Clark Gilbert, whose culinary background includes Taquet, Fountain at the Four Seasons, the Saloon, and La Terrasse, has gone homey at his first solo spot, Gemelli (232 Woodbine Ave., Narberth, 610-660-0160).
The space previously was Margot.
It's a BYOB, open Mondays through Saturdays for dinner only.
Gilbert describes his bistro-style menu as "Italian, with a few nods to France." (See it at http://go.philly.com/gemelli.) He's keeping at least half of the entree prices, including that of the namesake dish, gemelli pasta with Bolognese sauce, in the teens.
French offerings include snail fricassee and steak frites; besides a cheese plate, there's a $40 five-course tasting dinner.
Paesano's - chef Peter McAndrews' much-lauded and always-packed sandwich shop at 152 W. Girard Ave. in Northern Liberties, across from his Italian BYO Modo Mio - is adding a South Philly location: The former Butcher's Cafe at Ninth and Christian Streets. He said he is shooting for Nov. 1. Among the creations he's planning for South Philly are a tripe sandwich topped with egg, and a Paesano burger: ground sirloin topped with fries, aged balsamic vinegar, garlic mayo, pancetta, and Gorgonzola dolce. He used to fix them before service at his previous stop, Rembrandt's, where he and his sous chef would split them.
Pizzeria Stella - Stephen Starr's wood-fired ovenry at Second and Lombard Streets (215-320-8000) - opened to the public this week. The Inquirer's Rick Nichols will wax about it in his Sunday column; see details and the menu at http://go.philly.com/stella.
Ly Michael's, the Vietnamese restau-bar at 11th and Arch Streets for five years, is closed and due to reopen today as Tazia, an Asian small-plater.
Noble (2025 Sansom St.) started Sunday brunch last weekend and on Monday will start weekday lunch.
El Camino Real (1040 N. Second St.) in Northern Liberties has hired Dustin Chalermkittichai, most recently sous chef at Rouge on Rittenhouse Square, as its new chef.
Amuse is the name of the bistro in the lobby of the forthcoming Le Meridien Philadelphia hotel (1421 Arch St.) Although opening date is unclear, the decor at the former Arch Street YMCA will be sleek and modern, contrasting with the neoclassic architecture. See http:// go.philly.com/amuse for notes on executive chef Dan Black's menu and concept.
The Du Jour location in the Symphony House at Broad and Pine Streets closed, and will reopen in Commerce Square (20th and Market Streets) midmonth. Owner Marty Grims will open the Symphony House space in about three weeks as a dumpling/noodle house called Chew Man Chu.
Fish, the seafooder at 1708 Lombard St. described here last week, now plans to open next week.
South Philly report
After more than 11 years at 11th and Federal Streets, Kristian Leuzzi has closed Kristian's, his stylish Italian restaurant. The economy, he said. Earlier this year, Leuzzi and his family revamped the Passyunk Tavern at Passyunk and Moore into Stogie Joe's Tavern, a neighborhood tap. Leuzzi says he'll redo Kristian's into a BYOB that's "all about the food," sometime around the holidays.
Chris Fetfatzes and Heather Annechiarico are about a month from opening Hawthornes, a homey cafe-slash-gourmet deli-slash-brunch-spot-slash-bottle shop at 11th and Fitzwater.
Slice of life
Sandwich Smash, a fund-raiser for Philabundance run by Unbreaded.com's Jeff Vogel and Ben Kessler, is planned Sunday (5 to 8 p.m.) at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue. Five chefs - Michael Solomonov (Zahav), Peter McAndrews (Paesano's), Arthur Cavaliere (Parc), Rick Olivieri (Rick's Steaks), and Mark Coates (Bebe's Barbecue) - will prepare sandwiches for the audience while talking with Esquire's Ryan D'Agostino. Details: www.sandwichsmash.com.