Today is the expected first full day at Mantra (122 S. 18th St., 215-988-1211), a well-appointed pan-Asian from restaurant veteran Al Paris
in the space north of Rittenhouse Square that housed the Fishmarket before a couple of patisseries came and went.Paris, whose resume includes chef-ownership of such spots as Rococo, Circa and Guru and who is now corporate chef for the Bynum brothers at Zanzibar Blue, the Sound of Philadelphia and Warmdaddy's, did the interior himself over the last several months.
Most restaurateurs would be offended by being called a chiseler.Paris
, though, can chisel with the best of them.His
work began with the delivery of trees, which he
carved into interior furnishings.He
bar out of butternut and black walnut; specialties there will be sake and shochu.
It's open Tuesdays through Saturdays till 1 a.m. for food and till 2 at the bar. (Psst. Say it "MAHN-tra," as Paris
and Oliveri take pains to do, and not "MAN-tra," as many Flufyans undoubtedly will.)