Michael Klein: Husband-and-wife duo offer homey, fresh fare

Owner-chefs Andrew and Kristin Wood of Russet, an American BYOB on Spruce Street, at the former site of Ernesto's 1521 Cafe.
Owner-chefs Andrew and Kristin Wood of Russet, an American BYOB on Spruce Street, at the former site of Ernesto's 1521 Cafe. (RON TARVER / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 16, 2012

Locally sourced ingredients and a daily menu are the watchwords behind the homey Russet (1521 Spruce St., 215-546-1521, www.russetphilly.com), an American BYOB that opened Tuesday at the former site of Ernesto's 1521 Cafe.

Andrew and Kristin Wood's fresh philosophy - he is into whole-animal butchery and traditional cooking; she is a pastry chef with an eye and nose for cheeses - is reminiscent of other top husband-and-wife duos, including Django and The Farm & Fisherman. He worked at Fork in Old City after a turn at the Michelin-starred Terra and Quince (and previous engagements at James and Maia); she was a cheesemonger for Dean & Deluca and was a longtime pastry chef at James.

They've upgraded the 1880s townhouse with reclaimed furniture and a quiet elegance. Dinner entrees are $20 to $28; for now, it's open for dinner Tuesdays through Sundays, plus weekend brunch. Lunch, three days a week, will be added shortly.

Cork popped

The seven-year run of Cork in Westmont has come to a close. Kevin Meeker is redoing it as Keg & Kitchen, with a concept emphasis on the word craft - in food, wine/spirits, and decor. Opening is pegged for early March. Chef Anthony Marini, who had worked for Meeker at Philadelphia Fish & Company in Old City, will serve what Meeker calls "American craft comfort food." In related news: Q BBQ, which succeeded Philadelphia Fish at 207 Chestnut St., will close this summer.

What's coming

La Terrasse, the Penn campus dining destination that has been dark for a year, is finally getting new life. Dave Magrogan will turn the property at 3432 Sansom St. into a branch of Doc Magrogan's Oyster House. He has other Docs in West Chester; Moosic, Pa.; and Dover, Del. Projected opening is spring. Magrogan, who also owns Kildare's, recently signed with Penn to open his healthy-dining Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar in the former Marathon Grill at 40th and Walnut Streets.

Wursthaus Schmitz, a German-themed stand from husband and wife Doug Hager and Kelly Schmitz of the South Street beer hall Brauhaus Schmitz, is due to open around Memorial Day inside Reading Terminal Market.

The Peace A Pizza in Wayne will become a Melt Down Grilled Cheese within the next few weeks. Same owners, who similarly changed concepts recently in North Wales.

Briefly noted

New Hope and Lambertville's joint restaurant week will be March 18-23. Restaurant list is at www.VisitNewHope.com.

The Seafood Shanty name is back. A new version opened earlier this month in the Broadcasting Square Shopping Center in Wyomissing, Berks County.


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

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