The tiny storefront on East Passyunk Avenue that was home to Clementine’s and, for three weeks, Lynda’s Mediterranean, will open on August 31 as Fond, a BYOB from Le Bec-Fin pastry chef Jessie Prawlucki, Le Bec-Fin sous chef Lee Styer and Lacroix captain Tory Keomanivong. We stopped by to chat with the pedigreed trio and find out what they have planned for their new restaurant and what Georges Perrier had to say about it.
Styer tells us the menu - which we’ll have later in the week - will be eclectic and not focus on a specific genre or culture and with the seasonal and local angle we’ve come to expect. Appetizers will run in the $9 to $13 range; entrees from $16 to $24. There are also plans for a tasting menu. The space is still unfinished, but a fresh coat of paint in an appley green and a new hardwood floor has softened and brightened the formerly bright orange room.
So how will Fond compare to Le Bec and Lacroix? Keomanivong says ‘It’s a lot more casual than where we came from, a comfortable neighborhood place, outgoing and not formal. Guests will get to know us and we’ll be able to do special things for them - to have fun with it and be playful.” Styer adds, “But with the high quality standards and service that we’re used to - we’ve learned a lot [from Le Bec and Lacroix].
How did chef Perrier feel about losing Prawlucki and Styer (who are a couple and met while attending the Culinary Institute of America) two of his high-ranking chefs simultaneously? Styer says, “I told him first and he didn’t say anything right away. Then he started asking little questions and I could tell he was excited. He told us ‘anything you need’ and said he’ll be there at the opening. I thought he might do the opposite, but he says he always supports the people that work for him that he respects. I hope he’ll come to the opening.” Keomanivong adds, “Chef Lacroix, same thing - we’ll have to sit them at a table together!”
Fond, 1623 E. Passyunk Ave.