Michael Klein: Popolino, serving Roman rustic, opens

in the middle of the dining room at Popolino in Northern Liberties. MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com
in the middle of the dining room at Popolino in Northern Liberties. MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com (The "tavole calde" - hot table -)
Posted: March 22, 2012

Chef Peter McAndrews has added the Old World-elegant Popolino, in Northern Liberties (501 Fairmount Ave., 215-928-0106), to his collection of Italian-themers (Modo Mio, Monsu, Paesano's).

Working with Four Seasons alumnus Steve Flis, he's put an antipasti bar - tavole calde ("hot table") - in the middle of the dining room. (It's not self-service; staff does the portioning).

Cuisine is moderate-priced Roman rustic - 10 appetizers and 10 entrees, plus house-made desserts. Prices are $23 and under and entrees include tonnarelli cacio e pepe (house-made square spaghetti with black pepper and pecorino) and assorted pastas, plus hearty dishes such as lamb leg, oxtail, skate wing, and bacala. It serves brunch and dinner Wednesdays through Mondays. Menu is here.

McAndrews is a few weeks from opening Il Porto, an Italian wine bar, in the former Locust Crest Tavern space off Route 352 near Media.

What's coming

Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook (Zahav, Federal Donuts, and Percy Street) will go the European glatt-kosher route on the Main Line this summer with Citron and Rose (368-370 Montgomery Ave., Merion), a restaurant and on- and off-site catering company. They're working with David Magerman, the philanthropist who created the Kohelet Foundation, which supports Jewish day-school education. Citron and Rose, to be open Sundays through Thursdays, will have an open kitchen with a chef's counter and a bar serving an all-kosher cocktail, wine, and beer list. Solomonov's menu will include meat cooked over charcoal, house-made charcuterie, pickles, vegetable dishes and salads, and house-made breads and desserts.

What's new

Rx at 45th and Spruce Streets in West Philly, which closed over the winter, is coming back this weekend. In keeping with the former use of the property as a pharmacy, the BYO will be called Rimedio - Italian for "remedy." Dan Freeman, a former sous chef at Old City's Bistro 7, will cook Northern Italian bistro cuisine. It will be open Tuesdays through Sundays for dinner, and weekend brunch. Menu: www.philly.com/rimedio.

Open and shut cases

Mount Airy-ans surely remember Goat Hollow, the funky bistro at Mount Pleasant Avenue and Lincoln Drive. It's being revived, probably by September, says Bill Campbell, who also owns a piece of Race Street Cafe in Old City.

A padlocked door, ringing phone, and abbreviated website are three signs that Joe Palombo's Mirabella Cafe is gone from Cherry Hill's Barclay Farms Shopping Center after five years. Palombo did not return my message.


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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