HUGE! ‘Top Chef’ contestant opening BYOB called Laurel at 1617 E. Passyunk

The red-hot Passyunk Avenue strip continues its streak with the news that Nicholas Elmi, a contest on the upcoming season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and the former chef/partner at Le Bec Fin, will be taking over the tiny space at 1617 E. Passyunk Ave.


The Insider reports that Elmi, who was most recently at the Rittenhouse Tavern at the Art Alliance on Rittenhouse Square, will be opening a BYOB in what had been Fond’s location before it moved to bigger digs with a bar at 11th and Tasker.

Says the Insider:

He’s calling it Laurel, after the state flower – “and it’s one of my favorite ingredients,” Nick told me. Menu will be classic and contemporary French, with entrees under $30.

It’s probably going to be tough getting a table, because the blog said Elmi plans to remove about 10 seats from what had been a 36-seat dining room.

Damn, Passyunk Ave., you are on fire!

nicholas elmi - starchefsdotcom
Pic from StarChefs

To get yourself primed, check this bio about Elmi on

2 thoughts on “HUGE! ‘Top Chef’ contestant opening BYOB called Laurel at 1617 E. Passyunk

  • August 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    I hope some of these new chefs remember us Vegans!
    Would love to go to some of these new restaurants with my friends who eat meat but there is usually nothing to eat.

  • August 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Love the idea of twenty tables or less. Congratulations
    East Passyunk and Nicholas. Brenda Board

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