I had a few lunches and a dinner at Le Bec-Fin (the dinner was a wedding present ... this place was VERY expensive).
It went downhill in its last few years, also losing popularity as super-fancy service by waiters in tuxedos and that type of ultra-rich French food went out of style, and eventually went under altogether. Someone from the management team at the French Laundry tried to re-open it under the same name, but that venture didn't last very long.
I still remember how excited I was the first time I went there. I had been reading that it was the best restaurant in Philadelphia and arguably the best French restaurant in the U.S. for years before I finally went there for lunch.
Not everything I ate there blew me away, but when I ordered the right thing, the flavors were just so overwhelming. In fact, I'd still say that the single best thing I've ever eaten was Georges Perrier's (the Le Bec-Fin former owner and chef) carrot mousse, which was served as one of the side vegetables the first few times I went there. There was only maybe a table-spoon of it on the plate. But it was just mind-blowingly good.
When it was time for dessert, a three-level cart full of a large number of items (always ice cream on the top level) was wheeled out to your table and you were encouraged to sample as many items as you could handle. They'd give you fairly small portions so you could sample more items.
Susanna Foo, the other Philly restaurant on the list, is also closed, although Ms. Foo has another restaurant in Center City called Suga. It's much more casual than her old place, which also features servers in tuxedos.
Susanna Foo and Le Bec-Fin were both on the 1500 block of Walnut Street, which used to be considered Philadelphia's Restaurant Row. That hasn't been the case for years as all of those places went out of style.
post edited by phlmaestro - 2018/10/17 16:00:02