Fifteen months after signing the lease, Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza of West Philly's Marigold Kitchen have opened TALK restaurant at 2121 Walnut St. (215-515-3608), transforming L'Image photography studio on the corner of Van Pelt and Walnut into a moody, Art Deco fantasy. It adds to a sophisticated mix in the area that includes Vernick and Res Ipsa.

Kochan, who also designed, was going for the look of a New York hotel bar in the early 20th century, hiring artist Aissulu Kadyrzhanova for larger pieces, including black-and-gold-framed photo-like images.

The bright, white stone bar provides contrast in the space, whose mezzanine creates a supper-club feel.

TALK happens to be an acronym of the first initial of the partners' names. It's open initially for happy hour and dinner Tuesday to Sunday, starting at 4 p.m. Kitchen closes at 11 p.m. Brunch and lunch will be added to the mix.

Why the delays? "Myriad things with the city, the contractors, PGW, and the like," says Kochan. "It's easy to get hung up on it but I learned what I needed to for the future and I want to focus on the future for TALK and whatever comes next."

Menu is a la carte, unlike Marigold's tasting menus.

An early edition included small plates of poppy seed lavash ($6); savory eclairs including chicken liver and sour cherry ($9); fluke crudo ($15), and quail ($16), and larger plates including pasta with parmesan, morel, fig, and prosciutto ($20), scallops with succotash, country ham, corn bread, and huitlacoche ($22); and filet mignon with potato, caramelized onion, and truffle ($30).

Bar has eight cocktails, five beers in bottles/cans, and a dozen wines by the glass — mainly Europeans.

>> See the image gallery for more looks.