Michael Klein: Indian Bindi becomes Spanish Jamonera

Marcie Turney (left) and Valerie Safran in their new 13th Street place, Jamonera, a tapas bar. It will open Sunday.
Marcie Turney (left) and Valerie Safran in their new 13th Street place, Jamonera, a tapas bar. It will open Sunday. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 19, 2012

Center City restaurateurs Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney, enjoying hits with their Italian themer Barbuzzo and Mexican BYOB Lolita, have converted Bindi, their Indian BYOB across the street, into Jamonera, an intimate Spanish tapas bar.

Jamonera (105 S. 13th St., 215-922-6061), opening Sunday, represents the couple's takeaway from a trip to southern Spain, where they indulged in cheese, olive oil, and sherries. Turney cures her own cecina, the dried beef, serving it with artichokes, fennel, and amontillado sherry. Items range in price from $4 for snacks to $36 for shareable plates.

Tim Shaaban of Urban Space Development has outfitted the space in dark Rioja-stained wood and amber lighting, with antique mirrors, a 20-foot copper bar top, and glass tiles in shades of brown. Artist Tory Novikova created a 7-by-8-foot interpretation of Carmen at the entrance. It's open daily from 5 p.m. Menu is here. More photos: at www.philly.com/jamonera.

What's new

Bold murals of actors Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale adorn the walls at the new, high-style Italian BYOB Il Gattopardo (1040 Second Street Pike, Richboro, 215-355-4454). The name ("the leopard") and theme honor the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa novel (and the 1963 film, hence the actors) about the upheaval in Sicily during the 1860s. Owners Vincenzo and Vito Badalamenti (ex-La Dolce Vita in Newtown) and chef Bernardo "Benny" Puleo (ex-La Stalla in Newtown) - proud Sicilians all - have installed a piano in the dining room; it's tickled on Friday nights, and a guitarist plays Saturdays. Menu features house-made pasta ($14 to $28); dinner entrees (chicken, veal) pretty much start at $18 and head north; specialty is grilled lamb chops ($28), served over greens with a rum-doused flaming lemon. It's open daily for lunch and dinner. (Photos are at www.philly.com/gattopardo).

Ian Lo, whose family owns the strip-maller South Ocean in Flourtown, has opened Hibachi2Go (1414 Snyder Ave., 215-336-8646), a teriyaki/sushi operation, in a South Philly walk-up storefront. He delivers as far as Center City.

Briefly noted

The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill has brought in Harris Eckstut to teach a how-to course for aspiring restaurateurs ($95) at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 and 28. Register via the school.

Dave Magrogan (Kildare's, Doc Magrogan's Oyster House) will place the upscale casual Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar (whose first location opened in Glen Mills in 2010) at 40th and Walnut Streets, the former Marathon Grill and MarBar. A June opening is targeted.

Contact Michael Klein at mklein@philly.com or @phillyinsider on Twitter. Read much more at his blog, www.philly.com/insider, and follow him at www.philly.com/food.

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