Twenty Manning remaking itself as friendly grill

After 10 years, Twenty Manning (261 S. 20th St.) is preparing to undergo a transformation. Owner Audrey Taichman and chef Kiong Banh will close after business Saturday for a monthlong face-lift that will spell the end of the Asian-inspired menu and glassed-in atmospherics.

Its new incarnation, based on what Taichman said were locals' requests, will be an approachable, neighborhood-friendly American grill, "where you'll want to eat three times a week and feel comfortable." The vibe will hark back to Carolina's, which occupied her corner of 20th and Manning Streets from 1985 till 1997. The name has not been determined. Leading contender is "Twenty Manning Grill."

In 1996, Taichman opened her flagship restaurant, Audrey Claire, down the block at 20th and Spruce Streets.

 

Where's Franco?

Franco Faggi, who left the East Falls restaurant that bears his name last year, is now across the Schuylkill on the ground floor of the Presidential apartments.

Franco's Osteria (3900 City Ave., 215-473-3900), a refined white-tablecloth restaurant with a full bar and gas-fired, wood-burning oven, also has Luca Sena Jr. in the kitchen. Menu is pretty much as it was in East Falls: pastas such as tagliatelle Bolognese and penne puttanesca ($14.75), and classics harking back to Faggi's years at the old Monte Carlo Living Room, such as flounder Francesco ($19.75) and a rosemary-grilled pork chop ($18.75). It's open every day for dinner (entrees $19.95 and under), and weekdays for lunch (most of the lunch menu is $9.95 to $12.95).

Meanwhile, it's business as usual at Franco's Trattoria (4116 Ridge Ave., 215-438-4848), which is being managed by the crew from the Water Works at the other end of Kelly Drive. Chef Curtis Johnson previously worked at the Water Works.

 

What's new

Monday marks the official opening of Ro-Zu (700 S. Seventh St., 267-273-0885), a tiny sushi-centric BYOB on the corner of Seventh and Bainbridge Streets that has been operating in soft-opening mode since last weekend. Chef Todd Dae Kulper says he was born in Seoul, South Korea, trained by Japanese chefs, and moved here last fall from Hawaii to set up the restaurant with entrepreneur Ralph Pecca. They're aiming for high-end Japanese cuisine, with all sauces made on site and the sous-vide method used for cooked dishes, such as salmon with pineapple, confit tomato, and chorizo. Patrons also can choose omakase (tasting) menus starting at $25, plus a la carte. It's open for lunch and dinner daily.

The Northern Liberties outpost of Dmitri's (944 N. Second St., 215-592-4550) is due to open Wednesday, says owner Dmitri Chimes. Same menu as the Queen Village and Fitler Square locations; it'll be open every day for dinner.

New this week: Andy's Diner & Pub (505 W. Ridge Pike, Conshohocken, 610-940-1444) is a 24-hour operation replacing the short-lived H.I. Rib & Co. Same team is behind the Blue Bell Diner in Blue Bell, the American Star Diner in North Wales, and the Liberty Diner in Springfield, Delaware County.

Mac's, the Shore landmark in Somers Point, N.J., is now known as Sandi Pointe under new owners Dan and Sandi Anderson, who were longtime managers at the Ram's Head Inn in Galloway. The concept is coastal bistro, open nightly.

 

Briefly noted

The Market & Shops at Comcast Center (17th Street and JFK Boulevard) has launched BYO Saturdays, where you bring a bottle to the subterranean venue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Veteran restaurateur Joe Wolf, who runs the marketplace, provides plastic wineglasses and wine totes. Merchants include Au Bon Pain, Di Bruno Bros., Jake & Max's Deli, La Scala's Pizza, Mexican Post, Mike's Steaks, Sook Hee Produce, Termini Bros., Tokyo Sushi, and Under the C Seafood.

Tiffin's Wynnewood location (50 E. Wynnewood Rd.) is up for March 27 or 28.

The Seasons 52 location in King of Prussia says it will open on March 29.

Restaurant Rosalie in Cedars closed last weekend after a year.

Via Giulia, in Haddonfield for about six years, will close after dinner March 27, said co-owner Tom D'Alesandro, who blamed the economy.

Construction has resumed at Timber, a wood-fired American grill replacing the Inn Flight across from Abington Memorial Hospital. A spring opening is planned.

 


Contact Michael Klein at mklein@phillynews.com. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.