This Crowns 18th Street ‘Restaurant Row'

The highly anticipated return of Bryan Sikora to the streets of Philadelphia is just a few days away. His new restaurant,, located in the aka Hotel in Rittenhouse Square, is set to open in the middle of next week.

If Sikora's name sounds familiar, he was the culinary force behind the critically acclaimed Django (which received an almost unheard-of four bells from critic Craig LaBan), and Talula's Table, which was once the toughest table to get in the U.S.

We popped into the almost-restaurant today for a preview of what we can expect when they cut the ribbon, and Sikora whipped up a plate of Spaghetti Carbonara—with fresh pasta from their neat-o extruder—which will be on the opening menu.

"It's an old school pasta dish, but we've updated it with stronger flavors," says Sikora. "We threw in some speck ham to bring out a heavy smoke flavor that really makes the dish pop, without throwing it out of balance."

Sikora, along with business partner David Fields, are excited about their home on 18th Street, which is quickly becoming a new restaurant row.

"There's lots of good stuff going on here," says Fields. "With the Franklin Bar and The Dandelion, along with the other stalwarts, it's an up-and-coming food-centric neighborhood, and we're excited to be a part of it." [The Feast]

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