Suburban roots, city style

Pineville Tavern, a fixture in central Bucks County, today opens a branch on a corner in the Fishtown area, and it's a beaut. Also this week, I found Seattle-style teriyaki in Center City, Napa-style pizzas in Villanova, and tacos that don't suck. If you need food news, click here and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Email tips, suggestions, and questions here.

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The ceiling at the new Pineville Tavern Fishtown is a design feature.
The ceiling at the new Pineville Tavern Fishtown is a design feature.

Suburban roots, rowhouse vibe

It's almost a cliche nowadays for the empty-nest suburbanite moving into the city. Father-son Andrew and Drew Abruzzese, who've owned Pineville Tavern in central Bucks for nearly 30 years, are not moving-moving. Today, they open a second location, taking over a corner tap at 2448 E. Huntingdon St., at Gaul Street and just off Aramingo Avenue. (Though they brand it "Fishtown," that's up for debate.) Dramatic, old-schoolish redo includes deliberately distressed tin ceilings, a snazzy mural leading to the second floor, and a grand piano. The menu is a greatest-hits version of Bucks' menu, backed by local craft beers, and includes signatures such as ravioli, "Bawlmer" crab cakes, fried chicken, BBQ ribs, and the Million Dollar Bacon Burger. It's open seven days a week — dinner daily, lunch on Saturday, and Sunday dinners starting on Sunday afternoons.

Where we’re enjoying happy hour

A Summer Fling and sea scallops ($13 at happy hour) at Imbibe.
A Summer Fling and sea scallops ($13 at happy hour) at Imbibe.

Imbibe Food & Drink
101 Ford St., West Conshohocken,
4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday

The corner spot at Front and Ford Streets in West Conshy has seen a few occupants – Tara's, Siggie's L'Auberge, and more recently Stella Blu. (Terrific location, by the way, right off the Blue Route and Fayette Street.) Sean Weinberg (Biga in Bryn Mawr and Alba in Malvern) has gone elegant but not too upscale with Imbibe, with a something-for-everyone, Italian-inflected menu. Happy hour at the quartz-topped bar means $5 well drinks, $6 wines and drafts, and a $7 cocktail (such as the Summer Fling with gin, strawberry, basil, balsamic, and lemon), as well as $2 off the "shareables" list, where you can feast on such bites as smoked salmon tartare and the popular lamb meatballs.

Where we’re eating: Seattle Teriyaki, Heffe, Main & Vine

Boneless chicken bowl at Seattle Teriyaki.
Boneless chicken bowl at Seattle Teriyaki.

Teriyaki is a thing in Seattle. Tammin Kim, raised there, has traded in his Main Line coffee shop for the cozy Seattle Teriyaki at 1608 Sansom St. Menu is simple: soy-slicked and grilled chicken, beef, and tofu, atop rice with a side of all-American potato salad. Fried dumplings, too. Great value ($8 to $11). As this is a partnership with Jason Kim of Jason's Toridasu in Ardmore, expect to-go sushi to land in the refrigerator shortly. There's a counter and a few tables for eat-in, though most trade is takeout.

“Almost pastor” tacos at Heffe.
“Almost pastor” tacos at Heffe.

Love it when a restaurant lives up to its motto. Heffe, with locations in Fishtown and Spring Garden, goes by "tacos that don't suck." They don't. The "almost pastor" – so named because chef/co-owner Peter McAndrews acknowledges that they're not authentic – delivers moist shredded pork and a sweet balance of chopped pineapple. Closing times are late (10 p.m. at 1543 Spring Garden St., and even later for the post-bar crowds – till 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) at the picnic-style, walk-up flagship at 1431 Frankford Ave.

Spicy salumi pizza ($17), enjoyed at the bar at Main & Vine.
Spicy salumi pizza ($17), enjoyed at the bar at Main & Vine.

There's a low-lit coolness at work at Main & Vine, which filled the back-of-the-strip-center space at 789 E. Lancaster Ave., off the Blue Route in Villanova, that previously housed Maia, Mixx, and Avenue Kitchen. Charles Vogt's Northern California menu hits the notes for date-nighters and even the late bar crowd (the pizza bar is open till midnight weeknights and till 1 a.m. on weekends). Most entrees run in the $20s. (Here's the menu, which is not online.) Must try: The rectangular Napa-style sourdough pizzas, whose thin, crispy crusts admirably stand up to the generous toppings.

Like toast, sweet potatoes make for a great platform for both sweet and savory spreads and toppings.
Like toast, sweet potatoes make for a great platform for both sweet and savory spreads and toppings.

This week on

Summer's the season to keep meals light — for avoiding heat-induced drowsiness as well as bathing suit overflow. Try these recipes to get more produce into your diet.

Earlier this summer, he opened Libertine, an American bistro, at 13th and Spruce Streets, next to the new Fairfield Inn & Suites. We chatted recently before dinner.

China Gourmet is Northeast Philly's new culinary star, LaBan says in this three-bell review.

Dining Notes

Center City District Restaurant Week will run from Sept. 23-Oct. 5, including Saturday. (Though restaurants may opt out of Saturday, most do not.) To date, 118 restaurants have signed up, including first-timers Chez Ben, Porta, Brickwall Tavern, the Palm, and Casta Diva.

Cherry Hill Restaurant Week will return Aug. 11-19.

This week’s openings

Tradesman's | Center City

A year in the making, the BBQ beer hall from the crew behind U-Bar and Bru at 1322 Chestnut St. has set an Aug. 10 public opening.

The Rooster | Center City

Rooster Soup Co., Mike Solomonov and Steve Cook's do-gooder eatery at 1526 Sansom St., has been reconceptualized as a Jewish deli.

Tiffin Newtown Square | Newtown Square

The local Indian chain opens at 202 S. Newtown Street Rd. with a twist: There's no tandoor and no deep-fryer. Stay tuned for more info.

Zoes Kitchen | Moorestown 

Fast-casual Mediterranean chain opens in East Gate Square.

This week’s closings

Sakura Mandarin | Chinatown

The popular Chinese restaurant at 11th and Race Streets is being renovated. It's expected to return in late August.

Sumney Tavern | Lansdale

The Montco landmark will be razed; redevelopment is seen for the site.

Pei Wei | Moorestown

The Moorestown Mall location of this casual pan-Asian from the P.F. Chang's orbit is buttoned up.

Food critic Craig LaBan has the week off. With any luck, so do you.

Email Craig here