Bridgets 8 West in Ambler (8 W. Butler Pike, 267-465-2000), one of the more grown-up spots in central Montgomery County, has just finished an expansion into a former boutique on the corner. The brick-floored room, lined in stone, gets great sun through midday.
Owner Kevin Clib, who opened the steakhouse four years ago next to his more casual KC's Alley, has tweaked Bridgets' concept, adding small plates (lobster quesadilla, beef sliders, lobster corn dog, diver scallops, etc.) as well as a butcher-block menu, in which steaks/chops, starch and vegetables come out on wooden blocks for sharing. (Examples: 14-ounce N.Y. strip, onion "straws," mashed potatoes and garlic green beans, $34; 12-ounce veal chop with truffled gorgonzola butter, polenta "fries" and garlic green beans, $37).
It's open for lunch Tuesdays through Fridays and dinner daily. Clib calls brunch "Sunday Bloody Sunday," a nod to the Bloody Mary specials and U2 music playing.
What's newSoul (8136 Germantown Ave., 215-248-0800) represents a joint effort of Creole chef Angie Brown (Angie Brown's, Mount Airy Cafe) and her daughter Samantha Johnson. There's no sign yet; it's the red door to the right of Stagecrafters Theater in Chestnut Hill. The tiny, white-tablecloth BYOB, with white-draped chairs and family photos on the walls, is open for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays; it's cash only. Entrees run $17 for jambalaya to $22 for New York strip, and appetizers include baked oysters and fried sardines. Sunday brunch is to start in December, and cooking classes for adults and children will start in January.
Coming and goingMoon Krapugthong of Manayunk's Chabaa Thai reports that MangoMoon, her Asian small-plater, is looking to open "right after Thanksgiving" at 4161 Main St. She promises unusual ingredients.
Northern Liberties' Sovalo, where co-owner Joe Scarpone got great notices for his Napa-style cuisine, has closed. Scarpone says he has another restaurant idea that he plans to pursue.
Briefly notedDry Collingswood will do a version of the pub crawl - a dinner crawl ($60, all-inclusive) on Nov. 25 that includes a four-course meal and bus ride from the Tortilla Press for appetizers, to Bistro di Marino for salad, to Blackbird Dining Establishment for entree and the Pop Shop for dessert. Reservations: Stephanie at First Colonial Bank at 856-858-8402, Ext 4, or email@example.com.
Azie in Media has started a Sunday brunch buffet: $16 for adults and $11 for children 12 and under.
Jose Garces has plans for a branch of Amada at the Fontainebleau under construction in Las Vegas (late 2009) and branches of Amada and Distrito at the Revel project up for 2010 in Atlantic City. These will follow his current projects: Chifa (a Peruvian-Chinese concept) to open around New Year's at 707 Chestnut St., and Village Whiskey (that's what he plans to call his upscale whiskey bar featuring high-end burgers, American cheese plates, bar snacks and creative cocktail list), next to Tinto at the northwest corner of 20th and Sansom Streets; this decidedly non-Latin venture is up for January or February.
Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See his blog "The Insider" at http://go.philly.com/insider.