Table Talk: 2 more restaurant/markets

Greg Vassos, chef-owner of Restaurant Racine in Pottstown.
Greg Vassos, chef-owner of Restaurant Racine in Pottstown.
Posted: November 28, 2013

2 more restaurant/markets

It's all the range: the chef-driven combo of market and artisan restaurant.

Fresh off Talula's Daily on Washington Square, we now have Farm & Fisherman Tavern & Market (1442 Route 70, Cherry Hill, 856-356-2282) and Tela's Market & Kitchen (1833 Fairmount Ave., 215-232-4710), both in their opening weeks.

Farm & Fisherman expands the farm-to-table philosophy of chef Josh Lawler's posh Center City BYOB as he takes the former Andreotti's Viennese Cafe in a partnership with chef Todd Fuller (formerly of Treno and Tangerine). The stylish, roomy bar/restaurant and bar (14 wines by the glass, 10 beer taps) are open for dinner only now; breakfast, lunch, and market are on the way.

On a much smaller scale on the edge of Fairmount, Tela's sells groceries (cheeses, meats, fish, plus prepared foods) while sharing a high-ceilinged space with a cafe. Developer Daniel Greenberg has hired chef Chad Williams (ex-Amada, Chifa). Williams will offer 12-seat, reservation-only dinners on Saturdays.

What's new

The well-traveled chef Greg Vassos - whose last stop was L'Escalier, the over-the-top French restaurant at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla. - has settled in Pottstown with the fine-dining Restaurant Racine, a 30-seat BYOB that took over earlier this month for Funky Li'l Kitchen (232 King St., 610-326-7400).

Being a little off the beaten path (20 minutes from King of Prussia) is good. "All the farms are out here," said Vassos, who relocated near family. He deals directly with the farmers.

He uses French technique.

Most patrons opt for four courses - portions are a bit smaller but generous enough. Check average is $60 a person. It's open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday.

What's coming

It's only taken 114 years, but South Philadelphia landmark Dante & Luigi's is adding a branch in the spring. Dante & Luigi's To-Go will sell frozen, refrigerated, and jarred Italian products from 12 W. Lancaster Ave. in Ardmore; entrance will be on Cricket Avenue.

Capogiro, the gelato giant whose business has grown from a single store 11 years ago to four locations and a wholesale operation, is on the move again. Stephanie and John Reitano have a deal at 233 Chestnut St. in Old City, next to the Best Western Hotel, for a cafe this winter that will include a bar. The couple plans to relocate the liquor license from the University City location.

Briefly noted

Misconduct Tavern (1511 Locust St.) has doubled its seating by building over the lot next door. New dining room includes a fireplace and wheelchair lift.

New Year's Eve will mark the finale for Alfa American Tavern (1709 Walnut St.). The lease is up and sky-high rents have forced them out, says co-owner Joe Beckham, who opened with business partner Giancarlo DiPasquale in April 2006. They have since opened Loco Pez in Fishtown.

The Mexican Post in Old City has closed after 24 years.


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