8 New Eateries to Watch
by michelle mass
Stratus Lounge’s rooftop terrace.
Capturing the essence of southern Italy and the Mediterranean is exactly what owners Antonio Spinola and Salvatore Carattadoes accomplish at their Blue Bell hot spot, L’Angolo Blue. With several new additions to their seasonal menu, make sure to try the fagioli e gamberi from executive chef Manuel Jimenez: shrimp lightly tossed with fresh tomatoes, cannellini beans, and fresh basil. 602 Skippack Pike, Blue Bell, 215-641-6789
The newest addition to Win Signature Restaurants, Azie Southeast lives up to all of its expectations. Serving over 30 seasonal and craft brews and a variety of flavors from Southeast Asia, executive chef Kazuyuki Mitsui is in fine form here. Try the Thai chicken wings or lemongrass beef and one of the many rice and noodle dishes. 4755 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, 610-353-5353
Casale Italian Restaurant
Newly renovated, Casale brings a fresh Italian atmosphere to Newtown Square. It provides guests with a rustic, old-world experience that truly embodies the Italian meaning of its new name, which translates as “farmhouse.” Fresh fish, steaks, local vegetables, handmade pastas, and crusty Italian breads are all highlights of the revamped menu, which includes a lengthy wine list. 191 S. Newtown Street Road, Newtown Square, 610-356-9700
Craft & Claw
Old City’s Craft & Claw offers unique twists on classic dishes courtesy of chef Nick Fabian. The spot inhabits a large space filled with reclaimed wood, steel, and subway tile, making the atmosphere warm yet modern. Whether you order the hearty bacon blue crab mac & cheese or the brioche cheeseburger topped with fried onions, Gouda, and fried egg, be sure to wash it down with an American craft beer or a specialty cocktail. 126 Chestnut St., 267-886-9266
Realizing that one location was simply not enough, South Philly’s Federal Donuts is now in Center City. Try one of their unconventional—but amazing—flavor combinations like spicy PB&J, Green Tea Sesame, or Mint Chocolate Cookie. Lunch brings their famous fried chicken, also in an assortment of styles and seasonings—but arrive early to put in your order, starting at 7 am. The kitchen is open until 7 pm, or until the chicken is sold out. 1632 Sansom St.
Stephen Starr and New York restaurateur Joe Carroll have teamed up to bring Carroll’s wildly popular barbecue spot of the same name to the City of Brotherly Love. Dry-rubbed meats from local farms are smoked in-house and served with hearty sides like sauerkraut and burnt baked beans. Nine beers are on tap, accompanied by a well-edited selection of bourbon and whiskeys. 1208 Frankford Ave., 215-391-4888
Located in Bella Vista and named after the alley behind the eatery, The Mildred offers seasonal American cuisine influenced by British and French cooking techniques. General Manager Michael Dorris and chef Michael Santoro proudly feature housemade breads, pastas, and sausages that guests can enjoy while taking in the newly renovated décor. Don’t forget to choose a perfectly paired glass of wine from their 150-bottle wine cellar. 824 S. Eighth St., 267-687-1600
Stratus Rooftop Lounge
The much-hyped opening of Hotel Monaco’s rooftop lounge is worthy of the buzz—there’s nothing quite like it in Philadelphia. Two private enclosed pavilions—one decorated entirely in white, the other in black—flank an open-air patio complete with a 30-foot fireplace (glass garage doors keep the main bar area warm on chilly days). The lounge has a menu of shareable light bites to accompany Stratus’s inventive craft cocktail menu. 433 Chestnut St., 215-925-2111