Moorestown Mall now has the region's first outpost of Yard House, which offers a staggering 110 beer taps and a pub menu only slightly smaller than most cities' phone book. The Irvine, Calif., chain boasts that it has five miles of individual beer lines encased in stainless steel.
Leigh Maida, Brendan Hartranft, and Brendan Kelly (Memphis Taproom, Local 44, Strangelove's, Coeur) have opened Clarkville (4301 Baltimore Ave., 215-387-4992), a bar across from Clark Park in West Philadelphia, just a few blocks from Local 44. The colorful drop-in serves 11 beers, 5 wines, no bottles, no liquor. Menu by Justin Bennett is just as easy, with assorted snacks and appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and a couple substantial plates, such as coq au vin, spaghetti, and spicy grilled shrimp, and five pizzas. Hours are 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily; kitchen is open til midnight.
The Center City District has 118 restaurants signed on for its January Center City District Restaurant Week, which offers $35 prix-fixe dinners and, at certain establishments, $20 lunch deals. New this time are the Olde Bar (Jose Garces' reimagination of Old Original Bookbinder's in Old City) and SOUTH Kitchen (the jazz-themer at 600 N. Broad St.). Dates are Sunday Jan. 17 to Friday Jan. 22, and Sunday Jan. 24 to Friday Jan. 29.
The days of 10 Arts at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel are numbered. The hotel, undergoing a $24 million redesign, announced it has retained the services of globe-trotting chef Richard Sandoval to open a new restaurant in May beneath Pantheonlike dome in the lobby on Broad Street across from City Hall. There will be no closing during the transition to Aqimero, which will have a wood-burning grill at the center of what appears to be a "coastal Latin" small-plates menu of sustainable seafood, steaks, ribs, and poultry. There also will be a sushi and ceviche bar. It will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have a glassed-in kitchen.
SouthGate, the gastropub at 18th and Lombard, has hired David Feola, who has been Greg Vernick's sous chef at the nearby Vernick, to replace Clara Park. Feola starts right before New Year's. SouthGate owner Peter Hwang said the menu would change gradually, but would remain Korean-inspired. He emphasized that the bibimbap, Korean fried chicken, and his grandmother's kimchi "are never going away."
Tamarindo's, one of the longer-running Mexican restaurants in the Ambler/Blue Bell area, has relocated 10 minutes away into a quaint stone house in Flourtown. When Fernando Sauri opened his BYOB in Broad Axe Shopping Center 16 years ago, there were few Mexican options in the area. (Chief along them was Marita's Cantina in Fort Washington, now the home of the more-refined Cantina Feliz.) At 726 Bethlehem Pike (215-619-2390), a block north of Scoogi's, Sauri has two dining rooms and pretty much the same menu and staff. It's open Tuesday to Friday for lunch, Tuesday to Sunday for dinner.
More restaurant news at www.philly.com/mike.