A look at Laurel on East Passyunk

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Chef/owner Nicholas Elmi at Laurel, 1617 E. Passyunk Ave.

Nicholas Elmi heard it last week for the first time.

He was walking down the street when a man called out, "Hey! You're that guy!"

As in, that guy Nick Elmi, who is cruising along on Season 11 of Bravo's Top Chef.

While the mild-mannered chef (previously executive chef at Rittenhouse Tavern after a year and a half at Le Bec-Fin) enjoys his new-found celebrity, he has a tougher task at hand:

Tuesday, Nov. 5 marks the opening of his first restaurant, Laurel. The richly appointed, 24-seat, French-inspired BYOB takes the storefront at 1617 E. Passyunk Ave. (215-271-8299) that previously housed Fond, which moved around the corner last December.

Rittenhouse Tavern alumna Alice Tran is general manager.

Here's the opening menu, and note that every dish says "fall." Tran suggests that you order one from each category.

It's open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner only; it's best to reserve in the early going. The outdoor patio will be available next spring.

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