Le Bec-Fin returns next week; Industry lands in Pennsport

Dave Garry and wife Heather Gleason are the owners of the newly opening Bar-Restaurant The Industry, on the corner of Reed St and Moyamensing Ave. (ELISE WRABETZ / Staff Photographer)
Dave Garry and wife Heather Gleason are the owners of the newly opening Bar-Restaurant The Industry, on the corner of Reed St and Moyamensing Ave. (ELISE WRABETZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 07, 2012

Le Bec-Fin (1523 Walnut St., 215-567-1000) returns Tuesday, three months after founder Georges Perrier ceded it to his former general manager, Nicolas Fanucci.

Fanucci, who stunned the dining world by resigning his post as general manager of the vaunted French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., to buy the Philadelphia landmark, hired a French Laundry alum, Walter Abrams, as chef. He imported four other French Laundry alums, including Abrams' fiancee, pastry chef Jennifer Smith. Sommelier Philippe Sautriat comes from Alain Ducasse. Fanucci also commissioned a renovation, subtle yet powerful, by Philadelphia designer John Kelly. The downstairs bar has been warmed up and is now Chez Georges.

The redo eliminated the front dining room, turning it into a salon/anteroom; the restaurant went from 90 seats to 62 — 44 in the main room and 18 upstairs. Le Bec-Fin also has reverted to prix-fixe-only: $150 at dinner (Monday to Saturday) and, starting June 18, $55 at lunch (weekdays). That $150 tariff is the priciest in the city, a fine-dining splurge in an increasingly small-plate town. Fanucci promises a return to LBF's heyday: anticipatory service and a progressive menu employing French foundations. Though the cheese and dessert carts are gone, there will be a cart offering mignardises. The bar downstairs will have a classic French comfort-food menu.

What's new

Dave Garry and Heather Gleason of Center City's Good Dog Bar and partner Tom Darby have gone to Pennsport with The Industry (Reed Street and Moyamensing Avenue, 215-271-9500), a classic-looking neighborhood restaurant-bar named for the hospitality business. Chef Pat Szoke has seasonally influenced dinner and weekend brunch menus. Dinner specialty: beer-can poussin (chicken smoked over a beer can). Brunch: Hillbilly Philly (fried chicken topped with Cheddar and sausage gravy served on a biscuit). Discounts will be offered to hospitality folk. It's open at 4 p.m. for dinner daily (kitchen open till 1 a.m., bar till 2); weekend brunch is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fish, at 13th and Locust Streets, which closed three weeks ago after a falling-out between chef Mike Stollenwerk and investor Evan Prochniak, will reopen June 12. The menu, wine list, and cocktail menu are being revamped with an eye toward more small plates and dishes that can be shared, as well as a lower price point intended to drive traffic and make the place less of a destination restaurant. Also opening will be the courtyard, a 26-seat garden.

What's coming

The former Roy's restaurant at 15th and Sansom Streets has a new tenant: Ocean Prime, a luxe steak-and-seafood brand from Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, which bills the establishment as a modern American supper club. I'm hearing March 2013 as the projected opening. I'm also hearing that Cameron Mitchell — and he's an actual guy who owns about 20 restaurants in major cities — will drop $5 million on the build-out.

Photos, menus, and additional details can be found at www.philly.com/mike.

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