Sunday, November 29, 2015

Shakeup at Le Bec Fin

Sources say owner Nicolas Fanucci is out.

Shakeup at Le Bec Fin

Nicolas Fanucci in October 2012 showing off Le Bec Fin´s iPad menus.
Nicolas Fanucci in October 2012 showing off Le Bec Fin's iPad menus. MICHAEL KLEIN /

It appears that another shakeup is underway at Le Bec Fin.

Two sources inside the Walnut Street restaurant tell me that owner Nicolas Fanucci has left. The same sources insist that the restaurant will continue.

The restaurant's publicist today denied that Fanucci was gone or that changes were afoot.  Fanucci did not return a message left on his cell phone. The restaurant's receptionist said he was "out but would return next week."

Le Bec Fin has not enjoyed a smooth going in its new incarnation. After founder Georges Perrier stepped aside in March 2012, Fanucci, a onetime general manager for Perrier, relocated here from Napa's vaunted French Laundry to run it. He imported French Laundry alumnus Walter Abrams as chef and partner.

Fanucci kept LBF's elegant look and feel, reopening with $150-a-person prix-fixe dinners. But three months ago, Abrams left - the reason was never disclosed - and Fanucci more recently instituted a la carte menus and Sunday brunch.

Meanwhile, a few top-name chefs from around town have told me that Fanucci reached out, seeking their ideas of how to right the ship. Chris Scarduzio, chef/owner of Table 31 and a longtime associate of Perrier, has been seen working in the kitchen recently with chef de cuisine Steven Eckerd. Scarduzio did not return messages seeking comment.

Stay tuned.

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Michael Klein
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