Michael Klein: Penn campus to get farm-to-table Harvest

Harvest, which opens Friday at 40th and Walnut, will be just like Dave Magrogan's original in Glen Mills, an American wine bar whose seasonal menu items come in under 500 calories. ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer
Harvest, which opens Friday at 40th and Walnut, will be just like Dave Magrogan's original in Glen Mills, an American wine bar whose seasonal menu items come in under 500 calories. ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer
Posted: September 27, 2012

Dave Magrogan, a chiropractor who entered the restaurant scene nearly a decade ago with Kildare's Irish Pubs, has adjusted his business model. His success is built now on the more mature concepts Doc Magrogan's Oyster House and Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar.

He sat down with University of Pennsylvania officials a year ago. A Penn campus Doc Magrogan's (the fourth) opened last month at 3432 Sansom St., and on Friday, the second Harvest will open at 40th and Walnut Streets (215-662-1100), where Marathon Grill was. Kildare's was not an option - both because Penn did not want another bar, and because Magrogan is not opening any more Kildare's himself, only franchising that brand.

Harvest, which premiered in May 2010 in Glen Mills' Glen Eagle Square, is a farm-to-table-themed American wine bar whose menu items come in under 500 calories. Chef Anthony DiPascale's menu - the same as in Glen Mills - has seasonal selections such as butternut squash soup, autumn scallops, and porcini mushroom pappardelle, plus flatbreads including a spicy sausage, a steak & local Kennett Square mushroom, and a pear with Birch Run Hills bleu cheese option.

Magrogan thinks University City's more discerning clientele will get it. (He is looking at spaces in Wilmington and North Wales for the third and fourth locations.)

The biggest challenge at 40th and Walnut - which will seat 320 people plus 60 on the patio - was "turning a cold, big industrial box" into something homey-looking. University City also has an 80-seat private dining room.

It's open daily for lunch and dinner.

New Yorkers

Christopher Lee, who won four bells a while back at the Stephen Starr-owned Striped Bass, is returning to Philadelphia. Lee and team will join Joe Massara at Salt & Pepper (1623 E. Passyunk Ave.), which is currently operating. Right now, they're in design phase, so it is unclear when the restaurant will close and reopen. He said that the concept was still being fleshed out, but that it would be a neighborhood place with "great food, tasty drinks, and friendly service." Lee, the 2005 James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef of the Year, won Michelin stars for Gilt and Aureole in New York. More recently, he opened Huntington Social in Huntington, L.I.

Joe Carroll of the Brooklyn barbecue favorite Fette Sau is about three weeks from opening a Philadelphia branch, at 1408 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown, next to Starr's Frankford Hall. It's a joint project with Starr. Fette Sau's shtick is unadorned barbecue served on butcher paper in a dive setting. The bar list will be all-American.

The Old City branch of Triumph Brewing Co., the brewpub operating at 117 Chestnut St. for six years, is listed for sale with InnSite Hospitality Properties. A flier spells out that the turnkey operation includes liquor license and brewing equipment. Asking price is $995,000. Next door at 123 Chestnut St., the Reserve not only is for sale, but has actually closed.

Chef chat

David Katz - consulting chef at Morgan's Pier and late of Center City's Meme - will be doing the I-295 shuttle as he has landed at the coming Tavro 13, the former Old Swedes Inn in Swedesboro. Katz will consult with Terence Feury at the mid-October opening and will develop the wine list to be complement the menu. (Meme's next occupant will be the crew from Pub & Kitchen.)

Eric Paraskevas has been named executive chef of the coming Bainbridge Street Barrel House, due to open next month at Sixth and Bainbridge Streets, across from Beau Monde. Paraskevas' resumé includes the Happy Rooster, Continental, Lolita, Slate, and Terra. Its GM will be Agi Czapka, whose CV includes Paradiso, Fork, and Rae.

Briefly noted

Restaurant weeks galore: Through Sept. 30 is Main Line Restaurant Week. Up for Sept. 30 to Oct. 5 is Manayunk's inaugural restaurant week. (Sept. 29 is the StrEAT Food Festival on Main Street from Green Lane and Shurs Lane from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.) Then, from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5 and from Oct. 7 to 12 is Center City District Restaurant Week, followed from Oct. 14 to 19 by SJ Hot Chefs' Fall Harvest Week.

Barra (239 Chestnut St.) starts weekend brunch Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The salon restaurant that Jose Garces will open at the Kimmel Center this winter has a name: Volver, as in "return."

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.

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