Vernick Food & Drink | Greg Vernick, his wife Julie and GM Ryan Mulholland have opened Vernick Food & Drink, the well-traveled chef's long-planned solo joint after years cooking all over the world for Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Vernick describes his food as "radically simple" — he won't gravitate toward a particular discipline so much as reinterpret his international experiences for a local audience. That translates to vegetable- and raw-driven selections, plates both small and large and a section of shareable mains (whole market fish, Amish chicken, bone-in strip loin) roasted in a Wood Stone oven. The taut beer, wine and cocktail selections are curated by Mulholland. Right now they're open Tuesday to Sunday from 4:30 to 11 p.m. More photos and full menu on Meal Ticket. 2031 Walnut St., 267-639-6644, vernickphilly.com.
Spencer ΣTA Burger | The third location of Sabrina's, on Drexel's campus, opened last fall. Now Spencer ΣTA Burger ("Eat A Burger"), also from Robert and Raquel DeAbreu, has taken over part of that space on weekend eves. Choices at the patty-centric stop include "Dr. I's Burger," topped with Sabrina's huevos rancheros sauce, guac, lime sour cream, tomato, pepper jack and a fried jalapeño; and the "Ultimate Spencer Burger," a beast boasting everything from poached apples to turkey bacon. ETA Burger's hours are designed for munchie-stricken party crowds — Thursday from 8 p.m. to midnight, Friday/Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 4 to 10 p.m. Full menu on Meal Ticket. Ross Commons, 227 N. 34th St., 215-222-1022, spenceretaburger.com.
Argana Moroccan Cuisine | Grand-opening tomorrow, May 18, in nearby Lansdowne, Argana Moroccan Cuisine inhabits the old diner space at the corner of Lansdowne and Baltimore avenues. The friendly BYO, open for lunch and dinner, is cooking a straight-ahead selection of Moroccan classics, like lamb, chicken and kefta tagines, couscous and seafood pastilla. Tomorrow evening's festivities will include free appetizers and tea, plus coupons for return visits; on Sat., May 19, belly dancer Shiraz will perform. Hours: Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Full menu on Meal Ticket. 2 N. Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne, 484-461-9595, arganarestaurant.com.