How competitive have gastropubs become? Not long ago, offering a few dozen obscure beers and tweaking a pub grub menu until it could be called “chef-driven” was enough to get by. But now? Consider the new Alla Spina in Philadelphia. The chef driving its menu is the much-honored Marc Vetri, and his Italian spin on the gastropub format is setting a new standard for this segment. Alla Spina (Italian translation: “from the tap”) is a much-funkier venture than the ...

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