Foobooz is friends with this guy named Ronnie Ribant. He’s the man behind Grand Circus Paper & Toy. He makes hand-crafted paper toys and models of iconic Philly-related things, ranging from SEPTA buses to the whole SEPTA bus crash scene at Monk’s. You’ve probably seen his work in stores (Nice Things on EPX) and in restaurants/bars (Memphis Taproom has its own paper model displayed inside). We thought they were pretty cool, so we asked Ronnie if he could make something for us, and only us. He agreed.
And now we have a beautiful model of 1312 Spruce Street, the iconic building that’s been home to two of the most important restaurants in Philadelphia history: Le Bec Fin and Vetri. It’s got the mural on the side, and a hanging sign with Vetri on the front and Le Bec Fin on the back. Head over to the store to check it out.
But that’s not all!
Foobooz reports that the former Le Bec Fin will open later in the year as Avance with chef Justin Bogle. For more, go here.
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The former Le Bec Fin at 1523 Walnut Street will reopen later this year under the name Avance. Two-star Michelin chef Justin Bogle had already been announced as the chef for what promises to be a progressive American restaurant. Bogle received his Michelin stars and other serious accolades while chef at New York’s Gilt.
Bogle, an area native, promises the restaurant will feature locally sourced ingredients prepared in classic and modern techniques. Bogle sees Avance as appealing to diners with a taste for exploration and new experiences. Chef Bogle is “determined to create a Philadelphia experience like no other.”
More on Avance »
Over on the Insider, they’ve got pictures of the iconic Le Bec Fin sign being taken off the building at 1523 Walnut (which, sometime soon, will become a completely different restaurant under the command of chef Justin Bogle). But this isn’t the end for those storied letters. They’re being moved to their new home at McGillin’s Old Ale House, where they’ll join a collection of famous names and logos (Wanamakers, Gimbels, Deux Cheminees) already hung in places of honor.
Honestly, I’m glad that they’ll still be displayed somewhere. It’s a fitting tribute. Head on over to the Insider to check out the full story behind the transfer.
Le Bec Fin Sign To Live On [Insider]
Illustration by Kagen Mcleod
The New York Times’ Frank Bruni was at the final night of Le Bec-Fin at Vetri where he was able to enjoy a heavenly dinner from a bygone era.
Mr. Perrier teamed with Mr. Vetri in the kitchen, and they produced a seven-course tasting menu that wasn’t just a distillation of the best of Le Bec-Fin but a valentine to a lost civilization, the one where Lutèce, La Caravelle and La Côte Basque in Manhattan once flourished.
And what a valentine. From the caviar and the escargots, my dining companion and I proceed to sautéed sweetbreads, a crab galette, a fillet of beef and more, some of it with sauces so rich and intense they’re druggy.
For 3 Nights, a Legend Lives Again [New York Times]
For the next three nights Le Bec-Fin will return to its original location and current location of Vetri at 1312 Spruce Street. Marc Vetri is converting his restaurant over to Le Bec-Fin and handing his kitchen over to Georges Perrier. The dinners sold out almost immediately when announced last month. As you can see, Vetri is going all out in transforming the restaurant to its former self.
Check out more photos on Marc Vetri’s instagram feed.
Photo via Carolyn Gracie
It truly is the end. A tipster forwarded us this photo of Le Bec Fin’s signature chandeliers being removed from the Center City restaurant.
The death, rebirth, and strange, sad second passing of Philadelphia’s most famous restaurant
We got word early on a Saturday night that something bad was happening at Le Bec Fin.
In phone calls and text messages, sources were telling us that Nicolas Fanucci—the man who bought Le Bec Fin from Georges Perrier just over a year ago, who brought it back from death once and had been the primary architect of Le Bec 2.0—had left. Literally just walked out the front door and vanished.
Thus began the final, shuddering weeks of Le Bec Fin—the restaurant that once was Philadelphia’s pride and joy.
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“To my taste, Le Bec Fin represents one of the chief glories of French cooking not only in Philadelphia but in all of America as well. The food is served in a setting of unpretentious elegance, a feast for the eyes and the mind. Massive chandeliers with gleaming leaded-glass ornaments reflect in mirrored glass panels. The walls are covered with Scalamandre damask. The china is of an 18th-century Limoges pattern called Singapour, the silver is by Cristoffle and the chairs are chestnut. The staff is deft, courteous and well informed.”
~Craig Claiborne, 1985
Critics Choices, Personal Favorites [NY Times]
As the final foot on Le Bec Fin dropped yesterday there was news that current chef Steven Eckerd would be landing at the old Mainland Inn in Harleysville, Montgomery County. The Mainland Inn, constructed in 1760, has been closed for almost three years and was purchased by Sloane Six and Scott Clemons, who also run the nearby Quarry Hill Farm, where Eckerd has served as agricultural architect.
Eckerd will bring an honest farm-to-table-concept to the inn, all you need to know to understand Eckerd’s connection with local farmers is to follow his Twitter feed, which is predominantly him talking to local farmers. The menu will feature the freshest, ripest and most flavorful organic produce Eckerd can get his hands on. Eckerd aims to “bring health-conscious, approachable organic meals to the Philadelphia region.” Eckerd says it Mainland Inn will be fine dining, “but it’ll be in a setting that will have a little more of a purpose than just the fine dining experience itself.”
Eckerd, who served as sous chef at Le Bec Fin since it reopened in June, 2012, was promoted to chef de cuisine in February. Eckerd will work with chef Justin Bogle over the summer as Bogle takes the iconic Walnut Street restaurant in a new direction.
Eckerd who studied at the Culinary Institute of America, trained under Francois Bruel and Eddy Leroux at Daniel. In Philadelphia he worked under Marc Vetri at Osteria and Vetri.
New owner: Mainland Inn set to reopen in September [Souderton Independent]
Photo via Souderton Independent