Michael Klein: Park Plates in Elkins Park, catering to the few

At Park Plates , chefs/owners Locke Johnston (left) and Owen Lee. MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com
At Park Plates , chefs/owners Locke Johnston (left) and Owen Lee. MICHAEL KLEIN / Philly.com
Posted: October 11, 2013

Two veteran caterers, tired of turning out food for 200-plus crowds over their 40-year careers, are downsizing considerably with the cozy-chic Park Plates, which opens Tuesday across from CreekSide Co-Op (7852 Montgomery Ave., Elkins Park, 215-782-3663, www.parkplatesrestaurant.com).

Culinary Institute of America grads Locke Johnston and Owen Lee will share cooking, though Johnston plans to be more customer-facing at their Mediterranean/Middle Eastern-leaning BYOB. (Lee had left catering 13 years ago to open Cibucan in Center City.)

The space, formerly the short-lived Whistle Stop Cafe, has two dining rooms and a room for private parties and retail.

It will serve dinner Tuesday to Saturday. Figure on entrees priced from $15 to $20. Sample dishes: roasted cauliflower with capers, eggplant, lemon and eggplant crisps; pan-roasted, house-smoked salmon on rye with fennel curls and preserved lemon aioli; lamb and zucchini kofta with olives, yogurt and mint; and semolina cake with candied carrots, dates, cardamom syrup, and goat cream.

What's opening

Shake Shack has two more on the way: 32d and Chestnut (opening Friday) and Mall Boulevard in King of Prussia (Oct. 21). Danny Meyer's burger-and-shack chain selects local charities, and Schuylkill Banks and New Leash on Life will benefit from a cut of ice cream sales.

Tommy Up, who owns PYT and Emmanuelle in the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties, is fixing to convert the still-operating Grady O's bar at 1444 Frankford Ave. in Fishtown into a '50s-style tiki bar.

Federal Donuts has two more on the way next year: 701 N. Seventh St. and 3428 Sansom St.

Briefly noted

After more than a decade, South Philly's L'Angolo (1415 Porter St.) has added lunch, served Tuesday to Friday. Everything is $12 and under.

Bisou, Clark Gilbert's bilevel bistro in Manayunk, has closed. It was launched in June 2011 as Gemelli on Main, which he had moved from Narberth.

Funky Lil' Kitchen in Pottstown has closed, as chef-owner Michael Falcone moves into the food-truck world. Chef Greg Vassos, whose resumé includes L'Escalier at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., will open a more refined BYOB there called Racine.


 

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