Chef Tyler Akin, known in Philly for Stock and Res Ipsa Cafe, is heading back home to Wilmington, Delaware, to take over the restaurant at the historic Hotel du Pont. The ornate Green Room will close on New Year’s Day and reopen in the spring as a French brasserie with Akin at the helm.
Fans of Akin’s chicken pho, banh mi, and papaya salad at Stock needn’t worry: He’s keeping his Philly restaurants. He’s a co-owner at Res Ipsa Cafe, where Michael Vincent Ferreri is the chef, and previously worked at Zahav.
The upscale Hotel du Pont first opened in 1913 in the era of Pierre du Pont, the member of the famed Delaware family who set up Longwood Gardens. Its elegant restaurant was named the Green Room by the 1920s, according to The News Journal — it’s the type of place that serves afternoon tea and has a “tea etiquette” explanation on its website, for those who need a refresher on proper scone buttering.
The restaurant taking its place, which doesn’t have a name that’s been made public yet, will keep the tea service, but the rest is getting an overhaul. Akin’s French menu will have influences from Provence and North Africa, with dishes like bouillabaisse with Moroccan couscous, steak frites with bone marrow salsa verde, gnocchi Parisienne with jumbo lump crab, and a red wine–braised cut of veal shoulder made for sharing. (Since the hotel is a historic property the restaurant’s new name needs to be officially approved before it can be revealed.)
It’s much bigger than Akin’s small Philly spots in Fishtown and Center City, with seats for 125 plus a 14-seat bar, a private dining room, and an outdoor patio. Stokes Architecture & Design, based in Center City, is handling the look, which will keep some of the existing pieces, like the oak paneling, plaster ceiling, and chandeliers, and add mosaic tiles, oak-framed stained glass window screens, and leather and velvet banquettes.
PM Hotel Group and the Buccini/Pollin Group own the hotel. Here’s a rendering from them to show what the new restaurant will look like: