The answer to the hottest restaurant question in town: Walter Abrams.

The former French Laundry sous chef (six years) is winging his way east to Le Bec-Fin, where he will become executive chef for new owner Nicolas Fanucci, the Napa landmark's former general manager.

This is a package deal, as Abrams' girlfriend, former French Laundry pastry chef Jennifer Smith, will become LBF's exec pastry chef.

The South Florida-born, Colombia-reared Abrams left the San Francisco hot spot Spruce this week after a year as chef de cuisine. "He told me, 'I want to be a part of Le Bec-Fin,' " Fanucci said.

Le Bec-Fin is due to reopen in May with what Fanucci calls "over the top" French food and service.

Fanucci also told me that the downstairs bar, which had been called Le Bar Lyonnais until last year, when it was reflagged Tryst, will be called Chez Georges after founder Georges Perrier.

Fanucci and his wife of 17 years, Fazilet - who have sons 16, 12, and 6 - are house-hunting in the area.