Sunday, February 5, 2012

Le Bec-Fin

Le Bec-Fin
1523 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

I came here for their lunch menu during restaurant week.  I found the ambiance to be pleasant - the chandeliers were a bit much but the servers did take my and my friend's coats at the door and they do try to maximize the "Frenchness" of their venue.  We ordered the following dishes:

Cauliflower veloute (creamy soup)
Snails in garlic and butter sauce (with hazelnuts)

Main Course:
Le Bec-Fin burger with pommes frites

Key lime tart
Creme brulee

I probably shouldn't have gone with the Le Bec-fin burger since you can get a burger practically anywhere, but I figured it might be more gourmet at a French restaurant, plus I was really hungry so I wanted something with more volume.  The beef paddy wasn't as obscenely large as it would have been at an American grill and it came with nice lettuce leaves and caramelized onions.  The bun was buttery and smooth.

I did not enjoy the snails.  They tasted like mushrooms and would have been bland had they not been soaked in butter and garlic.  And honestly, can anything taste poor when flavored with butter (pure fat)?

My friend's cauliflower soup had a creamy, smooth texture and tasted very good.  Her salmon was basically sushi-grade salmon (filet) seasoned with salt.  It was prepared well but it wasn't anything out of this world.

The desserts were also pretty standard considering that we were at a French establishment.  The creme brulee was pretty generously sized.  I didn't like the crust on the key lime tart - more crust than actual tart.

I think $20/head for a 3-course lunch at a premium French restaurant is a good deal, so I guess we got what we paid for.  If you want something more impressive, I guess try this place during the regular, non-promotional time (not restaurant week, since they won't put their best items on the menu during this time).