Table Talk: Hoof + Fin settles in to Gayle's Queen Village spot

Dramatic Dettera in Ambler has two levels: A bar below and a dining room above. American cuisine is on the menu.
Dramatic Dettera in Ambler has two levels: A bar below and a dining room above. American cuisine is on the menu.
Posted: March 04, 2010

There should be little surprise about what's on the menu at Queen Village's Hoof + Fin (617 S. Third St., 215-925-3070), which filled the former Gayle last month.

Owner Lucas Manteca, who owns Quahog's Seafood Shack and Sea Salt in Stone Harbor and is chef for Cape May Resort, has opted for a rustic look at his South American-influenced BYOB grill: suspended clear lightbulbs, butcher-block tables, and assorted tchotchkes.

Prices are aimed at the neighborhood; figure on under $20 for main courses. It's open from 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays. Menu is at http://go.philly.com/hoof.

Ambling through Ambler

In the last six months, Ambler has been building its restaurant portfolio beyond such spots as Bridgets, the Shanachie, Trax Cafe, and KC's Alley.

In December, Saffron Indian Kitchen, which started in Bala Cynwyd, branched out to 60 E. Butler Ave. (215-540-0237) with a homey BYOB in the former La Cava; it's open for weekday lunch and daily dinner.

A branch of the casual Lafayette Hill Italian favorite From the Boot opened last July in the space next to the Ambler movie theater that was Agave and Ralph's (110 E. Butler Ave., 215-646-0123). Its long-delayed liquor license is expected sometime this month; it's open for weekday lunch and daily dinner.

Finn McCool's, a family-friendly sports bar, is running in the old stone Wyndham Hotel at 34 E. Butler Ave. (215-643-3466). It's open from lunchtime to late night daily.

The town's most polished yearling is Dettera (129 E. Butler Pike, 215-643-0111), a wine bar by developer Frank Lutter, serving American cuisine in downtown atmosphere with downtown prices. It's a dramatic bilevel operation with an outside deck featuring a brick fireplace. Chef Thomas Groff previously owned Blue Sky Cafe in East Norriton and cooked at the Jefferson House. Wine list has 40 by the glass, 120 by the bottle.

Also new nearby, just down the pike, is Domenico's (602 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, 215-641-9100), a mid-priced Italian restaurant with bar, which replaced the Blue Horse. It's open Mondays through Saturdays for dinner and is an offshoot of a seasonal Shore operation in Ventnor.

Briefly noted

Xochitl (408 S. Second St. in Society Hill) has reopened with a new bar area and new, lower-priced menu from new chef Lucio Palazzo. It's now open for dinner and late night daily.

Rudi's on Park, the ambitious bistro in the heart of Swarthmore, has folded after three months. Management is offering refunds on gift cards. See http://go.philly.com/rudis.

March 26 is the expected season opening for Stephen Starr's Burger Shack on Franklin Square.

Eight steak houses are collaborating on a promo called Steak Month - a $50 three-course menu offered Sundays through Thursdays through March 31: Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, Delmonico's Steakhouse at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue, Morton's the Steakhouse, the Palm, the Prime Rib, Saloon Restaurant, Smith & Wollensky, and Union Trust.


Contact Michael Klein at mklein@phillynews.com. Follow his blog at http://go.philly.com/insider and on Twitter @phillyinsider.

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