Michael Klein: Starr's Italian Il Pittore opening in October

Barista Erika Vonie of Philadelphia behind the bar at MilkBoy, 11th and Chestnut. Only beverages right now; in a week or two, the coffee place will offer breakfast/lunch/dinner.
Barista Erika Vonie of Philadelphia behind the bar at MilkBoy, 11th and Chestnut. Only beverages right now; in a week or two, the coffee place will offer breakfast/lunch/dinner. (MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com)
Posted: August 18, 2011

Stephen Starr and chef Chris Painter are gearing up for the mid-October opening of their upscale, modern-Italian dinner spot, Il Pittore, at 2025 Sansom St., which until last weekend was Noble American Cookery.

Painter, a Pottsville native and a vet of French Laundry and L'Espinasse, has been part of the Starr fold pretty much since 1999. He won raves at Tangerine and Angelina, and later became Starr's menu-development guy, credited with Parc, Frankford Hall, Pizzeria Stella, and the new Makoto in Miami.

Il Pittore - that's "the painter" - has been in the works for a while; initial locations were signed at Third and Bainbridge Streets and 1221 Locust St.

Painter said the wine list would approach 350 labels. Pricing is still being determined.

Il Pittore will join a restaurant-rich block in Center City, with the BYOBs Melograno and Porcini across the street; Jose Garces' Village Whiskey and the dessertery Capogiro at one corner (and Tinto next to Village Whiskey); and a Danny Meyer-owned Shake Shack teed up to open on another corner in mid- to late-2012.

What's new

The Center City branch of MilkBoy, the coffee/entertainment hangout, has opened softly at 11th and Chestnut Streets (215-925-6455) - so softly, you can only hear the whoosh of the espresso machine, as only beverages are being served. In a week or two, it will offer breakfast/lunch/dinner from chef Jon Bohn, a Culinary Institute of America grad, who plans to cook the basics. In mid-September comes live music six nights a week upstairs.

What it'll be

Emboldened by their success at Isabella in Conshohocken, Tom Richter, Peter Richter, and chef Michael Cappon are sprucing up the 401 Diner at Fourth and Fayette Streets. The 401, which closed in winter, is due to reemerge this month with a healthier, locally rooted concept.

Briefly noted

Bliss, the bistro in front of the Bellevue on Broad Street, is closed till Sept. 6, says owner Christ Dhimitri. He says he's redoing a lot of the restaurant, including replacing a floor that had been damaged in a flood and installing a new electrical system.

South Jersey gets its Krispy Kreme at 6 a.m. Tuesday at Cuthbert Boulevard and Haddon Avenue in Collingswood.

The long-closed Broad Street Diner at Broad and Ellsworth Streets is being brought back to life by Michael Petrogiannis, who owns a slew of diners, including the Melrose, the Mayfair, Tiffany's, the Country Club, and Warminster West.

Bravo Cucina Italiana, a white-tablecloth Italian eatery with an open kitchen and a decor designed to evoke Roman ruins, is coming to Willow Grove Park mall. There's one open now in Lehigh Valley Mall. The Ohio-based chain also owns Brio, a Tuscan grill with locations in Cherry Hill, Marlton, and Newark, Del.


Contact Michael Klein at mklein@philly.com and @phillyinsider on Twitter. Follow him at www.philly.com/food and catch his blog at http://www.philly.com/insider.

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