Italian restaurant coming to shuttered Paris Bistro

by April Lisante
Posted 10/6/21

Chestnut Hill is getting a brand new Italian hotspot in about six or seven weeks. That’s just in time for the chilly air, hearty fall foods and holidays to make this daydream a reality.

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Italian restaurant coming to shuttered Paris Bistro

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There’s something about the fall that turns everyone into pioneers. I don’t mean hunting and gathering, of course. I mean sitting around outside at night with a cozy fire and some good food.

Just the other day, I was thinking ‘Wouldn’t it be great to go sit outside on the Avenue for a leisurely fall dinner and have some fresh pasta, or a nice charcuterie board?’ Yes, when I’m not grocery shopping, cleaning or writing, I do have time to daydream about such pioneering endeavors.

Well, my wish will soon be granted. No, not the wish where I never have to cook dinner again. My al fresco pasta wish. It seems Chestnut Hill is getting a brand new Italian hotspot in about six or seven weeks. That’s just in time for the chilly air, hearty fall foods and holidays to make this daydream a reality.

This week, I spoke with Antonio Presta, who along with his brother Giuliano Presta, will be bringing fresh, homemade Italian food to the Avenue at the old Paris Bistro and Jazz Cafe location. “We should be opening in mid-November, like the second or third week in November,” Presta said.

They plan to call the spot at 8235 Germantown Adelinas Restaurant & Bar, and oh what a treat this will be for the Hill. Adelinas translates as “nobility” for those who need a brush-up on their Italian, like me.

The Presta brothers are no strangers to the biz. The family owned and ran Bella Trattoria in Manayunk for upwards of 20 years until it closed seven years ago, and they continue to run Marzano Ristorante in Jenkintown, a bustling Italian spot featuring big plates of pasta, salads and pizzas. The Presta brothers own two locations of Trios Tomato Pie, including one on Township Line Rd. in Elkins Park, and another on Easton Rd. in Glenside. Antonio Presta said he has been in the biz his whole life, washing dishes, polishing silver and bartending at family restaurants since he was young.

“I’ve done every part of opening and closing since I was 16,” he said, adding that the new Adelinas “is more of a project for my brother and me.”

This newest venture will bring life once again to the prime corner slot beside the Chestnut Hill Hotel, the spot where Paris Bistro and Jazz Café hummed with chef Al Paris at the helm until about two years ago. The restaurant never reopened after it closed March 16, 2020 amid pandemic shutdowns.

Paris, a Philadelphia revolutionary who cheffed around the world and ran Center City’s Zanzibar Blue in the Bellevue Hotel, brought live jazz music and an inventive French menu to the corner in 2014. He has since retired from the kitchen to become a life coach, and still lives locally.

Since Paris restaurant closed, the spot has stood vacant on the corner of Germantown Ave. and E. Southampton, across from Jenks Academy of Arts and Science and beside the Chestnut Hill Hotel.

The new Adelinas will have a sultry, moody vibe with a full bar, signature cocktails and extensive wine list. The menu will be heavy on the fresh handmade pastas, and imported meats and cheeses, Antonio Presta told me this week. Interviews are still ongoing for a chef, he said. It will have a totally cozy, classic feel, Presta said.

“We’ll have more classical dishes,” Presta said. 

The interior will be “a warm, moody vibe,” with full-on brushed brass, green velvets and florals. The outside is already being keyed up with heating, the aim being year-round outdoor dining.

“We want people to frequent us not just as a date night, but even on a Tuesday at the last minute to sit at the bar and eat,” Presta said. “It’s going to have a sexy, art deco vibe.”

And with any luck, I’ll be one of the first to sit outside with my charcuterie meats and cheeses, pioneering my way into a nice plate of fresh pasta.

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