Nicholas Elmi leaving Rittenhouse Tavern

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Chef Nicholas Elmi at a "Top Chef" event in 2012.

Seeking to become a chef-owner, Chef Nicholas Elmi announced today that he'll leave Rittenhouse Tavern, whicih he opened a year ago at the Art Alliance on Rittenhouse Square.

Elmi, 32, said he'd finish the month for corporate parent Restaurant Associates.

He plans to open a restaurant - location not yet final - by the end of the year. "Although I seriously considered a recent opportunity to take over the Tavern, my passion for this city inspires me to bring it something new, warm, and elegant, fashioned to meet my own vision from the start," he said, adding that he looked forward to "a restful summer."

Nick and his wife, Kristin, have two small children.

Elmi, a Boston native and Culinary Institute of America graduate, was an early intern for Georges Perrier at the former Brasserie Perrier. After time at Lutece, Oceana, and Union Pacific, he returned to Perrier's fold to work at Mia in Atlantic City. From there, he went to Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris. Next, in 2008, he returned to Philly to take the executive chef's job at Le Bec-Fin, which he held until Perrier left the restaurant in March 2012.

Craig LaBan awarded three bells to Elmi and Rittenhouse Tavern last summer. Review is here.

Restaurant Associates' Ed Brown says he's hunting for a replacement.

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