Chef Chip Roman worked for years in Center City for Marc Vetri and Georges Perrier.
When he took the plunge as a solo act, he headed to Conshohocken and opened Blackfish (plus a catering division and later Tradestone Cafe/Confections). Blackfish was followed by Mica in Chestnut Hill and later still by Ela - home of chef Jason Cichonski - in Queen Village.
Now, Roman is coming downtown.
Deep into construction is The Treemont, a revamping of Tietra, inside the Aria building on 15th Street near Locust.
Roman describes the food as reminiscent of the seafood-centric, modern American style of Blackfish and Mica but "price-conscious." He hopes to appeal to the neighborhood.
The bilevel space is being reconfigured, as the staircase has been moved to the opposite wall to allow for a dramatic, two-story look in the dining room. The balcony will have seating overlooking the bar.
Opening is pegged to mid-April.
As for the name: He is paying tribute to his grandmother. When he was a kid and wanted something out of the ordinary, she would reply: "Where do you think you are? The Hotel Tremont?" - a reference to a once-posh hotel in Lansdale that met the wrecking ball in 1997.
"Treemont" is spelled more or less phonetically as she said it, he says.