Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
May 16, 2012 08:32 AM

what's new?

Finally have a night to go out this weekend, and it feels like there have been a ton of new openings in the last 4-6 months. I'm sure I've already forgotten about at least half of them, but am kind of in the mood to try something new. Does anyone have any favorites that we should be thinking about?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Not a direct answer to your question, but here is a link that has all the new restaurants in the last 4-6 months. The link is form the Philadelphia Inq but I do not believe they maintain the site. Key to using it is to center it on the area that you want and then zoom in. Each dot if you roll over it will display the restaurant.

    5 Replies
      1. re: Buckethead

        Definitely is a good one, and they are closer to what will open soon. My only issue with them is they only keep track of what has opened in the last two months.......

        1. re: cwdonald

          There are links at the top of the page for prior openings going back to 2006.

          1. re: Buckethead

            Thanks.. if I could read I would be dangerous!

            1. re: cwdonald

              They're pretty tiny, I think 2006 is also the last time Foobooz's design was updated...

    1. Easily my favorite place that's new in the last 6 months is Vedge. It's one of the best restaurants in the city right now, I'd go there if I were you but you are probably going to have trouble getting in there this weekend. I'd call them though. Jamonera and Stateside are also very good and new. Vetri's newest place, Alla Spina is pretty good but I wouldn't recommend it over Jamonera or Stateside. Some new places I've been and wouldn't recommend include Spiga, Brick, and Ela.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Buckethead

        How was your experience at Spiga? I'm thinking about checking it out this weekend pre-theater, especially because of the small appetizers they have at 3 for $15 or whatever it is.

        1. re: barryg

          We did the 3 apps for $15, also another app, a pizza and a pasta. We didn't have anything I'd go back there to eat. The "Fennel Flan" was particularly disappointing, the flavors were OK but the "flan" had been overcooked into a terrible curdled mass. I can forgive some of the other failings of what we had but I don't see how you can send that flan dish out to a customer like that. Our pasta dish was probably the best thing, but it and several other dishes were severely under-seasoned. I do really like the space, it's nice and feels very connected to the street with some huge windows in front. They'd only been open for maybe a week when I went, it may improve, but for now you can walk a few minutes in almost any direction and go to a better restaurant: Vedge, Kanella, Sbraga, Fish, Mercato, Barbuzzo, Jamonera, Sampan, Lolita, Time, etc. It's not a good neighborhood to be mediocre in.

          1. re: Buckethead

            Thanks. The appealing thing about Spiga is that it is a bit closer to the theaters than the others, has a bar, and the menu has a lot of small plates at very reasonable prices. We'll probably dip in for snacks and drinks pre-theater, hopefully the flavors have improved.

            1. re: barryg

              I forgot to mention one thing I did like: the marinated anchovies. Of course, they aren't doing much to the anchovy. It's still not something I'd go back for. Let us know what you think.

      2. I think it's older than 6 months, but if you haven't been to definitely consider it.

        1. Thanks for all of the recs, including the links to the new openings, which were a great help. This is going to be a tough decision. Luckily I have waited way too long to make a res, so hopefully the decision will be made by the one place that has availabilty that we want.

          I think the finalists are Vedge (which I am shocked to be saying as an absolute carnivore), (still haven't been, though have been very excited to try), Russet (but with dietary restrictions, kind of a risk since the menu seems to change daily and be somewhat limited), and La Calaca Feliz or Blue Cat in Fairmount for a slightly more mexican/latin flare. I guess that's not very narrowed down.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tfalbo

            We ended up at We thought it was pretty good, but not transcendental.

            We started with the frisee salad w/poached egg, bacon and hash brown- a pleasant combination of some of my favorite things.

            I had the lamb with farro which was quite good. Lamb was cooked perfectly and the farro was a nice complement. Unquestionably the best of the items that we ate.

            SO had the crab cake with potato salad. The crab cake was only okay. Big, beautiful hunks of crab, but it was just screaming for a bit of mustard or some form of tang/bite (I also found it significantly underseasoned for my taste, but I realize that's a highly personal matter). I am ordinarily the greatest celebrant of simple flavors, but I found the crab cake was simple to a fault.

            We had two very nice cocktails. The Golden Sapphire was perfect on a hot & humid summer evening, and the SO had the Roman Punch which was extremely interesting. Wines by the glass were a little bit more expensive than I'm used to seeing, but with the food prices so extremely reasonable, I wasn't about to start complaining. Everything but the steak is under $20 on the menu, which would be impressive anywhere in the city, but is incredible given the location.

            I don't know that we would rush back based on our experience, but I do expect we'll be back at some point.