Chef Chip Roman has sold Mica, his modern-American jewel box in Chestnut Hill, to chef Yianni Arhontoulis, the chef de cuisine at Blackfish, his flagship restaurant in Conshohocken.
Saturday, July 30 was Mica's last night under Roman's ownership.
When Arhontoulis reopens on Tuesday, Sept. 6, the restaurant - still known as Mica - will be much as it was before (staff included), though it will become a BYOB. Arhontoulis bills the food as "tasty and technical."
"This is a powerful moment in my career," said Arhontoulis, 28, who grew up in Hopewell, N.J., and graduated from Culinary Institute of America. Besides several years in the Roman empire, Arhontoulis' enviable kitchen experience includes as chef at Glasbern Inn, a farm-to-table restaurant just west of Allentown in Fogelsberg, Pa.
"Mica is the restaurant that originally brought me to Philly," Arhontoulis said. "It is first kitchen where I fell in love with an intimate dining experience."
"I have had the great opportunity to work for Chip Roman over the past few years, but now, like so many other great chefs here in Philly, it is time for me to take what I have learned from Chip and create my own space," Arhontoulis said. He will offer a la carte dining as well as a $69 six-course tasting. Mica will be dinner only at the outset.
Roman retains his flagship businesses - Blackfish, the destination BYOB in Conshohocken, and a partnership with chef Fred Ortega in Tradestone Confections.
Roman also closed the underperforming Treemont in Center City.