Chef Jennifer Carroll, who left her last full-time Philadelphia kitchen gig nearly seven years ago (10 Arts, then at the Ritz-Carlton), is about to make her hometown return.
Carroll and her fiance, chef Billy Riddle (ex-Townsend), are setting up Spice Finch, a Mediterranean bistro and craft cocktail bar. It will take the space previously occupied by Tavern 17 at the Warwick Hotel (220 S. 17th St.).
Opening is projected in late spring.
Carroll tells me that Spice Finch, designed in an art-deco style by Philly's SLDesign, will serve a menu inspired by a broad swath of the world — North Africa, the Middle East, Greece, coastal France, with its associated spices. Vegetables will make up about 60 percent of the menu, she said.
Spice Finch will be open initially for dinner only, but will add breakfast and lunch.
Carroll, born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, earned her stripes at Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin. Ripert brought her to 10 Arts for its opening in spring 2008. After she left 3½ years later, she was followed around by cameras while trying to set up a restaurant in New York.
She also competed on Top Chef Season 6: Las Vegas, Season 8: All Stars, and Last Chance Kitchen.