New in Northern Liberties is Lafayette Bistro (501 Fairmount Ave., 215-928-9200), a 50-seat BYOB from Tunisian-born chef Ramzi Boughanmi and business partner Mondher Khayat.
They've converted a former antiques store on the corner of Fifth Street and Fairmount Avenue into a cozy, mauve-tableclothed, brick-walled dining room. Menu (seafood dishes, homemade pasta, and couscous are specialties) spans the Mediterranean and North Africa; entrees top out at $26. It's open daily for dinner.
What's comingFloret, the reconfiguration of Pond and Bistro Cassis at 175 King of Prussia Rd. in Radnor, is shooting for a Jan. 12 opening. Scott Morrison (Nectar) and executive chef Dan Kremin (ex-Barclay Prime, Buddakan), backed by Pond owner Raelyn Harman, are promising a modestly priced Euro-American menu. Bar renovation shows a nod toward understated elegance.
Zavino, the spiffy, rough-hewn pizzeria-wine bar tucked into the northwest corner of 13th and Sansom Streets (215-732-2400), will open Saturday. Chef-owner Steve Gonzalez's menu (online at zavino.com) is a tight selection of easy-on-the-budget antipasti, a few hot dishes, and pizzas - all befitting the snug space, which includes a curved, marble-topped bar and one-person charcuterie station in one corner. By-the-glass wines are $6 to $10. It's open from lunchtime through late night.