Table Talk: Marc Vetri's Roman-style trattoria opens tonight

Chefs Marc Vetri (left) and Brad Spence in Vetri's new Amis, opening tonight at 13th and Waverly Streets, around the corner from the flagship at 1312 Spruce.
Chefs Marc Vetri (left) and Brad Spence in Vetri's new Amis, opening tonight at 13th and Waverly Streets, around the corner from the flagship at 1312 Spruce.
Posted: January 14, 2010

Chef Marc Vetri has ventured around the corner from his eponymous destination restaurant for a far more casual approach: Amìs (412 S. 13th St., 215-732-2647). Say it "ah-MEES" - that's "friends," colloquially.

The Roman-style trattoria, opening tonight at 13th and Waverly Streets, looks rustic with its exposed ceiling, concrete walls, wooden floor, zinc bar, and open kitchen helmed by Vetri's Brad Spence.

So does the menu, studded with bar-friendly small plates of earthy dishes such as crispy sweetbreads with fennel marmalade; fried lambs tongue; and gnocchi alla romana with oxtail ragu; check average will be in the high $40s, compared with $65 at his Osteria on Broad and a third of the tab at Vetri. It's open nightly for now; lunch and brunch are planned.

What's new

Blue Bell's Sushikazu (920 DeKalb Pike, 610-272-7767) has been revived. Jay Park, who grew an audience for his sushi and Japanese dishes at Yama in Horsham, is the new owner; it's open for lunch and dinner every day but Sunday. Better location, says Park, next to a Rita's at Skippack Pike at Route 202. Yama, at 597 Horsham Rd. in Horsham, is now under new ownership as Sushi 4 You (215-773-8003). Sushikazu founder Bruce Kim recently closed Misso at 1326 Spruce St.

Han Chiang has opened his third Han Dynasty (following Exton and Royersford), at 108 Chestnut St. (215-928-1888) in Old City. It's BYOB for now. Chiang kept the vaguely postmodern look of previous occupants Joe Poon and Taipan. Despite the menu, the Taiwan-born Chiang prefers to interview patrons to tell them what they should eat. It's open daily, lunchtime through late night,

What's coming

Agapios "Willy" Bouikidis, whose Race Street Pizza at 13th and Race Streets from 1976 to 2006 was displaced by the Convention Center expansion, is fixing 1518 Sansom St. as an bar/restaurant called 15/18 Bar & Grill. He hopes to open in the spring.

Georges Perrier and Le Bec-Fin exec chef Nicholas Elmi will do dinner at the James Beard House in New York, marking Elmi's first time at the culinary landmark. Two of the six courses on their $200-a-head Feb. 24 menu include truffles: truffle-stuffed turbot with organic stone-cut oats, black trumpet marmalade, and sauce Champenoise, plus truffle-poached Maine lobster with tête de veau en crèpinette and sauce royal.

Center City Restaurant Week rolls in Sunday through Jan. 22 as well as Jan. 24-29. The list of $20 lunches and $35 dinners is at www.centercityphila.org. Eateries also run specials outside of the promotion, including Snackbar (20th and Rittenhouse Square), which from Jan. 24-29 offers three courses of anything on the menu for $30; see other deals on my blog.


Contact columnist Michael Klein at 215-854-5514 or mklein@phillynews.com. Read restaurant news on his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider.

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