Osteria in Moorestown
Monday is the projected opening of the Moorestown Mall branch of Osteria (856-316-4427), a slightly smaller sibling of the Vetri family-owned North Broad Street Italian favorite.
It's on the Route 38 side between Sears and Boscov's, near where a branch of Jose Garces' Distrito that is supposed to open in spring.
Osteria, seating about 120 inside plus 22 at the bar, plus a couple of dozen outside, has a look similar to the original, with old-fashioned lighting, brick walls, and exterior windows that suggest a building within a building.
The bar, separated from the dining rooms, sits outside the open kitchen. Chef Mike Deganis (formerly of Vetri's Alla Spina) will cook a similar menu.
Wine prices, incidentally, will be a few dollars cheaper than those across the river, thanks to New Jersey's alcoholic-beverage system. And parking will be free.
Wishbone is new
Chefs Alan Segel and Dave Clouser wanted to drop back into the restaurant business but wanted to put their fine-dining pasts behind them.
Quick service. Focus on one thing and do it right.
"Keep it simple," said Segel, who with his wife, Nicol, turned heads in the 1990s with the posh Tierra in Gulph Mills. Clouser was chef-owner of Sola, in Bryn Mawr.
They agreed: fried chicken.
Wishbone (4034 Walnut St., 215-921-3204) on the former site of Penn campus' Lee's Hoagie House, simply offers four varieties of fried, boneless, skinless chicken - standard white meat and dark meat, and a specialty white meat and dark meat - for $8.95 a pound. The specialty will change every two weeks.
They also sell baked hand pies ($4) and bottled-on-the-premises juices and drinks and New Hope fountain sodas.
It's mostly takeout; they've built out a small dining area upstairs. Delivery by bike will follow. Hours are mainly 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 2 to 10 p.m. weekends.
Alex Capasso, who closed Blackbird Dining Establishment in Collingswood in favor of the much more casual Benny's Burger Joint, is fitting out a still-unnamed Rittenhouse Square bar-restaurant with business partner Michael Franco (ex-Per Se and Le Bec-Fin). The address, last home of C19, is 267 S. 19th St. They hope to open in January.
Honeygrow, the fast-casual stir-fry/salad/smoothie shop, and HubBub Coffee have signed on for a new development at 200 Radnor-Chester Rd. in Radnor. They will join Estia Taverna - a casual offshoot of Center City's luxe Greek destination Estia - and a branch of Pietro's Pizza. (The Pietro's in Marlton closed and is being turned into an Estia Taverna, with an expected opening in winter 2014.)
Phamous Phil's, a barbecue restaurant near Collegeville, turns up at at 10 p.m. Nov. 21 on Restaurant Divided, a new restaurant-makeover show, on Food Network.
Speaking of makeovers, even Robert Irvine of Restaurant Impossible could not save Mamma D's in Pipersville, which closed after about 17 years.
Also closed is Brodo, the soup-based cafe in Center City's United Plaza Building, after 18 months.
For more restaurant news go to philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/