Fall Restaurant Preview: Ten Things to Look Forward To

As sad as we are to see Summer go, we’d be lying if we said we weren’t equally enthusiastic to see what’s in the pipeline for Philly this fall in terms of new restaurants. There’s some big and exciting things coming. And Stephen Starr’s latest venture is just one of them! On our dining horizon is everything from a long-awaited debut from a Top Chef and first tastes from rising culinary stars to cocktails, vegetables and Korean fried chicken. Since we’re barely able to contain all this excitement, we decided to share it with this slideshow. Click through to check it out, and start planning next season’s dinner dates.

And make sure you check out Grub Street’s fall preview coverage in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston, too!

2025 Sansom StreetConcept: Modern Italian with an emphasis on Northern Italy.Why We’re Excited: This being Philly, a fall restaurant preview that doesn’t include a newcomer from Stephen Starr could possibly send the Earth spinning off its axis. Thankfully, Starr has Il Pittore, his forever-in-the-works and repeatedly sidelined partnership with his longtime Director of Menu Development, Chris Painter, in the pipeline. Painter is credited as the brains behind the menus for multiple Starr restaurants, and received considerable acclaim while at the helm of Tangerine and Angelina. The 80-seat, dinner-only bi-level restaurant is currently taking shape inside the space that until late August housed Noble. Anticipated Open Date: October
440 South Broad Street Concept: American; “Things that are familiar, and things that are not familiar,” Sbraga told Grub Street.Marc Vetri says he’s excited to see the self-titled debut from Top Chef Kevin Sbraga opening within a few blocks of his Spruce St. flagship this fall. “From the way he talks about food, it sounds like it’s going to be interesting,” Vetri told Grub Street. “A lot of these guys start off with mammoth restaurants and lots of investors and they get in over their heads a little bit too early. Whenever a new chef-owner can start off with a 60 to 65 seat restaurant and really stay focused on the things that matter, they’re less likely to get overwhelmed. It’s a really awesome starting point for him.”Anticipated Open Date: Late fall
1221 Locust StreetConcept: A vegetable restaurant.Why We’re Excited: Owners Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby are still the only restaurateurs to cook an all-vegan meal at the James Beard House. Vedge, which Landau has said repeatedly will be a vegetable counterpoint to L.A.’s  Animal, is the follow-up to the couple’s well-received, and recently shuttered Horizons. Landau says to expect things like antipasto, pickles and vegetable charcuterie from Vedge’s veggie bar, and a host of roasted, grilled and smoked dishes from the kitchen. Anticipated Open Date: Mid-September
777 South Broad StreetConcept: Modern Indian Kitchen and Lounge Why We’re Excited: Munish Narula, who’s built an impressive small empire with his Tiffin chain of fast-casual Indian restaurants, has kept the majority of the details of his upscale, small plates restaurant under wraps for nearly a year. He and his culinary team, which consists of Sylva Senat, the talented former sous chef from Jean Georges and Buddakan in New York, and Master Indian Chef Sanjay Shendhave (pictured), made multiple trips to India to gain inspiration for their collaborative menu. The menu is  being described as authentic Indian recipes mingled with classic French and contemporary Continental technique. Anticipated Open Date: September 8
1219 South Second StreetConcept: Coffee. Donuts. Fried Chicken. Mica’s opening chef, and soon to be head hancho at his own restaurant in Queen Village, Jason Cichonski is psyched about this joint venture from restaurateurs Michael Solomonov and Stephen Cook, BODHi Coffee owners Thomas Henneman and Bob Logue and local food writer/bartender Felicia D’Ambrosio. The promise of coffee and donuts in the morning, and several different types of fried chicken in the afternoon and early evening, including Solomonov’s take on Korean friend chicken, has him salivating in anticipation. “It’s going to be sick,” Cichonski told Grub Street. “I know where I’m going to be getting breakfast and dinner this fall.”Anticipated Open Date: Early fall.
627 South Third StreetConcept: American progressive.Why We’re Excited: Cichonski (pictured), who honed his chops at Lacroix before joining forces with Chip Roman earlier this year at Chestnut Hill’s well received Mica, says to expect the same standard of service and refinement here at his debut that you would find at those aforementioned restaurants, but at lower price points and in a more relaxed atmosphere. Along with sophisticated, seasonal fare, he plans to offer inspired small plates and “killer” cocktails at the bar. Anticipated Open Date: Mid-to-late fall
1700 East Passyunk AvenueConcept: Rustic Italian, pizza and craft beer. Why We’re Excited: Chef-owner Gordon Dinerman, who previously held stints at Starr’s Barclay Prime and later City Tap House, brings his brick-oven pizza and rustic Italian beer bar to South Philly’s East Passyunk Ave. just in time for the restaurant row’s next growth spurt. Expect Mediterranean-inspired small plates, sandwiches, salads and pizzas, as well as entree’s cooked to order in a wood-fired brick pizza oven. The beer selection will highlight local and seasonal selections, plus imported Italian craft brews. Anticipated Open Date: Labor Day
1536 East Passyunk AvenueConcept: American restaurant and bar.Why We’re Excited: Stephen Slaughter and William Bonforte, who have successfully rolled out two Green Eggs Cafe locations in South Philly and NoLibs (a third is on the way at 13th and Locust), and now are turning their attention to all-American with this more sophisticated endeavor. As far as locations go, they couldn’t have picked a better one. South Philly’s “singing fountain,” which is already flanked by Chiarella’s, Izumi and Da Vinci, serves as Stateside’s focal point. It will serve American cuisine and offer American-made spirits, wines and beers.Anticipated Open Date: Late fall.
1800 Federal StreetConcept: Gastropub; Neighborhood barWhy We’re Excited: Point Breeze trailblazer John Longacre, he owns neighboring bar South Philadelphia Tap Room and coffee and craft beer shop Brew, has been hard at work on this project for nearly a year. The bi-level space will feature a 16-tap draught system and two hand pumps for cask-conditioned suds at the bar, and a sandwich-forward menu from Tap Room chef Scott Schroeder. Anticipated Open Date: Any day now.
1029 Race StreetConcept: Cocktail bar with a speakeasy-esque vibe. Why We’re Excited: Lêe, the single-name-only Mr. Mysterioso behind this much talked about Chinatown venture, has been promising to blow Philly’s collective consciousness with the cocktail bar to end all cocktail bars since early March. When Grub Street was given a brief walk-through back in early July, it appeared to be nearly complete. Lêe expects to stock the bar with more than 1,000 bottles of booze, and offer as many as a dozen different types of ice. Food will be limited to a selection of five dishes each from five of Chinatown’s most popular restaurants. Anticipated Open Date: Fall.
Fall Restaurant Preview: Ten Things to Look Forward To