Philly’s dining scene gets a boost this week with the debut of a giant beer garden, American brasserie, and cafe from a Mexican chef, adding a trio of fresh options for outdoor dining and takeout while indoor dining remains off limits.
Restaurants in Philadelphia can welcome back customers inside, at 25-percent capacity, starting next month. While studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, the level of risk involved with patio and sidewalk dining is contingent on restaurants, and diners, following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.
Read on for details on the latest openings in Philly.
Philadelphia’s roving beer garden that gives back unveils its latest location on Friday, August 28 at South Philly’s FDR Park. The sprawling, 50,000-square-foot outdoor setup (1500 Pattison Avenue) will stay put through the fall, serving local brews, wine, cocktails, and casual backyard eats from food trucks and tented bar areas. Starters and sides include a soft pretzel, sour cream and onion dip, white bean hummus, and corn bread with barbecue butter. A sandwich section includes pulled pork or jerk chicken salad varieties on a seeded milk bun. Pastries and carbs served on-site come from Lost Bread Co.
Philly’s FCM Hospitality started Parks on Tap in 2016 to raise funds to restore and maintain Philly’s parks. A portion of sales of Mainstay Independent Company’s specially brewed Love Your Park Pale Ale cans ($7) will help support the effort.
Hours are Wednesday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and weekends from noon to 10 p.m. A daily digital sign-in is required, and guests can get a text to return if capacity is reached at the airy venture located across from FDR’s public golf course. Parks on Tap typically switches up locations week to week, but the pandemic caused the beer garden to linger longer at each. Its latest locale at FDR marks the end of Parks on Tap’s summer residency at Fairmount Horticulture Center Arboretum. An additional location at Water Works remains open.
A 130-seat American brasserie slinging steaks, veggies, and seafood debuted at 631 North Broad Street on Tuesday, August 25. The neighborhood newcomer comes from Dan and Alex Greenberg, who run nearby Francisville cafe and market Tela’s. Their latest venture’s versatile menu includes ricotta gnocchi, scallops plated over a carrot curry spread, East Coast oysters, burrata, and branzino or rib-eye for two. The cocktail list plays with lots of seasonal ingredients, with a “Finca Vigía” (Reserva rum, blackberry peach cordial, and lime) and straightforward “At the Grave of the Forgotten” marrying bourbon, cherry, ginger, vanilla, and lemon. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Weekend brunch joins the mix starting Saturday, September 12 (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Customers can order takeout online or book a seat via Resy.
The South Philly space that housed short-lived Bistro La Bete gets a new life as a daytime cafe led by Mexican chef Isrrael Romero. The first-time restaurant owner brings chilaquiles, omelets, churros paired with a cup of hot chocolate, and Nutella-topped croissants to the East Passyunk Crossing neighborhood (1703 S. 9th Street). Romero’s serving just breakfast and lunch to start (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), with plans to add dinner in a month or two. Peaking produce helps build salads, and the midday menu also includes a prosciutto and provolone panini. Customers can go the takeout route or snag a seat across a cute back patio. On the drinks front, there’s fresh-squeezed juices, frothy and fruity licuados, caffeinated concoctions, and aguas frescas. Romero’s wife, Brenda Gonzaga, handled the redesign.