The Final Countdown: Le Bec-Fin Gets Ready For Opening Night

So with the grand re-opening of Le Bec-Fin right around the corner (barring any last-minute catastrophes, the first night of service will be June 12), and a very busy pre-opening week already (mostly) in the rearview, we thought it was high time that we put together one last run-down of everything that’s been reported about how the new Le Bec, under the command of Nicolas Fanucci and chef Walter Abrams, will operate. Here’s what we know…

The kitchen has actually been busy all week

It started with a test dinner on Monday, served to a bunch of chefs and restaurant folk from spots like Opa, Brauhaus Schmitz and Davio’s, and continued on with friends-and-family dinners throughout the week.

And they’re not getting a break tonight either

Tonight is the official “media dinner,” which isn’t really a dinner, but a cocktail party with snacks. Still, it’s something, and even if you’re only cooking a bunch of canapes, having a whole room full of food press and hangers-on can be maddening under the best of circumstances. That said, you can be damn sure that the Foobooz Mobile Party Unit will be there tonight. And we’ll be back to tell you all about it tomorrow.

The new Le Bec-Fin website is up…mostly

There’s no menu (yet) and the reservation button appears to be temporarily broken, but the Le Bec-Fin website that’s there now is certainly better than the place-holder that’s been living at the Le Bec-Fin address for the past couple months.

And, apparently, the interior is getting more than just a brisk cleaning

We snuck in a couple weeks back for the first look inside since Le Bec closed in March. And what did we find? A construction site, mostly, but also that the chandeliers had been preserved even if the host’s stand and some of the wood work had not. We also found the new/old logo (seen above) all over everything.

But that’s not the only change

Grubstreet had a great interview with Fanucci where he talked about everything from the inspiration for the new Le Bec menu to his time at the French Laundry. Some interesting things? The new Le Bec will have it’s own “chocolate lab” (no, not the dog kind, the candy kind–something Fanucci is maintaining in the remodel, unlike the dessert cart), a butcher’s room and (maybe someday) its own cooking school.

We do know 3 things about the menu for sure

Prixe fixe, 8 courses, $150

And one thing about the service

Fanucci has dropped the floor count from 18 tables to just 12–making things much less crowded and more exclusive.

But beyond that?

Only that Fanucci has always said that he will be modernizing the style of cuisine served at Le Bec in favor of something fresher, lighter and more in keeping with today’s tastes. Personally, I find a taste for butter and fat and rich sauces to be timeless, but whatever. Dude spent a few years in California and a lot of weird notions rub off on you when you live there. In any event, there will also be a menu of classic French comfort food served in the bar downstairs (which has been re-named Chez George), so if I see one mention of cilantro or raspberry vinaigrette anywhere on the main floor once the place opens for regular service on Tuesday night, I’m headed straight for the basement.

Check out all the Le Bec-Fin coverage [Foobooz]

Le Bec-Fin [official website]