Table Talk: Feurys opening market complex in Villanova

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Getting ready for the opening of Maia in Villanova are (from left) Patrick Feury, owner/executive chef; Scott Morrison, managing partner; and Terence Feury, owner/executive chef.

Chef-brothers Patrick and Terence Feury, with managing partner Scott Morrison, are looking for a Tuesday rollout for Maia (789 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova, 610-527-4888), their long-in-the-works, bi-level Euro-style restaurant, cafe, coffee bar and market.

At 22,000 square feet, it's one of the largest non-supermarket food operations around, and one of the few with valet parking out front. (This is the Main Line.) Among investors are Michael Wei, Jerry Holtz and Richard Caruso, behind Nectar, Tango, Basil Bistro and Yangming.

It'll be open daily from early morning till late night.

At Maia, you walk in past a coffee bar with baked-on-premises pastries. In the back is the market, which has a communal table. Decor has antique whitewashed brick walls and end-block wood tables. Behind the coffee bar is the bar area with bistro seating (entrees $10 to $21). Upstairs, serving dinner only, is the restaurant proper with a second bar, underlit with fiber optics and made of white onyx. A strip of incandescent ice glows from the center of the dining room's long, dark-wood communal table (see photo). There's a fire pit out back near patio seating.

The restaurant menu (entrees $10 to $34) focuses on Western Europe, basically from Germany to Scandinavia. The all-day bar menu ranges from $6 soup to $26 lobster en croute.

Patrick Feury's resume includes Le Cirque in New York, Les Olivades in Paris, Suilan at the Borgata in Atlantic City, and Nectar in Berwyn. Terence Feury worked at Le Bernardin in New York, and in Philadelphia at the Grill at the Ritz Carlton and Striped Bass. Sommelier Melissa Monosoff was recruited from the Four Seasons' Fountain.

Toscana in Bucks

The old Bob Evans on Street Road just west of Route 1 in Bensalem has been radically transformed into Toscana 52 (4602 Street Rd., 215-942-7770). Owners Mario Longo and his son, Riccardo, also have the Italian Bistro chain, Toscana in Cherry Hill, Tuscan Tavern in Blackwood, and Tuscan Brick-Oven Pizza in Mullica Hill.

Natives of Tuscany, they threw a lot of everything from their homeland into it: brick, stone, metal, glass. The main dining room has as its focal point a large pergola, under which is an illuminated onyx marble community table. There's also a five-foot-tall private booth they call the "Mayor's Table" because it's reserved for the mayor of Bensalem, and a heated outdoor seating area with a three-tier waterfall. The bar, which has a cozy lounge, features 40 wines by the glass, wine flights, eight sangrias on tap, and a champagne-by-the-glass list.

The Tuscan menu features crudo (Italian sushi), grilled fish and meats, pastas and homemade desserts. The "52" stands for 52 additional feature menus (one every week) focusing on the cuisine of 39 Italian cities plus 13 cities outside of Italy (e.g. Paris, Napa, Madrid and Rio). Prices are all over the map, topping out in the low $30s. It's open for lunch and dinner daily.

What's new

Cebu (123 Chestnut St.) this week has reconfigured from Filipino cuisine to a "dipping grill" concept - patrons order beef, poultry, seafood, tofu or vegetable dishes in "naked" form and can choose three of 30 dipping sauces to accompany. Prices run from $17 for vegetarian to a seafood combo at $30. Most are $21 to $23.

New in downtown Wilmington: Ameritage Bistro (900 Orange St., 302-427-2300), a high-style Ameri-Euro eatery with wine bar in the former Brandywine Brewing Co. Manager Henry Dawson worked at the Dilworthtown Inn for 10 years. Decor, by Philly's Balongue Design (the Moshulu, Passerelle, Tango), blends old-world Euro with modern. There's a takeout counter, too. Dinner menu tops out at $22 for cassoulet. It's open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays.

What's coming

Keep an eye on 24th Street under the Walnut Street bridge in Center City. Luigi Basile and Massimo Coscia, who own Radicchio in Old City, Bistro Juliana in Fishtown, and Laceno Italian Grill in Voorhees, are planning Sotto Pizzeria & Tavola Calda in a building they own at 151 S. 24th St. Basile, who has no timetable, envisions it as a BYOB pizzeria and "Italian diner."

Shell game?

A dime for a half-dozen oysters and a quarter for a large oyster stew? Those were the 1912 prices at Snockey's Oyster & Crab House, then near Second and South Streets and now on Second Street near Washington Avenue. To mark the 96th anniversary, Ken and Skip Snockey are rolling back prices to 1912 levels tomorrow through Sunday. Each party of two can order one item from the 1912 menu at 1912 prices when they order the same item from Snockey's 2008 menu, with a limit of one offer per party of two. Inflation has hit Snockey's. Ten cents, the price of six clams in 1912, is worth about $2.21 in current dollars.


Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or mklein@phillynews.com. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/michaelklein and http://go.philly.com/foodanddrinq.