Plus, gluten-free Pop-Tarts, more Harrisburg news, and a new garden restaurant right in the middle of Center City.
Welcome back to the summary of Monday’s news, friends. Honestly, I didn’t expect to say this so soon, but we have Lots food and restaurant news happening this week — lots of openings, gluten-free Pop-Tart ice cream sandwiches, summer events at LOVE Park, and a little more politics. So let’s jump right in and see what happens this week.
Gotta Catch Them All
For a long time, it seemed like every new restaurant should be named after one thing and then another. Harp & Crown, Bud & Marilyn’s, Brick and Mortar, Butcher & Barkeep, and so on and so forth. For a while, there was a thing about single word names (Cinder, Aether, Cadence, Goldie), and something to… special names (Nunu, Cry Baby, Hungry Pigeon). Now, however, it seems that every possible combination of words in English has been used by some restaurant somewhere, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the two new restaurants we’re announcing this week (both opening in Kensington) sound like off-brand Pokemon names.
First, there’s Night — a very normal pizzeria, bakery, and bottle shop open now at 310 West Master Street. It was actually opened during the pandemic as a must-do operation. But now Open– open, with chairs and tables and everything. It’s a beautiful space, bright, tidy and with clean lines, a large communal table and six pies on a board, along with a few small plates. Why it was named Wall-E’s girlfriend is anyone’s guess.
Second is Forin, a “lifestyle cafe” at 2041 Coral Street inside the old Harbison Dairy factory (which has been converted into a “boutique residential and commercial space”).
Forîn (named, of course, for one of the less daring dwarves left behind Hobbits) is a combination of artisanal coffee shops (complete with specialty house mixes created in collaboration with Moonraker Coffee Roasters and an ever-expanding pour list), cafes, bakeries and … other goodies? I’ll let the press release speak for itself here.
While high-integrity coffee programs come first, there are layers to be peeled off at Forîn. The cafe will serve as a welcoming space for creatives and community, with inspiring workspaces and a vibrant artistic programme, plus private events and catering capabilities. In the coming months, pop-ups with existing partners, neighbors and small businesses will appear, covering, food, drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and lifestyle…Minimalist clothing, accessories and home furnishings will be among the style choices Forîn life from independent makers, including: Frunzi Ceramics, The Corner Store, Wynnefield Candle Company, SCB Naturals, and more. Forîn’s clothing selection will highlight local and international designers, such as Paratodo, HardenCO, Soulland, Bather and Kestin. To complement their retail offering, Forîn teamed up with Triangle Roasters, once again, to introduce a unique chocolate bar, consisting of Haitian Pisa chocolate, oat milk and maldon sea salt — which also happens to be completely vegan.
Personally, I prefer coffee in restaurants. But if you’re in Kenzo and looking for a bespoke cup of co-branded experimental coffee, a vegan chocolate bar, a few candles and, I dunno, a shirt? This looks like it will be ideal place for you. Forîn opens today. Check them out on Insta @Forincafephl.
Summer in the city
One of the many openings we announced on Foobooz before the world came to a halt was Loveluck. It was supposed to be Marcie Turney and Val Safran’s sixth restaurant in Philly, slated to open sometime in 2019 in an abandoned UFO-shaped welcome center right in the middle of LOVE Park.
But here we are, more than two years later, and while Safran Turney Hospitality won’t open in fact Loveluck not yet, they did a summer pop-up called Pages on Loveluck. Covering 9,000 square feet of gardens and offering seating for 200 people at Adirondak picnic tables and chairs, the Lawn will be an outdoor version of its namesake, offering picklebacks and watermelon margaritas, burgers, cheese fries, Mexican street corn, and gochujang fried chicken wraps. from Safran -Turney’s new food truck.
It all sounds like fun, right? But the city has gone all-in in this experiment — bringing in a dozen shade trees, a thousand pink and purple flowers, and stringing together hundreds of vintage-inspired Edison string lights to light things up after sunset. There is an umbrella table and cornhole set plus, for the little ones, lawn games and a sandbox to play with. Honestly, it sounds magical.
Opening day was last Saturday and, subsequently, The Lawn will be open Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 10 p.m., and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through October. At that point, Lawn will be closed and Safran Turney Hospitality will refocus on building a full-service UFO-shaped Loveluck which is pending with an expected (hopefully) opening sometime in 2022.
Meanwhile, in Harrisburg…
For those of you tracking (and I know a lot of you), the Republican-controlled PA senate ruled last week that all restaurants are fine now, making a lot of money, and you all don’t really need to-go cocktails this summer.
We talked at length about the end of the takeout cocktail rule last week. At the end, I mention the fleeting hope that the state legislature will vote for (and pass) the bill, HB 1154, that would make take-away cocktails from restaurants permanently legal in the state. But last week, a spokesman for the leader of the Senate majority confirmed that all discussion of the bill was postponed until the fall – after lawmakers took a summer vacation.
Penn Live has a really good breakdown of how this whole thing fell apart—including a scathing response from Melissa Bova of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association—which you can check out if you’re interested.
Gluten Free Pop-Tarts, Anyone?
If you have a problem with gluten, you probably already know chef Lila Jai Colello. He spent years working for Eric Ripert, Wolfgang Puck and the Food Network before being diagnosed with a form of Celiac so severe that he couldn’t even touch regular wheat flour.
But instead of giving up baking, Colello turned to using all his know-how to recreate gluten-free breads and pastries that could compete with the “real thing.” And she now brings freshly baked flaky croissants, bread, and Pop-Tarts.
Colello will be bringing lots of baked goods, made that morning, every Wednesday and Saturday from 2-6pm starting June 30th, with a full list of what will be available posted every Tuesday and Friday on his Instagram. I’ll be keeping an eye on her Pop-Tart ice cream sandwich, done in collaboration with Jaw Milk, which she promises to be available at some point—like maybe opening day.
An earlier version of this article misrepresented the Poi Dog restaurant name as idiosyncratic. The description has been removed and the article has been updated.