We've got the scoop on the most hotly anticipated restaurants opening this fall.
With ham in the name, our hopes are high. Coming off the success of his upscale Avenue of the Arts spot Sbraga in the Symphony House, “Top Chef” winner Kevin Sbraga is taking his talents to University City — to another Carl Dranoff-developed building, the Left Bank. Fat Ham will focus on Southern cuisine, with plenty of pork dishes on the menu, like pigs’ feet with smoked gemelli pasta and tomato gravy. We’re also looking forward to the country-fried lobster that’s been such a hit at Sbraga, and the pepper-crusted bacon with quail egg, coffee and arugula.
3131 Walnut St.
We want to be French
Nicholas Elmi made a name for himself working at top-rated French restaurants, including our own Le Bec Fin, before heading down to New Orleans to film the newest season of “Top Chef” — which starts airing next week. And now he’s opening up his first restaurant on the foodie strip East Passyunk Avenue. Expect French-inspired choices and a build-your-own four-course tasting menu. The opening is slated for early November.
1617 E. Passyunk Ave.
The couple behind the acclaimed Bibou in South Philly is heading to Rittenhouse. Charlotte and Pierre Calmels are taking over the Art Alliance’s restaurant space with a 55-seater with both indoor and outdoor space, tentatively scheduled to open at the end of October. It’ll be cheaper than Bibou.
251 S. 18th St.
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Brunch me, please
High Street on Market
The breakfast sandwich piled with shaved pastrami, spiced hash, roasted peppers and onions, an egg and Russian dressing should be enough to reel you into this casual spot from Fork’s Ellen Yin. The flavors here, designed by chef Eli Kulp, are bright and unusual, and the fresh breads – try the buckwheat cherry or roasted potato — are made in-house. We went for seconds on the pistachio escargot — no snails here, just a flaky, curlicue-shaped pastry with golden raisin cream and candied pistachios. It opened this week for breakfast and lunch; dinner service will start next month.
308 Market St.
A diner fit for an Iron Chef
Jose Garces is replacing his now-closed Chifa with this new Cuban diner, featuring a rotisserie in the kitchen, comfort food on the menu and a take-out section where you can pick up a bunch of pasteles, a traditional Puerto Rican meat pastry. But will it be open 24 hours like any good diner should be? We’ll find out around Oct. 21.
707 Chestnut St.
For the vegans
Cook and Shaker
Where else can you find a bar with a jukebox and karaoke machine, and buffalo-fried brussels sprouts on the menu? Chef Laura Viegas is going low-key for her first restaurant, located Kensington. The menu is heavy on vegan and vegetarian fare, but carnivores shouldn’t be deterred — bangers and mash also make an appearance. The opening is slated for end of October.
2301 E. Albert St.