Thursday, August 21, 2014
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Getting inside Avance, on Walnut Street

Friday, Dec. 13 is the opening night for Avance, the progressive American restaurant from Roxborough-bred/New York-honored chef Justin Bogle at 1523 Walnut St.

Getting inside Avance, on Walnut Street

Friday, Dec. 13 is the opening night for Avance, the progressive American restaurant from Roxborough-bred/New York-honored chef Justin Bogle at 1523 Walnut St.

Bogle and business partner Chris Scarduzio gave it their all to shed the building's past.

This is not Le Bec Fin 3.0, referring to last year's ill-fated reconfiguration of LBF.

You enter into a wood-clad foyer, where the host stand hides the entryway to the dining room. There's a dazzling ceiling fixture of old-fashioned bulbs set to varying heights, which contrast to candlelit walnut tables. No tablecloths.

It's a whole new look, while maintaining the high ceiling in the main dining room. It's contemporary and on the sleek side. Vertical greenery rides along both side walls, just as it does on the exterior.

A book case with an impressive cookbook collection is set into a niche on one wall, and a bright painting is set into a niche on the other side.

You can see into the kitchen through a glass cutout.

The second floor, once completely cut off from the ground-floor restaurant, has lost its "Siberia" feel. Ask for Table 37, a deuce that overlooks the dining room on the edge of the balcony.

Bogle, who won two Michelin stars at the late Gilt in NYC, will offer a la carte dining, Tuesday to Saturday nights at first. Figure on spending about $55 a head plus tax and tip for three courses. Menu is here.

He also will offer five-course tastings for $84 and a special experience with north of eight courses for $138.

The bar downstairs includes a new walnut-topped bar. Banquettes carry the plum color from upstairs. The bar menu will be smaller and will include charcuterie and a burger. 

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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.

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