Tuesday, April 24 is the public go-live for Rittenhouse Tavern, inside the grand Art Alliance on the edge of Rittenhouse Square (251 S. 18th St., 215-732-2412).
Le Bec-Fin alum Nicholas Elmi is at the stove, under the direction of chef Ed Brown and Restaurant Associates. Elmi told me that the cooking is refined but definitely not French. His menu includes Deviled Eggs with pork scrapple; Spring Bean Salad with soft egg, cured and crunch pork; New Jersey Striped Bass with Tuscan kale, hedgehog mushrooms, hibiscus-red wine; Rack of Berkshire Pork with crisp belly, purple mustard, quinoa crust, endive; Brown Butter Cake with rhubarb, lavender, crème fraiche sorbet; and Blueberry Red Wine Soup with thyme, lemon-sage ice cream.
LaFrieda is doing a custom burger blend. There's a family style whole fried Amish chicken, served with buttermilk biscuits and a side.
Elisabeth Knapp (Zahav, Percy Street) did the interior, deftly maintaining the old-money vibe and the Richard Blossom Farley bird mural. The space was the swishier Le Jardin and Opus 251 over the years. There's a small, discreet bar off the main room.