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Published on : Thursday, May 12, 2016
The spring season’s in full bloom, and so is the Philadelphia region’s restaurant scene, offering a spate of just-opened eateries that promise to refresh diners’ palates. Among the additions are a Dutch and Pennsylvania German mash-up brunch destination, a second coming for a Queen Village favorite and a cheesesteak-ery for every eater.
The following are just some of the latest and greatest reasons to start making reservations:
Bella Vista/Queen Village/Pennsport:
Northern Europe meets Pennsylvania German cuisine at The Dutch, a collaboration between chefs Lee Styer (Fond) and Joncarl Lachman. The Pennsport bruncherie serves ring bologna eggs Benedict with homemade rye English muffin; scallion waffles with cream chipped beef; and Dutch baby pancakes both sweet and savory.
No need to head north for a delicious lobster roll. Pennsport’s Neon Lobster specializes in takeaway seafood treats such as chowder, fried calamari, fish and chips and the above-mentioned Maine-style delicacy.
Cheers accompanied the reopening of Queen Village favorite Southwark, now under new ownership after a brief hiatus. The menu of dinner and late-night eats keeps the spirit of the original, featuring chicken liver mousse with rhubarb gastrique, ricotta and pea ravioli and a savvy selection of craft cocktails.
Cheesesteaks get the spotlight at Cleavers, Rittenhouse Square’s ode to the Philly fave. Fillings—whether rib-eye, chicken or portobellos—can be delivered via roll, wrap or bowl, with topping options such as Sriracha aioli, blue cheese dressing, long hots and onion rings.
Chinatown’s Sea Bar stays true to its name with an extensive oyster selection and a straightforward approach to seafood. The menu offers a choice of clams, mussels, crawfish, lobster and more, all which can be seasonedand accompanied by potatoes and corn. 140 N.
The do-it-yourself ethic rules at growing local chain Snap Custom Pizza, which just opened its firstlocation in Center City. Patrons build up crusts with toppings such as veal meatballs, herb cream sauce, oregano oil and roasted peppers.
Susannah Foo built her name on Asian cooking with French foundational techniques and unexpected flourishes. At her latest venture, the elegant Suga, that translates into goat cheese wontons with heirloom beets, Mongolian lamb with sundried tomato and ginger panna cotta with coconut tapioca pudding.
One cuisine that was long missing in Fairmount was Vietnamese food. iPHO remedies that issue, taking up residence in a prominent corner shop with a menu of noodle soups, vermicelli, broken rice and banh mi.
Jay-Z’s former accountant Robin Broughton-Smith brings the sweet life to the Art Museum area with Sweet Nectar Dessert Kitchen. The bakery’s displays brim with treats like key lime cupcakes, lemon pound cake, butterscotch pecan cookies, baked donuts and sweet potato cheesecake, along with vegan and gluten-free options.
A cafe with a casual yet urbane atmosphere, Fishtown Social brings an emphasis on new and Old World wines by the glass to a neighborhood more typically associated with craft beer. There’s also a small menu of cheese, charcuterie and bar snacks.
A BYOB in the grand Philly tradition, Northern Liberties’ Jaxon cooks up serious cuisine with an array of influences. Small plates might include grilled chicken livers with grapefruit and scallion or house mac and cheese, while the larger dishes include southern fried pork loin with grilled plums, and fresh fettuccini with spring peas.
Convivial Root welcomes customers to a new serious dining option in Fishtown. The kitchen turns out cauliflower zeppole, potato gnocchi with clams, mussels, bacon and bottarga and chocolate hazelnut creme brulee, while the bar slings four kinds of “gin-tonics” and a selective list of wines by the glass.
Set in a former whiskey factory that will soon become a small hotel, Wm. Mulherin’s Sons oozes historic charm. A pizza oven delivers concoctions like the Leslie Chow, and crudo, rustic homemade pasta and grilled meats balance out the rest of the appealing menu.