Le Bec Fin

The Barnes Foundation is not the only Philadelphia institution reveling in a glorious second life. Le Bec Fin, the city’s top French restaurant for more than 40 years, reopened this summer with a new owner, chef, and pastry chef, all of whom worked with Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. The team enhanced many of the luxuries for which Le Bec Fin had gained renown, reviving the Louis XVI decor, reducing the number of tables from 18 to 11, hiring a staff of 60, and bringing back a jackets-required dress code.

 

The new management also brings the lighter, more contemporary sensibility of Napa Valley. Chef Walter Abrams works with local farmers and foragers to source ingredients for his eight-course, prix fixe menu ($150), which abounds with clear flavors. Dishes include halibut with English peas and truffles, and Mangalitsa ham with cranberry beans, mizuna, and Parmesan broth. Pastry chef Jennifer Smith’s desserts, such as celery sorbet with wild berries and candied-pecan shortbread, express the same bright notes. Downstairs, the old bistro has become a bar called Chez Georges after the restaurant’s legendary founder and chef Georges Perrier.

 

The new owner, Nicolas Fanucci—who, before overseeing the French Laundry, was Le Bec Fin’s general manager—is especially pleased with the wine list, for which he bought a private collection that includes all first-growth Bordeaux. You will not find 1947 Pétrus at the Barnes.

Le Bec Fin, 215.567.1000, www.lebecfin.com

Photo by Daniel Krieger for the New York Times
Few restaurateurs have made as refined an imprint on New York’s dining scene as Drew Nieporent. In...
Part of a larger renovation at the hotel, the new Le Miyako has added a teppanyaki table...
Placed in different kitchens, chefs will create eight-course menus inspired by local cuisine…
Interactive cooking demonstrations with acclaimed chefs, wine and tequila tastings, and an open-air...
Photograph by Deborah Jones
The Michelin three-star chef is also creating a new signature restaurant for the cruise line…
The bistro is a tribute to the meals prepared by Italian mothers and grandmothers everywhere…
Marcus’ welcomes guests with a globally influenced menu and a modern art-filled setting…
Festivities will include musical performances, bourbon tastings, and meals prepared by some of the...
Photo by Christian Horan
The 26,000-square-foot Nobu Doha dishes out a fusion of Japanese and Arabian Gulf delicacies in...
Photo by Deborah Jones
The heart of Napa’s three-Michelin-star restaurant gets a makeover…