Michael Klein: It's Napoli all the way at Vecchia Pizzeria

Fabien Chaigneau surveys his domain at Sips Bistro & Bar. There's a full bar, but it's BYO pending receipt of a liquor license. Outdoors, there's a patio with a fountain.
Fabien Chaigneau surveys his domain at Sips Bistro & Bar. There's a full bar, but it's BYO pending receipt of a liquor license. Outdoors, there's a patio with a fountain.
Posted: August 02, 2012

A Neapolitan pizzeria and a French bistro have joined Phoenixville's dining lineup.

At Vecchia Pizzeria Napoletana (249 Bridge St., 610-933-1355), townsman Frank Nattle imports everything from Naples - the 00 flour, the San Marzano tomatoes, the bufala mozzarella, even the two stonemasons who built his oven from Mount Vesuvius stone. While working at the now-closed Brick Oven Bread & Cheese Shop down the street, Nattle experimented with pizza-baking after hours in the still-warm oven. At Vecchia, he's keeping it simple: two kinds of 13-inch Margherita pies, a tomato pie, and a white pizza ($7 to $15) - no sandwiches, no salads, no platters. The only toppings are soppressata and anchovies. It's open Tuesdays through Sundays from lunch through late night.

Sips Bistro & Bar (400 Bridge St., 484-924-9721), the lovely old house that used to hold the Moon Saloon, fulfills the ownership dream of Fabien Chaigneau, a onetime manager at such destinations as the Sofitel, Valley Forge Radisson, Pond, and Brasserie Perrier and most recently general manager at the Bungalow Hotel in Long Branch, N.J. (That job forced a commute from his Phoenixville home and time away from his wife, Veena, who works in the pharmaceutical industry.) Chaigneau, a native of the Vendée in France, brought in longtime colleague Dan Wallace to help run the place and chef Gerald A. Petrus Jr. (Great American Pub, Circa, Plate) to execute a classic bistro menu (dinner entrees $17 to $27). There's a full bar (it's BYO pending liquor license), a sweet outdoor patio with a babbling fountain, and various romantic rooms; one room's banquettes get the comfy treatment from red pillows sewn by Veena Chaigneau's mother, Jaya Gaddamidi. It's open for dinner nightly and weekends for a $16.95 jazz brunch. Weekday lunch will start Monday.

What's new

Chris Fetfatzes and Heather Annechiarico of Hawthornes in Bella Vista have created the Cambridge, what they call "a corner bar in the middle of the block," at 1508 South St. (215-627-3012) in the former Tritone. Bar has 24 draft beers, 20 in bottles, a dozen wines, eight cocktails, 30 six-packs to go. Beers are available in pints, half-pints, and 11-ounce pours. Free snacks are served during the 4-to-6 p.m. happy hours. The moderate-priced menu includes Buffalo wing confit, lamb shank, pierogis, four burgers, steak frites, and corned beef. It's open weeknights and from lunchtime to late night on weekends (kitchen open till 1 a.m.).

Spice 28 (1228 Chestnut St., 215-928-8880) has one chef cooking Asian fusion and another handling Szechuan. Owners are Jack Chen, who owns Sakura Mandarin at 11th and Race Streets in Chinatown, and his cousin Ben Wang. The post-postmodern design includes a white, underlit bar, a changing-light wall in the dining room, and a wooden arch that serves as a transition between bar and dining room. It's open for lunch and dinner daily; dinner entrees are less than $20. Liquor license is on its way.

Briefly noted

Pascual "Pat" Cancelliere has reopened 943, his Italian/Argentine BYOB in the Italian Market, during his recovery from triple bypass surgery July 10. His family is doing the grunt work for now.

Theresa Hrivnak and Joseph Halloran of Haddonfield's Indulgence Cupcakery will compete on an episode of Cupcake Wars at 8 p.m. Sunday on Food Network.

Closings

David Katz shuttered Meme, his American bistro at 22d and Spruce Streets, after nearly four years. Kevin and Janet Meeker have bowed out of Q BBQ at 207 Chestnut St., which three years ago succeeded their longtime fixture Philadelphia Fish & Company. On the next block, at 126 Chestnut St., the frat bar Mad River has closed. It will give way this summer to a beer-seafood eatery called Craft & Claw.
Photos, menus, and additional details about these restaurants, plus dining news, can be found at www.philly.com/mike. Contact Michael Klein at mklein@philly.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|