The Dutch, a bruncherie replacing Fond in South Philly, opens this week
A few Fond dishes will pop up on the hearty, country-style menus, which will have some overlap between breakfast-lunch and dinner.
Chefs Lee Styer and Jessie Prawlucki-Styer, and their new partner, chef Kevin Watters, are putting all their eggs in one basket.
They have moved their bruncherie The Dutch into the building, across from East Passyunk Avenue’s Singing Fountain, that until last week housed their higher-end bistro Fond (1537 S. 11th St).
The Styers, who have two children, struggled during the pandemic at Fond. When indoor dining returned, Lee Styer found himself working solo in the kitchen most of the time. The Styers’ solution: Move The Dutch seven blocks, make longtime chef Watters a partner, combine the staffs, and put their energies into a more homespun concept that could operate all day.
The Dutch will open Wednesday, Feb. 23 for breakfast and lunch, offered from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. On March 12, walk-in dinner will be added, open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, the Styers are planning a sandwich shop for The Dutch’s previous location, at 1527 S. Fourth St.
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A few Fond dishes have made their way to the hearty, country-style menus, which will overlap somewhat between breakfast-lunch and dinner.
With Fond’s liquor license in place, The Dutch will become one of the only weekday breakfast-lunch options on the East Passyunk strip with a bar. Prosecco will be served on tap for mimosas.
The opening breakfast-lunch menu includes omelets, Dutch babies, pancakes, and waffles.
On the dinner menu are three Fond classics — roasted mushroom soup, chicken liver mousse, and pork belly — joining salads, sandwiches, entrees such as fish and chips, steak frites, two mussel dishes, and breakfast for dinner.
The Styers met as students at the Culinary Institute of America in 2003 and worked for Georges Perrier at Le Bec-Fin before opening Fond at 1617 E. Passyunk Ave. (now Laurel) in 2009 with Tory Keomanivong, a former Lacroix at the Rittenhouse captain. For a spell starting in 2011, Jessie Styer operated a nearby bakery called Belle Cakery.
The Styers moved Fond to the current location in 2012, buying the liquor license and the building.
In 2016, Lee Styer and chef Joncarl Lachman, who at the time owned Noord across the street, got the idea for The Dutch, a brunch spot that would combine Styer’s Pennsylvania Dutch background and Lachman’s Dutch ancestry. Lachman bowed out several years later. He owns Winkel, a bruncherie in Washington Square West.
East Passyunk has been undergoing a set of recent changes. Mish Mish, a Mediterrean-inspired restaurant, last week replaced Noord at 11th and Tasker Streets, and 1911 BYOB is preparing to open Friday, Feb. 25 at 1911 E. Passyunk Ave.
Fond gift cards will be honored at The Dutch.