Thursday, August 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bibou duo coming to Rittenhouse Square

Pierre and Charlotte Calmels have inked a deal to take over Rittenhouse Tavern at the Art Alliance

Bibou duo coming to Rittenhouse Square

Pierre and Charlotte Calmels of Bibou.
Pierre and Charlotte Calmels of Bibou. AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer

Pierre and Charlotte Calmels - who over four years at Bibou have won every plaudit imaginable for a 30-seat BYOB - are going for the big time:

Rittenhouse Square.

The couple has inked a deal to take over Rittenhouse Tavern at the Art Alliance, whose last night will be Sept. 28. They will open a classic French restaurant (priced lower than their South Philly BYO). Wine prices also will be reasonably priced, they told me. 

Bibou will remain open with Ron Fougeray, their longtime sous chef (and Pierre's righthand man when he was chef at Le Bec-Fin), in the kitchen.

More coverage
 
Wine women: Philly's female sommeliers
 
Top Cook uses fresh farmers market foods
 
Truck Stop: Mucho Bueno

Ed Brown of Restaurant Associates, which operates Rittenhouse Tavern, said the Art Alliance has allowed the national company to walk away from the restaurant, which lost its mojo after the departure of chef Nicholas Elmi.

Elmi is opening Laurel, a BYOB, in November, and will compete on the next season of Bravo's Top Chef.

The Calmelses will get all the furnishings, a liquor license, and one of the sweetest outdoor gardens in Center City.

Name is up in the air. They hope to open at the end of October.

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected