* Noodles and more in Chinatown: The options for ramen have expanded with Sunday's opening of Rai Rai Ramen (915 Race St., 215-309-3609), a BYOB across from the new hot pot/Korean BBQ spot Nine Ting. Menu fuses Chinese and Japanese. Figure on $9.75 to $13.50 for ramen. First-timer? Go for the hakata ($11.95) - char siu pork, fish cake, egg, bamboo and pickled cabbage. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
* Gypsy to Ambler: Kim Strengari and Marianne Gere - who own Conshohocken's Gyspy Saloon, Stella Blu and Southern Cross Kitchen - have bought the 34 East in Ambler's stone, century-old Wyndham Hotel (34 E. Butler Ave.). Opening mid-May. Outdoor dining, too.
* The swank's back: For decades, the Vesper Club was a "Mad Men"-ish private dining club on Sydenham Street (near 15th and Locust). Now it's back as a swank, supper club-style public restaurant, with nightly dancing and a downstairs bar that bans cellphones and requires a password to enter. The Vesper brings together Chuck Ercole, a lawyer who owns Misconduct Tavern, and Brendan Smith and John Barry, of Smiths Restaurant. Vice president of operations is Jim Israel, (Culinary Concepts). Irish-born chef Ken Wallace worked at Thornton's in Dublin, which was two-star Michelin at the time. Jesse Cornell heads the "classics without the twist" main bar. Dinner nightly from 5 p.m.; bar opens 4:30; music begins at 5:30.