Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why Matt Levin left the Rittenhouse

Chef Matt Levin has left the Rittenhouse, and he says he's opening his own restaurant.

Why Matt Levin left the Rittenhouse

Matthew Levin flash freezes (with nitrogen) a coconut curry foam with citrus gelee inside in the kitchen of Lacroix. (Bonnie Weller / Inquirer)
Matthew Levin flash freezes (with nitrogen) a coconut curry foam with citrus gelee inside in the kitchen of Lacroix. (Bonnie Weller / Inquirer) Bonnie Weller / Inquirer

Chef Matt Levin's last day at the Rittenhouse Hotel was Monday.

The Culinary Institute of America-trained Levin, who succeeded Jean-Marie Lacroix at the fancy Lacroix at the Rittenhouse in 2006, told me he wants to "take the next step in the progression of my career."

That means, he says, opening his own restaurant while "I still have the energy and notoriety." He and his financial backer, whose name he would not spill, are looking at spots in Center City and Northern Liberties.

Concept will be great food "at a price point that even a guy making $10 an hour at TLA Video can afford -- three plates for like $35," he said. "When people think of my name, they don't think of hamburger, but we'll have that and great barbecue ribs."

He's aiming for the vibe to be "fun, hip and buzzy" and is thinking of using a local graffiti artist to do the design.

As first reported on City Paper's "Meal Ticket," chef de cuisine Jason Chichonski will run the restaurant. The hotel, which calls the departure amicable, is looking for his successor.

Staff Writer
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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein Staff Writer
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