Just when you thought you simply can’t improve upon perfection, restaurateur George Perrier demonstrates that everything in this world can certainly benefit from a refreshing redesign.This fall, Le Bec-Fin, Perrier’s first and best-known restaurant, re-opened its doors with great fanfare, to reveal a completely refurbished interior. From the new foyer, to the dining room and private banquet room, the restaurant’s renovations reflect the grand style of turn-of-the-century Parisian salons.Located at 1525 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, Le Bec-Fin had been closed for several weeks over the summer for the renovations. Previously, the interior was decorated with the ornate Louis XVI style.Le Bec-Fin’s redesign is essential to Perrier’s comprehensive plan to establish his signature restaurant as the best French restaurant in America. Through this extensive revitalization, Perrier once again shows his customers that he cares…about his restaurant’s appearance, about serving the highest quality of the food, and about his guests.“If I want Le Bec to be the best, I must make it look and feel like the best,” explained Perrier. He was involved in every aspect of the restaurant’s transformation and conducted regular meetings with the architects, craftspeople and designers. Working closely with the Philadelphia design firm, DAS, he instructed them to “Change everything but the chandeliers,” and create an interior that is more colorful, but just as elegant as the original.Through the years, Perrier has introduced his own modern flair to the classic French cuisine. He wanted his restaurant décor to reflect this aspect of his menu.The transformed interior reaches from just beyond the front door, and stretches through the entire restaurant. The new style begins as guests step into the expanded entryway covered by an ornamental dome. In this foyer customers are greeted by the host at a wooden chestnut stand designed in the style of turn-of-the-century France. A new addition includes a door separating the foyer from the dining rooms.The front dining room features four large wooden archways, with gilded millwork and beveled mirror doors inside of each. One archways houses a expansive wine cabinet with 400 bottles from Le Bec Fin’s famous list, making this dining area a haven for wine connoisseurs.The second dining room, which is separated from the first with a lowered wall, is just as elegant as the first, with a restored marble fireplace and 14-foot pilasters with silk inlays. Guests can admire several antiqued mirrors and sconces on floral fabric panels. A lush carpet with hues of sophisticated reds, blues and greens reflect in the three original chandeliers hanging above.An open, winding staircase flows upward to the second floor from the main dining room and leads to the private mezzanine dining room. The newly exposed staircase spirals to a midway landing specially designed to serve as Perrier’s balcony and vantage point. At the top of the stairs, patrons dining in the private room have a view of the main room through an open gilt-framed window. Depending upon the need for privacy, guests have the option of leaving a pair of paneled doors open or closed.Despite the work and effort involved with the interior renovations, Perrier did not stop with only cosmetic enhancements. He wanted his newly-revitalized restaurant to have enhanced talent, too. So, he brought in two new individuals: Daniel Stern, chef de cuisine; and Gregory Castells, sommelier.A native of Cherry Hill, NJ, Stern is the first self-taught chef to hold the title of chef de cuisine at Le Bec-Fin. With extensive experience in top restaurants in New York City as well as across the United States, Stern was offered his new position after preparing a tasting menu for Perrier.Stern’s innovative creations currently appear on the eight-course degustation menu. ($155.00 per person). Favorites include white asparagus soup, sauteed foie gras with hazelnut and Roquefort-stuffed figs, stuffed rabbit with procini fingerling potatoes and lardoons, and poached lobster with basmati rice, pea shoots, sugar snap peas and tarragon broth.With the re-opening, Perrier also introduced new menu items, while working to improve upon his signature dishes, such as his famed galette de crabe (crab cake), pigeon en croute (potato-encrusted squab) and quenelles (pike dumplings).Sommelier Gregory Castells joined Le Bec-Fin’s in December of last year. Also a native of New Jersey (Bergen County), he began his wine career working in restaurants along the French Riviera and in London. Since accepting his position at Le Bec-Fin, Castells has tripled the number of bottles available, expanded the selection of wine by the glass, created a new degustation wine flight and inspired the area for wine service in the redesigned front dining room.Perrier, Originally from Lyon, France, began his culinary career at the age of fourteen. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1967 as Head Chef for Peter von Starck’s La Panetiere.In 1970, Perrier established Le Bec-Fin (a French idiom for “the good taste”) and moved the restaurant in 1983 to its current spot in a historical art deco building on Walnut Street. Regarded by many as a founding father of French cuisine in the United States, Perrier has earned countless awards and accolades, including being chosen as the #1 restaurant in the country in 1994 by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. The restaurant continues to be awarded top honors in prestigious publications, such as Gourmet, Food & Wine, Esquire and Wine Spectator magazines.Le Bec Fin boasts numerous best restaurant ratings from Zagat survey, Gourmet, Food & Wine and Conde Nast Traveler.Over the years, Perrier was invited to relocate to Manhattan, Los Angeles and Chicago, but he always opted instead to remain in Philadelphia, leading the city’s restaurant resurgence.Perrier’s also owns two additional restaurants in Philadelphia. The nearby Brasserie Perrier is located at 1619 Walnut Street. La Mas Perrier, featuring a new Euro-Asian menu, is located at 503 West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne.