It has survived both an attempted takeover by the township during a redevelopment movement several years ago and a fire last fall. Within the next week, look for the revival of Hunan (47 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, 610-642-3050), which has been on Main Liners' speed dials since 1973.
It's all new - top to bottom. A small fire in October knocked the restaurant out of commission for what was supposed to be a short period. But inspectors found deficiencies in the kitchen, so E-ni and Betty Foo had to rebuild, from the kitchen to the dining rooms.
Hunan, by the way, is where Susanna Foo (E-ni's sister-in-law) got her start.
The Foos' son, Chris, is chef. Aside from the traditional homestyle cuisine, he and his staff are adding more modern dishes, such as steamed buns with pork belly, and at lunch, Asian po'boys.
Changes are afoot at Table 31, in the Comcast Center. Chef-owner Chris Scarduzio, using his second-floor private dining room for degustation menus, has brought in as general manager Christian Leo, whose last stop was managing partner at the Ruth's Chris at the Mohegan Sun casino. Before that, he managed at Cuba Libre. Outside, Table 31's Plaza Cafe has adapted a lounge look - wicker furniture and a real bar. Later this summer, there are plans to build an enclosure so the patio can be used 10 months a year.
Rouge on Rittenhouse Square's new chef de cuisine, Trevor Budny, was a sous chef at El Vez. His resume includes opening Alma de Cuba with Douglas Rodriguez and Jose Garces, interrupted by a sojourn in Barcelona, a return to Philly to work at Striped Bass, followed by a stop at Vetri and opening Jose Pistolas. Budny will handle the day-to-day at Rouge, whose executive chef, Matt Levin, is about two weeks from opening his own place, Adsum at Fifth and Bainbridge Streets.
Honey's Sit 'N Eat in Northern Liberties just signed for a second location: the northwest corner of 21st and South Streets, in a building formerly occupied by Graduate Hospital, according to Veronica Blum, who with her Mallin Panchelli Nadel Realty partner Steven Clofine handled the deal. "It feels like a good spot," says Honey's Ellen Mogell, who with partner Jeb Woody has no timetable.
Nikki Kaufman has pulled the plug on Saute, her Queen Village bistro, which opened in spring 2009 at 775 S. Front St. (The restaurant had a shake-up last month when chef Nicholas J. Cassidy left for Barclay Prime.) With new chef Paul Martin, whose resume includes Pod, Buddakan, and a stop in Louisiana, Kaufman is cutting prices and reconceptualizing as a rustic, casual Louisiana themer called Catahoula. She hopes to open in two to three weeks.