Saturday, February 13, 2016

Le Bec-Fin opening Tuesday

It will be the most expensive restaurant in the city.

Le Bec-Fin opening Tuesday

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The New Le Bec-Fin Video: The New Le Bec-Fin

Le Bec-Fin (1523 Walnut St., 215-567-1000) returns Tuesday, three months after founder Georges Perrier ceded it to his former general manager, Nicolas Fanucci.

Fanucci, who stunned the dining world by resigning his post as general manager of the vaunted French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., to buy the Philadelphia landmark, hired a French Laundry alum, Walter Abrams, as chef.

He imported four other French Laundry alums, including Abrams' fiancee, pastry chef Jennifer Smith.

Sommelier Philippe Sautriat comes from Alain Ducasse. Fanucci also commissioned a renovation, subtle yet powerful, by Philadelphia designer John Kelly.

The downstairs bar has been warmed up and is now Chez Georges.

The redo eliminated the front dining room, turning it into a salon/anteroom; the restaurant went from 90 seats to 62 — 44 in the main room and 18 upstairs. Le Bec-Fin also has reverted to prix-fixe-only: $150 at dinner (Monday to Saturday) and, starting June 18, $55 at lunch (weekdays). That $150 tariff is the priciest in the city, a fine-dining splurge in an increasingly small-plate town.

Here is a sampling of Abrams' menu:

Canape

 

Confit Escargot, Foraged Greens, Consomme de pintade

or

Spanish Mackerel, Rye baked beets, Dijon- fried egg emulsion

 

Egg pasta filled with lambs neck, Wild sorrel, Coriander

or

Seared Foie Gras, , fraise des bois , caramelized onion brioche

 

 

Poached Halibut, Holland leeks, Osetra butter

or

Grilled Langoustines, Tomato, Favas, bonito

 

Guinea hen, Guanciale, Plum, truffles

or

Dry aged rib eye, morel mushrooms, peas , Red wine croutons

 

Artisinal cheeses with Local Honey and granola

 

candied ginger genoise, lime, Lychee

or

Salted caramel mousse, filberts, cola poached cherries

 

Fanucci promises a return to LBF's heyday, especially anticipatory service.

Though the cheese and dessert carts haven't made the transition, there will be a cart offering mignardises. The bar downstairs will have a classic French comfort-food menu.

See Michael S. Wirtz's video, shot last Friday.

 

Staff Writer
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About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

Michael Klein Staff Writer
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