Friday Saturday Sunday name has returned to Rittenhouse Square after nearly a year and a half.
*The name is the only common element to the pioneering restaurant that brought an unstuffy romance and imaginative new-American cuisine as it led Philadelphia's 1970s renaissance. (Well, that and waiter Bud Connelly, the only staffer returning.)
The new owners, Chad and Hanna Williams, basically gutted the two stories not only to add a rich, retro aesthetics but to correct some structural deficiencies; a staircase in the middle of the restaurant, for example, was relocated.
"We're holding true to the Friday Saturday Sunday mission - what everybody said about it, "It was so romantic.' We tried to keep the romance and still be a neighborhood restaurant," said Hanna Williams, a front-of-the-house veteran formerly with the Jose Garces orbit. Chad Williams worked as a chef with Garces at Alma de Cuba and El Vez, moving with him to open Amada and even appearing with him on his Iron Chef competitions.
FriSatSun's new 14-seat marble bar - stocked with cocktails, wines on tap as well as by the glass, and five draft beers - occupies the whole ground floor. Upstairs, where the old restaurant's Tank Bar was built around an enormous aquarium, there is an intimate dining room with wooden tables set beneath landscape murals. Romantics will want to snag Table 30 or Table 31, which are the private deuces beneath the windows overlooking 21st Street.
Chad Williams' new-American menu that invites building a sort of tasting menu. Along with a raw bar, smaller dishes include beef tartar, escargot, chicken liver mousse, and octopus. Lobster bucatini, potato gnocchi, and trotter gemelli are on a small pasta section, while vegetables have their own section. He is going with four entrees to start: roasted chicken ($23), New York strip ($34), halibut ($31), and grilled shrimp ($19).
It serves dinner Tuesday to Sunday, with the bar opening daily at 3 p.m.