Monday, January 28, 2008

Restaurant Week - Le Bec-Fin

This week in Philadelphia is Restaurant week and we got a chance to get to Le Bec-Fin!

My wife and one of her co-workers made the reservations last month and we had to take 9:30 PM sitting on Sunday, but we got a chance to eat at a five star restaurant!

I usually feel apprehensive when "eating outside my level" but overall we really had a great time and it's all because of my wife's attitude about the whole thing. Her thinking was "what the heck, you may never be back so have a good time".

She was right.

We were a hit with the wait staff, at least I think we were. In our minds we were a hoot. We took pictures, we asked questions, we were loud and we didn't care.

The place could have been outrageously pretentious but really it was wasn't.

It all starts at the front door. At the door there is a buzzer with a sign that says "press to enter" or some such saying.

We did not press the button but charged on in. It's Restaurant week and looooook out! wa-whooooo!. Inside was the smallest waiting area I've ever seen. Imagine standing in that no man's land between the outside doors and inside doors in a public place like a McDonald's with 15 other people and lots of people going in and out. (Not that it was like a McDonald's mind you, it was just that big - work with me here).

And it was packed in there. There was stair case leading down coat room and a bar. People were standing on top of each other in their best outfits in the waiting area and down the stairs. Every time some new diners came into the waiting area, everyone had to shuffle around. excuse me, pardon me, excuse me.

Oh and there was a ladies room where the door looked like the wall on the left side of the waiting area (no real door just wall papered and camouflaged. So some lady would come out of the closed door leading to the dining area and would head towards what appeared to be wall and ask to get into the Ladies room. People would shuffle out of her way and look at her like she lost her mind. Then the wait staff would open the magic door to the powder room.

The food was excellent of course and the portions were as expected, tiny.

I had:

Millefeuille de saumon fumé, concombres marinés
Smoked salmon (millefeuille), marinated cucumbers

Bœuf pôelé, polenta croustillante et épinards sautés, sauce Bordelaise
Roasted beef, crispy polenta and sauteed spinach, Bordelaise sauce

Le Bec-Fin Chocolate Cake.
By the end of the night I was enjoying saying "Boeuf" in a cheesy French accent and I was shocked that I actually ate cucumbers.

My wife had:
Terrine de lapin, moutarde à la cerise et petite salade
Rabbit terrine, cherry mustard and petite salad

Demi-poussin rôti, riz basmati et légumes, jus a l’ail et vinaigre de Xeres
Roasted half poussin, basmati rice and vegetables, Natural jus flavored with garlic and sherry vinegar

Crème Brûlée

I was pretty sure that Poussin was French for "pigeon" by the looks of what was on her plate and the Rabbit appetizer was substituted with venison.

We took pictures of everything. We even sent the camera back with the wait staff into the kitchen to take a picture of George Perrier. You think I'm kidding? We photographed every thing but some how forgot to take pictures of our entrees.

It really was a lot of fun and it wasn't all that expensive because of, of course, Restaurant week. We paid $35 a head for dinner, $6 a glass for wine and the whole bill came to about $200 for 4.

Not bad.

More pictures here.

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