Back in August, we celebrated our 1st anniversary at Le Bec-Fin. Long thought of as the best restaurant in Philadelphia, Le Bec-Fin has had its fair share of drama in its 40-year history. When chef Georges Perrier announced last year that the landmark restaurant would close, we knew we had to get there before it did. Subsequently, Perrier decided to keep Le Bec-Fin open. Updated 7/24/13: Since then, Perrier sold the restaurant, it had a brief revival, and has now closed for good.
After a long summer of working on the house, we anxiously awaited our night out, and I have to say it was worth it. Neither of us had ever been inside Le Bec-Fin before, even to the bar, so as we were seated we spent a lot of time looking around, admiring the decor.
Upon explanation of the menu, which includes several dining options, we decided to go with the six course tasting menu for $125. Here’s a rundown of what we ate.
First Course: I had the famous gallette de crab with whole grain mustard. This is a rich, creamy version of a crab cake with no filler, just lucious jumbo lump meat. Matt opted for one of his favorites — escargot, which was served in a champagne cream sauce.
Second Course: This course did not require a selection. Our waiter brought us each an espresso cup filled with mushroom cappuccino– a rich mushroom soup with foamed cream on top.
Third Course: I chose day boat scallops with lemon ginger jam, asparagus threads, and carrot yuzu emulsion, and Matt had sea bream, a mild white fish.
Fourth Course: Hard to choose, but this was probably my favorite course of the night: Wagyu beef with a tasting of potatoes and sauce bordelaise. I cringed at Matt’s choice of squab with cherry, and black olive pistachio crumble, prepared medium rare. I could not bring myself to even taste it. Sorry, I can’t do rare poultry. He seemed to enjoy it, though.
Intermezzo: A refreshing palate cleanse of passion fruit sorbet with diced tropical fruits.
Fifth course: Cheese cart – there were 15 different cheeses on the cart, and yes, we tried all of them.
Sixth course: Dessert cart – again you can have unlimited servings. We each chose three; the bite size portions of each were plated together.
For the amount of food we ate, the quality of the ingredients, and the level of service, I would definitely say it was worth it for a special occasion celebration. Maybe not THE BEST meal of my life, but it was a wonderful evening, and something every Philadelphian should experience at least once. Just to say they did.