March 2- 8, 2006
Angelino's Restaurant and Pizzeria
849-51 N. 25th St., 215-787-9945Owner Rick Terrivel worked for two years to prep this casual Italian eatery for its January opening. After securing the building that formerly belonged to Beato's, his team gutted the location as well as the one adjacent to it. It's now a 50-seat bi-level where hearty, honest grub is paramount. Angelino's extensive menu features an array of Italian dishes, but their pastas and pizzas sell the fastest. Bite This: Manager Dan, Terrivel's bro-in-law, touts rustic sandwiches like the homemade meatball and chicken parm.
LaVa Coffee Shop
21st and South sts., 215-545-1508These brand-new bean grinders had their grand opening Feb. 19. The location, which used to be South Street Blues, has been reimagined to give off a cozy, hang-out-here vibe. There's free WiFi, and coffee nerds will be pleased to know they brew the coveted La Colombe brand. You can also cop a variety of paninis, salads and desserts. Bite This: One of LaVa's most popular items is a tuna pita that uses hummus instead of mayo.
Alfa Restaurant and Bar
1709 Walnut St.
The owners of the Walnut Room recently revealed that they've snagged the spot that formerly housed Buttercup. Details are wicked sketchy at the moment, but they were holding open calls for waitstaff last week. Apparently, the menu will not have a specific culinary theme; instead, it'll feature a mix of the owner's and chef's personal faves. Look for an end-of-March debut.
Fairmount and Corinthian aves.If you're lucky, the kids at the Wine School of Philadelphia might make you the chef/owner of a restaurant on their block. A group of investors purchased and renovated the location and asked the school to screen candidates. Applicants must be recommended by a Wine School alum, and must pony up $20K of their own dough for the venture.