Table Talk: Old City gets Mediterranean-flavored Privé

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Privé has a sleek look provided by the wife of one of the owners. It includes a spotlit mural and cut white stone. The restaurant is in the Market Street spot formerly occupied by Lena and Bluezette.

Old City, where the dining lineup has been static for the last year or so, just added Privé, a high-minded Mediterranean resto-lounge.

Privé (246 Market St., 215-923-8313) fills the steel-and-glass storefront next to Pizzicato that formerly housed Lena and Bluezette. It's open from lunchtime through late night daily.

Cousins Bill and Nick Lavdas, whose restaurant backgrounds are in South Jersey, have hired as chef Peter Karapanagiotis, 23, who started cooking at his family's George's Place in Cape May and at the nearby Pier House. He spent a brief stint as a saute-saucier at Buddakan, followed by two years at Brasserie Perrier.

Karapanagiotis' lunch menu includes Greek spreads, tapas, salads, and a half-dozen mains (including a burger for $12, braised pork belly for $13, and lobster grilled cheese for $14).

The extensive, ambitious dinner menu includes the flaming-cheese dish known as saganaki (Karapanagiotis uses kefalograviera cheese) $9, beef short-rib-stuffed peppers ($13), swordfish served on sword ($12), lobster bricks ($15), and cheese boureki ($10). There's a late-night menu, too.

The Lavdases have employed the design services of Bill's wife, Nadia, who has given the space a sleek look (light strands dangling in front of the windows, a spotlit mosaic mural, gorgeous cut white stone on the walls), while by necessity the interior retains the previous occupants' odd, inefficient geometry (tiny lounge in the front, space-eating staircase and kitchen corridor down the middle, and small dining room on the first floor, while on the second floor, there's still a small back room, a larger bar, and a window seating overlooking Market Street).

 

Briefly noted

H.I. Rib & Co., a family-friendly American bar and grill now in Pennington, N.J., is about a week from opening a second location, at 505 W. Ridge Pike in Conshohocken. (It's the former Lone Star steak house at Chemical Road.)

Paoli's Basil Bistro has closed after nine years. The site will be developed into an office complex, says co-owner Marty Grims.

Avram Hornik of Lucy's Hat Shop, Loie, Noche, Drinker's Pub and Drinker's Tavern is redeveloping the long-vacant, century-old Jumbo Theatre at Front Street and Girard Avenue in Fishtown into a mixed-use venue called the Jumbo Theater. He wants to open a restaurant - cuisine not known but it won't be high-end - in the front, and add a performance space (comedy, music and the like) in the back. He hopes to open next spring.

Gabriel Bravo of South Philly's La Lupe is a few weeks from opening Fiesta Acapulco, a Veracruz-style seafood BYOB, a block away at 1122 S. Ninth St.

 


Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or mklein@phillynews.com.