2023 Restaurant Reinvention
When Nicholas Elmi opened Laurel in 2013, he was trying to make fine dining fun after working at Le Bec-Fin. Over the years, though, the place became serious. Then, this spring, he took on two new partners (general manager Jane Fryer and chef Kevin McWilliams) and transformed Laurel into an à la carte restaurant serving coconut-fat-washed Negronis, and clams topped with creamy vin jaune sauce and pops of trout roe that give it a new lease on life. Honestly, it’s just way more fun this way.
1617 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148; restaurantlaurel.com