Once upon a time, Le Bar Lyonnais was a sexy hideaway beneath Le Bec-Fin. But that time has passed. Le Bec-Fin has given way to Avance. And beneath Avance is its bar—still clandestine, still sexy, but now modern rather than hung with blue velvet drapes and mirrors. The space shares the same theme as the dining room upstairs—black-walnut-topped bar and high tables—but downstairs, the gray walls and low ceilings combine for a darker, more intimate space, ideal for pre-dinner drinks or a late-night rendezvous. The drinks are creative and playfully named; “A Roll of Quarters in a Clutch Purse” and “See You Around the Bend” are among the most clever. Besides the signature cocktails, drinkers can peruse the long menu of liquors, wines and beers. Diners can order from the regular Avance à la carte menu or try one of the bar-only dishes, including the lamb burger—a two-handed sandwich featuring Border Springs Farm lamb topped with red onion marmalade and feta cheese. Ordered at medium-rare, this juicy burger teases at just what chef Justin Bogle has in store upstairs.
First appeared in the March, 2014 issue of Philadelphia magazine.