VF Casino Resort to Get a New Taste of Palladino

April 8, 2016

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal Kenneth Hilario

If you thought Chef Luke Palladino was finished with Philadelphia after opening two restaurants in less than two years, then think again.

Palladino this year plans to open his third restaurant in the region, less than two years after his Philadelphia debut on East Passyunk Avenue.

The New Jersey chef entered the Philadelphia market in 2014 when he opened Palladino’s on East Passyunk. Then, last year, Palladino opened LP Steak at the Valley Forge Casino Resort, where the chef plans to continue his Philadelphia streak.

Palladino in mid-May will be opening Fianco, a 1,620-square-foot pop-up restaurant focusing on Italian cuisine.

Fianco, meaning “next door” in Italian, is situated — unsurprisingly — next door to LP Steak, taking over the space vacated by restaurant Viviano. Fianco’s entrance is located near LP Steak’s hostess station, and a full bar is located between the two restaurants.

Fianco will only be open from Friday through Saturdays.

LP Steak has proven very successful since it opened, according to Jennifer Galle, the casino’s chief marketing officer, who said Fianco was born to accommodate customers unable to secure reservations to LP Steak.

Since opening, LP Steak has done more than 24,000 covers, averaging 570 covers each weekend, according to the Valley Forge casino. Its highest cover figure was at 1,085.

“We want it to get to market quickly and take care of our customers and serve that need,” Galle said.

Fianco will operate throughout the summer until the fall, or some time in September, Galle said. Its future will be evaluated based on its performance during its run.

The food menu at Fianco will include Italian-American cuisine like grilled octopus bruschetta, veal chop milanese, and lobster and shrimp fra diavolo.

“We wanted to make it more Italian,” Galle said. “It’s another option for our guests to experience. It was a natural fit because we’ve had so much success since [LP Steak] started last October.”

“Fianco will round out our offerings by filling a niche between the casual pub atmosphere at Valley Tavern and the upscale steakhouse vibe of LP Steak,” Galle said.

Fianco will have up to 80 seats, and will have two-, four- and six-top tables, plus a large family-style chef’s table that can seat up to 20 people.

For drinks, Fianco will have 20 wines by the glass, 200 wines by the bottle, and there will be 12 beers on tap, a list of beers by the bottle and cans, and cocktails.

Fianco will have about 14 full- and part-time employees.

The interior designer is Gruber Design Associates, which has worked on restaurant Amis, Alla Spina, Mercato and Valanni.

Fianco will feature earth tones and wooden furniture, and minimalist art work and decor.