Omakase @ Ro-Zu (v 1.0)

14 Jun Sushi Sampler

Ro-Zu…

I recently came back to Philadelphia for 2 weeks (mid-May) from my Belgian exile and Sandy & I had decided we would try new spots. We were also craving sushi and it just happened that we had wanted to try Ro-Zu since it opened back in March. Our friend Victor had already visited the place and told us nothing but good things about it.

Since the place was really basing itself on its Omakases, we opted for a mid-range one at $65. Options we were told about were $50, $65, and $80.

Very small spot à la Zento in Olde City. BYOB doesn’t hurt either. We asked to be seated at the (sushi) bar to get a better look at the food’s preparation. We are greeted by Chef Todd Dae Kulper. Young, of Korean descent, trained by Japanese Chefs, worked at Nobu in Miami, recently moved from Hawaii for the job. He put us at ease right away. Very cool and friendly.

After he asks us a couple of questions concerning our eating habits and our degree of food adventurousness, he starts us with this bad boy:

Uni – Monk Fish Liver

If tuna is the chicken of the sea, Monk Fish Liver is the Foie Gras of the sea. Rich, creamy texture, packed with flavor but not too overwhelming as the beautiful piece of Uni isn’t lost in the mix. Some truffled salt sprinkled on top and laying in a pool of truffled mustard miso. What a way to start this meal. Sandy was in love. She said it was already worth the $65. But yeah she tends to exagerate a bit… Needless to say I want to try Monk Fish Liver again soon.

2nd plate

Kumamoto Oysters

Watching the Chef and his Sous prepare and plate in front of us is very, very neat. Chef Todd makes sure that his Sous is doing everything exactly the way he wants it. Cutting this way, arranging that way, and presenting this ménage à trois of Kumamoto Oysters.

We have one paired with Big Eye Tuna, Fresh Wasabi and Nigiri Sauce. Another with Yellowtail, Garlic, Jalapeño, Cilantro, and Yuzu Sauce. And the last one is topped with Horse Mackerel, Scallion, and Soy Sauce. Each”pairing” brought something different but I recall my favorite being the Yellowtail one.

3rd plate

Octopus

Giant Live Octopus From Hokkaido . On the left side you can see Tentacle Sashimi topped with some Meyer Lemon juice, Hawaiian Pink Salt, and a Truffle Sauce. The texture was a bit unusual and reminded me a bit of jellyfish but less crunchy. Surprisingly enjoyable actually. And I guess you could say that because of the odd texture, the slices really showed some serious knife skills.

On the right side it’s a mix of Suction Cup and Skin, pressed and rolled into a Salami. Served on a bed of cucumber with a Jalapeño salsa. The Salami was a neat showcase of creativity and technique. Quite delicate as it was cut in a thin slice, but it retained the original texture. The salsa added some much needed spiciness since the Salami wasn’t the most flavorful bit.

4th plate

Japanese Yellowtail

For the next dish, some Japanese Yellowtail is thinly sliced, some Yuzu Soy Sauce is drizzled on it, a mix of  Ginger – Garlic – Jalapeno is placed next to the fish, and last but not least, some oil is heated in a bowl using a torch then poured on the Yellowtail to give it a light sear. The oil used seems pretty light and doesn’t make the dish too greasy. Since we were served right away, we got the hot and cold feelings mixed in each bite. That was some seriously tasty Yellowtail.

5th plate

Wild Fluke

Another knife skills display with this Sliced Wild Fluke. The flakes to the left of the picture are Bonito (skipjack tuna) Flakes which are cured, smoked, and shaved. Another name for it is Katsuobushi. They’re usually used to prepare Dashi which is a fish stock used as a base in many recipes in Japanese cuisine.  Very dry and salty, they almosta absorb all your saliva when you just let it sit on your tongue. The Ponzu Sauce on the other hand is rather tart and was still being overwhelmed by the Katsuobushi. Overall I felt that the dish was a tad unbalanced and the Wild Fluke’s flavor was a bit lost in it.

6th plate

Baked Seafood mix

As Chef Todd and his Sous were preparing this dish, I saw them put some Uni in a sauce pan and add some spices to make it, well, a sauce. Turns out it’s a Uni and Saffron sauce serving as the base for this take on a Baked Clam I’d say. Then a Mix of Red Snapper, Scallop, and Squid is placed in the shell.  The sauce is added. And right before it’s put in the oven, an asparagus makes its way in it as well. A couple of minutes for the sauce to thicken, for the seafood mix to cook a little and out it comes where some Bonito flakes and Algae top it to finish the dish. With fresh and quality ingredients like they used, you really can’t go wrong. Each element retained its flavor and yet it all came together nicely. Great presentation as well.

7th plate

Sushi Sampler

Sushi Sampler. In no particular order (I forgot…): Yellowtail, Salmon, Tuna, Escolar, Squid, Horse Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Uni, Eel, and Red Snapper. You’ll notice a light browning on some of the pieces. That would be Soy Sauce that was brushed directly on the fish. Wasabi was also inserted in between the rice and the fish already. So no need to dunk it in in a Soy Sauce/ Wasabi concoction, it’s ready to be savored. And once again, great knife technique coupled with fresh and quality fish make a killer combo.

Last plate

Miso Soup

Finally, we are served a bowl of Spicy Miso Soup with a 7-Spices mix directly imported from Japan. I couldn’t tell you what they are but the soup tasted great. Just enough heat from the spices. The Algae didn’t taste like it was from an instant powder pack and despite the bubbles on top of the bowl, it didn’t taste too greasy. I was wondering why we didn’t get this soup served to us earlier in the omakase but I figured it was to preserve our taste buds in order to taste the fish better.

This Omakase rivaled Sandy and I’s 4 year anniversary Omakase dinner at Morimoto while only costing a fraction of the Morimoto bill. The overall experience was nothing short of great. Being able to chat with the Chef while he cooks for you is a lot of fun and very informative. I was very sad to find out that Chef Todd had left Ro-Zu recently for unknown reasons but I can only wish Chef Hung Pham to do as well as his predecessor.

French Christmas @ Bistrot La Minette

26 Dec

For the past 5 years, I have gone back home (Brussels, Belgium) for the holidays. Traditional ingredients used during the holidays include oysters, Foie Gras, Caviar, Lobster, and the very French Bûche de Noël. Just to clarify, Belgians eat a lot like the French. Unfortunately, for technical reasons, I will not be able to travel home for Christmas this year and thus I will miss the annual feast. My dear little brother already notified me that our dad had ordered 200 Oysters. 2-0-0. I’m crying a little bit inside just thinking about it.

But 2-3 weeks ago, I received an email from Bistrot La Minette announcing its French Christmas Dinner. Right away, words starting jumping out of the screen: Caviar, Huîtres, Escargots, Foie Gras, Bûche de Noël!! I was sold. I had found my substitute French Christmas Dinner.

The special menu had this at its top: “In France, Christmas is celebrated with lavish, luxurious dinners. Christmas is the time of year that the French abandon eating reasonable portions and dive into a culinary orgy of the most expensive ingredients they can get their hands on.”

Amuse Bouche:

Tartine de Creme Fraiche et Caviar

Served on a Crouton, freshly whipped Crème Fraîche, chopped chives and Caviar (origin unknown). Nice small bite Zakouski-style. I’m not a Caviar expert but it tasted good to me. The chopped Chives went really well with the Crème Fraîche.

Huîtres:

Little Shemogue Oysters

With a traditional Mignonette, laying on a bed of whipped egg whites (just for show). Fresh, packed with ocean-flavored goodness. I could’ve had two dozen more. Easy.

Escargots:

Escargots de Bourgogne

Classic Snails cooked in garlic and butter. J’adore ze garlic. The Croutons were a nice touch. You don’t feel like you’re just chewing on some gooey snail (although I don’t mind).

Foie Gras:

Terrine de Foie Gras

Sandy and I usually seek seared Foie when we go out and thus we rarely eat it in Terrine form. This Terrine was prepared in-house, so was the Brioche it was served on. For those of you who don’t know this, Chef Peter Woolsey studied the art of Pastry in France (more about him here). The Foie really surprised me with its intense flavor. Clearly one of the best I’ve ever had.

Approval:

Sandy smiling

Dear Restaurateurs/Chefs/Managers, this is what you want to see when we come to dine at your establishment. Because this is the sign that we are thoroughly enjoying our meal.

Sorbet:

Blackberry Sorbet

A little house-made Sorbet to cleanse our palate after the very rich Terrine de Foie Gras was a great idea. Very refreshing.

Chevreuil:

Medaillons de Chevreuil Bordelaise

Main course here was a beautifully seared Venison with a sauce Bordelaise and twice-cooked potato. The meat was tender and slightly gamey, just as I like it.

Bûche:

Bûche de Noël

The Finale of any respectable French Christmas dinner ought to be the traditional Bûche de Noël. Once again, the culinary education of Peter Woolsey is showcased in this dessert creation. Thick, but not too rich, the Bûche was served with a very intense vanilla ice cream. I was never a big vanilla ice cream fan (I’m a chocolate type of guy), but this serving made me rethink my preferences.

Though I was pretty sad about missing the annual family feast, this French Christmas dinner at Bistrot La Minette basically managed to not make me feel homesick during the holidays. If you’ve ever spent the holidays far away from the comfort of your familial cocoon, you’ll know that it wasn’t a small feat.

Bon Appétit!

Ideas in Food @ Blackfish

23 Dec

When: November 2nd, 2009

Who: Ideas in Food (Alex Talbot & Aki Kimokawa)

Where: Blackfish Restaurant in Conshohocken, PA owned by Chip Roman

How: I saw an article on either Foobooz or Meal Ticket about Ideas in Food being guest chefs at Blackfish. I found out about Ideas in Food through @PhillyDesign a couple of months ago and I learned that they had been doing dinners together with Shola, whose food I’m very fond of (See posts StudioKitchen #1, #2, & #3). And to be honest that’s pretty much all I needed to be convinced to go to this. Oh, and the beautiful pictures on their blog didn’t hurt either.

Sneak Peek of the Menu

First Course

Smoked Pumpkin Ice Cream

With Wild Char Roe, Cranberry Gelee, and Brittle Walnuts. Not sure what Smoked Pumpkin is supposed to taste like to begin with, but if I had to go by the Ice Cream we were served, I’d guess that it’s much more subtle than the non-smoked pumpkin.  I’ve had the Ice Cream + Roe combo before (2nd dish at StudioKitchen#1) and I really enjoyed the bursting eggs on the Ice Cream. Even more depth in texture is added by the Cranberry Gelee and the Brittle Walnuts. A bit unusual in flavor due to the Roe, but I found it to be quite successful.

Second Course

Potato Chip Soup

You can’t really see it but there’s some Crab and Tartar Sauce in here. From what I remember, it tasted very much like smoked Chips. The Chips dust gave it some textural contrast (does that sound right?). I have to agree with @Foodieatfifteen here and say that I coud’ve had seconds right away.

Third Course

Bacon and Bay Scallop Risotto

With Gala Apples, Cheddar, and Jalapeño. This was probably the least impressive dish for me. Not that the flavors didn’t work for me, I mean how can you really go wrong with Bacon, Cheddar, and Jalapeño? Sadly, the Risotto’s consistency wasn’t really up to par and overall, the concept of the dish was rather underwhelming. I understand that usually Risotto is used as a filler on tasting menus, but I just expected more from the minds of Ideas in Food.

Fourth Course

Scallop en Brodo

With Sausage, Chestnut Tortellini and Buttermilk Biscuit Broth. Ok. Buttermilk Biscuit Broth? NOW THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ‘BOUT!! I came to this dinner looking for something different and this Broth was exactly that. Sure the Scallop (perfectly cooked) and the Tortellini (de-li-cious!) were great, but that Broth smelled and tasted like Buttermilk Biscuit. It wasn’t a gimmick either as it really enhanced the dish as a whole.

Fifth Course

Veal Cheek Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon but with Veal Cheeks? Score! Here’s the “Julia Child meets Ideas in Food” dish. Sitting on top of an Onion Soup Mashed Potatoes. Very tasty cheeks, I’ll tell you that much. Still lacking that adventurous part of the dinner though.

Cheese

Powdered Brie de Meaux

Unfortunatly I wasn’t able to get a better picture with the flash on so this dimly-lit shot will have to do. Wrapped in a White Chocolate Sheet, with Bourbon Cherries, and a Pistachio Gremolata, I think this was the most complex dish of the night. Textures, colors, flavors, this really had it all. I don’t think it’d be a general crowd-pleaser but if you’re looking for something that’s a little more outside of the box, this is the one.

Dessert

Fluffernutter

I had actually never heard of a Fluffernutter before. We don’t eat that in Belgium (Nutella FTW). Looked it up on my Palm Pre and it said “Sandwich made with Peanut Butter & Marshmallow”. So I’ll assume that this was a deconstructed Fluffernutter (Shortbread, Marshmallow Foam, Peanut Custard), but it really didn’t do anything for me. Sure, I’m not used to that flavor combination, but even so it didn’t taste great. Nice display of technique but if it doesn’t help to enhance the dish’s flavor, then I don’t want it (too harsh?).

Even though it didn’t quite meet my expectations (placed too high perhaps?), it was still a very solid dinner as a whole and a very neat setting. Maybe next time I have an Ideas in Food meal, it’ll be in their workshop in Levittown, PA. At least I hope so!

StudioKitchen #3: Game Dinner

22 Dec

‘Tis the season for Game! And Shola decided to concoct a Game Dinner, with his own touch of course.

This time around, there was a party of 14. Quite a large table but we saw some familiar faces from our 2 previous dinners there. (See here and here)

Chestnut Soup (Tray Shot)

To start us off, we are served a shot of Chestnut Soup adorned with some Corned Duck and Yuzu Poached Asian Pear.

Chestnut Soup (Solo Shot)

The smokiness of the Corned Duck was a great pairing with the earthy Chestnut Soup. The Pear was there to cut into this rich combination.

“Commit or Die”… That’s what Shola had to say about his Foie-Chocolate Terrine on his blog. It has to be noted that it is Smoked Chocolate that we are talking about here.

Foie Gras & Smoked Chocolate Terrine

Here’s a close-up of the Terrine. It was served with Cinnamon Toast, Olive Caramel, and Quince Sorbet.

Foie-Chocolate Terrine

Look. At. That. Marbling! Ain’t it beautiful? It sure was popular all around the table but I don’t think it was my favorite. The Smoked Chocolate might have stolen the spotlight in this one and I’m still debating whether I like that or not.

Following the Terrine, we had this Rabbit dish which was a little more in the Game theme.

Braised Rabbit Escabeche

Served with Garlic Buttered Snails, Pimenton, and Smoked Eggplant Puree. Now that’s what I picture when we say “Game Dinner”. I believe Rabbit to be a rather difficult protein to work with (not talking by experience here), but this was one succulent bunny! It doesn’t hurt that there were 3 garlic-laced Snails and the best serving of Eggplant I’ve ever had.

My favorite dish of the night was this beauty:

Scottish Wood Pigeon Croquette

Black Trumpet Mushroom, Meadow Run Egg, Truffle Caramel. What more can I say? Savory at its finest.

Here’s a different take on Pork Belly:

Wild Boar Belly

I actually think that the Miso Caramel Baked Beans and Andouille Sausage served on the side stole the show. Nothing wrong with the boar belly. Very nice char on it too.

Check out this close-up of the belly

Pork Belly Close-Up

Next up is the first dessert:

Pineapple Scarves

Thinly sliced pineapple paired with an incredible Lemon-Brie Ice Cream and some Fennel Salt. Sandy loved it so much she got a second serving of the Ice Cream. Super refreshing but not too sour thanks to the Brie-part of the Ice Cream.

Second Dessert:

Smoked Chocolate Cake

Shola really loves Smoked Chocolate… but who can blame him when it turns out to be this delicious? A moist, rich (but not too rich) Smoked Chocolate Cake with a Roasted Banana Sorbet proudly sitting on top, and Candied Chestnut Powder sprinkled over it. What a treat.

You can’t pick your party when you sit at a communal table like Shola’s, but you make the best of it and this dinner was another wonderful experience.

SNACKBAR on ICE

22 Dec

Saturday, December 19th 2009.

Biggest snowstorm to hit Philadelphia in years (I’m told). 16-20 inches of snow in Philadelphia. 1 out of 4 cabs running in the city and hustling a la Rick Ross  (I rode with 2 different other customers on my way there).

Around 5:30pm, @SNACKBAR253 tweets this: “Offering a complimentary 5 course tasting menu to anyone brave enough to sit outside tonight. Dress warmly, if you dare… 2155455655″

This is Snackbar we’re talking ’bout folks. Same spot that just received 3 Bells from LaBan here.

I read that as I was eating overcooked wheat Macaroni and frozen breaded shrimp… I put my fork down and thought to myself: F*ck this sh*t I’m eating in the snow tonight.

And this is where I ended up 2 hours later:

Prime Seating @SNACKBAR253

When I got there, a pair of brave souls (@jessecornell & @brievity) was already sipping on cocktails. So much for me thinking I was cool, badass and what not. I get seated by server extraordinaire Caleb with his trademark mustache and belt – this guy is the epitome of suave. I check the drink menu for something that’d help me fight the cold and order a Calvados.

First course comes out looking like this:

Apple-Turnip Soup w/ Foie Gras & Duck Confit

Mind-f*cking-blowing. Coats your tongue just right. The smokiness from the Duck and the Foie are just subtle enough and yet a whiff of the aroma was enough for me to forget about the freezing weather. This meal couldn’t have started better.

Grits, Smoked Paprika Tomato Sauce, Scallop, House Cured Lomo

Next up was this salmon-colored Scallop topped with Chef Taus’ housecured Lomo. The Smoked Paprika Tomato Sauce on the Grits was my favorite part. Great balance. Not gonna lie though, I had to eat this pretty fast before the dish turned into a sashimi.

Red Snapper, Rice, Bok Choy, Miso Beurre Blanc

I don’t even like Bok Choy like that but these Korean-chili-flakes (thanks @PhoodieCollin) gave them some welcomed heat. The Snapper’s skin was crisp and its flesh was cooked right on point. I enjoyed this dish. A lot.

Short Rib Sandwich with Onion Rings

Here’s why this tasting menu ordeal was great. While my right side neighbors chowed down on a Flatbread/Pizza with Chanterelle mushrooms and Poached Egg, I was given this tender Short Rib on Baguette served with (Au) Jus and Onion Rings. Unfortunately, it got really cold really fast and the Jus became a gelee. I even left 2 Onion Rings because they froze. Not taking anything from the kitchen here as this was a nice sandwich, but not on par with the previous dishes. My lucky neighbors (@jadiedoo and her bf Frank) to my left were served the Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie that you have to know about to order since it’s off-menu.

Dark Hot Chocolate with White Chocolate Foam

It’s snowing, I can barely feel my toes, my napkin has frozen, my snifter is stuck to the table by the ice. What could be better than some Hot Chocolate right now? Actually some spiked hot chocolate would be… But no alcohol in this rich, thick, yet not too heavy Hot Chocolate. I’m pretty sure I felt Willy Wonka tap-dance in my mouth.

I finally made it through all 5 courses in the blizzard so I rush inside for a victory dance (more like me shivering and convulsing like crazy) and a 3rd Calvados.

Funny thing is throughout the meal, people took pictures and told us (sitting outside) things ranging from “You’re my heroes” to “You’re f*cking crazy yo”. Check out this bit from @phillyinsider here.

To summarize the night, it was a once in a lifetime dining experience (free + blizzard). The food, despite the weather, was excellent, as was the service. I certainly don’t regret sitting in 25 degrees weather for this meal. But I wouldn’t do it for just any meal either.

- Manneken Eats

Studiokitchen #2: Breakfast for Dinner

4 Nov

I was lucky enough to grab the last 2 spots for this dinner the day of. The previous visit to Studiokitchen had been such a great experience that I couldn’t wait to come back. Spotted some tweets about the dinner and I realized Sandy and I didn’t have plans that night. Shola was kind enough to add us to his table.

This time around, the theme was Breakfast for Dinner. Our host divided the menu in 3 parts.

First up was “Flavors of Breakfast”

Scallop. Chamomile-Apple Gelee. Breakfast Radish. Celery

Scallop. Chamomile-Apple Gelee. Breakfast Radish. Celery

Ok, so I’ve never had Scallops for breakfast but I wouldn’t mind having this in the morning again. What really made this dish was the gelée. It tasted like a nice Chamomile Tea. Great mise en bouche.

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Marble Rye Ice Cream. Smoked Arctic Char. Sorrel

Shola’s take on a Smoked Salmon Sandwich. The Marble Rye Ice Cream was amazing. It formed a great pair with the Smoked Char. The chip it was served on gave it some nice texture and the Sorrel helped cut the Ice Cream.

eggs on eggs

Egg Salad "Chiboust". Caviar. Puffed Parsnip

I could’ve easily eaten the whole tray of these delectable single bites. The creaminess of the Chiboust, the Caviar, and the crisp Puffed Parsnip… Just thinking about it makes my taste buds tingle. (Sandy’s favorite if I recall)

Second part of the dinner: “Breakfast for Dinner”

my fave

Rainwater Madeira Oatmeal. Roasted Matsutake. Parmesan

My favorite dish of the night. I’m a sucker for good mushrooms and the way they were incorporated in the Oatmeal was nothing short of perfect. I just couldn’t get enough of it.

Croissant Soup

Toasted Croissant Soup. Cheddar Whey Froth. Bacon Wrapped Andouillette

A croissant soup?? Yes, a Croissant m*therfreaking Soup.  And it couldn’t have tasted more like Croissant than it did. Skewered is the Bacon (Benton’s Ham) Wrapped Andouillette. Pretty damn good take on a Croissant Bacon Egg & Cheese.

Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel. Chermoula. Tomatoes

My least favorite dish of the night. But it’s really because I’m not so fond of cooked fish. Still a very solid dish. The fish was cooked just right and the Chermoula added a nice kick to it.

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Meadow Run Farm Egg. Triple Chicken Bouillon. White Truffle. Whipped Foie Gras

Savory Bouillon with some Whipped Foie Gras to elevate it. The Egg looked beautiful. Until…

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...@alexrolfe suggested I took a pic w/ the Yolk out.

Turns out that it looked even better thanks to the yolk’s color.

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"La Ratte" Potato-Oxtail Terrine. Potato-Egg Yolk Foam. Oxtail Jus

My second favorite dish of the night. An interesting Steak and Eggs rendition. I literally finished it in 3 bites. I really wish I had had seconds.

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Old Spot Pork Belly. Miso Dulce de Leche. Fennel. Apple. Celeriac.

Basically Bacon and Chocolate. Except here it’s called Pork Belly and Miso Dulce de Leche. If you’ve never had bacon with chocolate or vice versa, you ought to try it.

Third part of the dinner: “Dessert for Breakfast”

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Puffed Caramel Corn. Celery Root Milk. Corn Sorbet. Mint Gelee

Simply the best of bowl of cereal I’ve ever had in my life. Everything worked. The Caramel Corn, the Celery Milk, the Corn Sorbet, and the Mint Gelee. It all came together almost magically.

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Frozen Butterscotch. Smoked Chocolate. Blis Maple Glazed Benton's Bacon. Roasted Banana Sorbet

Oh hey! Another Bacon and Chocolate Combination! At this point the bacon becomes almost gratuitous but you won’t hear me complain about it. I have to say I wasn’t as impressed by this dessert as by the previous one. I think it was too much sorbet for me. But I’m nitpicking here.

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Sandy smiling = great meal

Another unbelievable meal at Studiokitchen. This time around, the guests seemed more jovial and Sandy and I had a great time conversing with others. I’m eager to go back (Nov 19th Game Dinner) already!

For prettier pictures and more insight on the dinner and the thought process behind it, visit Shola’s blog. There’s also some serious food porn going on in the gallery so don’t look at it on an empty stomach! Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!

Thanks again to our fellow guests, our host Shola, and Sandy for a great meal and great company!

Tasting Menu at Bibou

3 Nov

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Butternut Squash Consomme w/ Sweetbreads

Seated at the bar, Charlotte brings us this consommé. Light, full of Fall flavor, it worked great as our first dish. And you really can’t go wrong by adding bits of Sweetbreads in it.

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Rillettes de Porc

Although they were slowly cooked in Pork fat, these Rillettes were pretty light and were a fatty delight on the fresh bread.

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St. Jacques w/ Pearl Barley and Beer-Hazelnut Emulsion

Perfectly seared, the scallop’s texture was unbelievable. So many restaurants offer scallops but I am rarely as impressed by a scallop dish as I was by this one. The pearls added another dimension texture-wise while the Beer-Hazelnut Emulsion was simply exquisite. The Hazelnut touch clearly made it a great Fall dish. (I forgot to ask what beer Chef Pierre Calmels used though)

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Seared Foie Gras w/ Pumpkin Bread and Quince

Hands down one of the best seared Foie renderings I’ve had to date. First of, the slices of Quince (Apple relative) that gave some crispiness and acidity to  the plate. Then, the Pumpkin bread that provided the Fall sweetness to bring the dish together. Every bite was amazing.

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Bone Marrow

FINALLY GOT IT! As one of these bad boys was being served to another table, I asked if we could get the same and Charlotte was kind enough to make it one of our dishes. Great flavors, bad-ass presentation, it was everything I had read about.

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Hangar Steak w/ Spaetzle and Asparagus

You know what bugs me? Restaurants that advertise this or that beef from this or that farm. More often than not, you end up being a tad disappointed because of the hype surrounding the piece of meat. Here, Chef Calmels came out to serve us (it was rather busy). All he said was: “Here you have Hangar Steak, Spaetzle and Asparagus.” Very unassuming, but man was it good. Cooked on the rarer side, the meat was tender. The Spaetzle was lightly sautéed and the Asparagus was just crispy enough.

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Plum Pie

Desserts aren’t what Bibou is known for but there was certainly nothing wrong with this Plum Pie.

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Crème Brûlée

This is what a Crème Brûlée should feel/taste like. No contest. Go see for yourself.

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Without a doubt, this was our best meal at Bibou so far (4th or 5th visit). The $70 pricetag for the tasting menu is clearly worth it. I cant wait to go back already. The food, the service, the atmosphere make it my favorite restaurant in Philadelphia. Here, you wont find tableside dissection of your poultry and all that show, but you will find delicious, authentic French food , a great service, and maybe Sandy and I chowing down on some Foie and Bone Marrow.

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