We like transformations for a simple reason: a short attention span.
Exhibit A: the former 707, now home to Jose Garces’s Chifa.
The Peruvian-Cantonese restaurant opens today with a face-lift that would make any pseudosocialite blush.
The food is trademark Garces: small sharing plates combining flavors (roast duck buns and ají de gallina — a guinea hen in a spicy sauce with purple potatoes, olives, and black walnuts) and ten kinds of made-to-order ceviche.
The front room is all browns, oranges, and blues. Leather banquettes span a wall decorated with handmade tiles and shutters. A back dining space, in red and gold, has a communal table and a ceviche bar atop a Chinese apothecary cabinet.
A downstairs lounge (now in sage green and purple) is perfect for a late-night scratch-made mint and lima bean gin fizz.
Guess they can’t concentrate, either.
Chifa, 707 Chestnut Street (215-925-5555 or chifarestaurant.com).