Le Bec-Fin’s been up and running under the leadership of new owner Nicolas Fanucci and his chef Walter Abrams for just about three weeks, and already the restaurant is undergoing some changes. Lunch service went live earlier this week, with its introduction comes tweaks to the restaurant’s dinner menu, and Chez Georges, the latest incarnation of the basement bar area, is now going full steam. But the real big news is: Le Bec-Fin has a brand new recycling bin out back. Why is this such big deal? Because it’s the first time in the restaurant’s 42-year history that it has implemented a proper recycling program. “I am very excited about it,” Fanucci told Grub Street. “In some ways, it’s a selfish thought; it makes us feel better about ourselves. But it’s a good thing, and we feel good about doing it.”
Up next is composting. Fanucci told us that he and Abrams have worked out a plan to give all compostable refuse from the restaurant back to the farmers in the area that they work with. That program, he added, is about ten days away from being put into practice.
Both Fanucci and Abrams, who have undergone extensive recycling and composting training while living and working in California, were surprised that Le Bec-Fin, or for that matter most other Philly restaurants, didn’t have a recycling program. That surprise turned to shock when they discovered out how difficult it was to bring one into play.
As far as menu changes go, Fanucci said that’s part of what he and Abrams had in mind from the start.
“We never wanted to have the same menu for three months,” he explained. “I don’t think the menu is going to change every day, but it will undergo pretty regular changes.”
Those switch-ups are closely tied to what the growing number of farmers they work with have cropping up in their fields.
“It’s funny, we had a magazine call us and say they wanted to take pictures of this, this and that,” Fanucci added. “But we don’t have those dishes on the menu anymore.”