarino has brought over the World War II-era kitsch and melded the two menus - Gennaro's New York-style and Grace & Pat's square, "grandma" style that's not as thick as Sicilian - plus a few pastas. It's BYOB and open from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Giammarino shuttles between Philadelphia and Manhattan, as he also owns Little Italy's iconic Lombardi's.
Coffee House Too Cafe
, which grew from a simple coffee/takeout in Fishtown in 2011 into a sit-down restaurant and coffee bar, has opened a second location, at 501 Fairmount Ave. in Northern Liberties (267-930-7935). The look is quaint, thanks to reclaimed wood (including full-size interior doors) for tables, mismatched mugs, and white tablecloths protected by glass. Full breakfast and lunch menus include the signature hangover hoagie, which piles three eggs, garlic butter, cheddar, hash browns with pepper and onions, and a breakfast meat on a long roll. There are cheesesteak, vegetarian, and fajita versions.
Hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. On the first Friday of every month, it serves BYOB dinner from 5 to 10 p.m.
Davio's, the Italian steak house, has signed to open a location next summer at the King of Prussia Town Center.
Harvest Seasonal Grill will fill the shuttered Susanna Foo spot at 555 E. Lancaster Ave. in Radnor next spring.
More restaurant news at www.philly.com/mike