One of the absolute best lunches of my life was consumed at Le Bec Fin on a recent Saturday. Everything you would expect from such a fine dining establishment was present -- a beautiful, traditional salle a manger; professional, efficient and attentive service; and delicious, well-presented courses. But there were also numerous extra touches which turn all of those qualities into a truly memorable meal, which I will leave to the reader's imagination so as not to place an unreasonable burden upon the restaurant in future -- other than to say what a pleasure it was to have a pair of conversations with the incredibly personable owner (and former General Manager of The French Laundry), Nicolas Fanucci (an Italian surname, perhaps, but he is all French).
Since Michelin rightly concluded long ago that a star should be awarded based solely upon the quality of the food itself, allow me also to say that the sunchoke (Jerusalem artichoke) veloute was fabulous, the Hudson Valley foie gras surpassed most of what I've had throughout France, and the guinea hen was as moist, tender and flavorful as a poultry dish could possibly be. Hey, Philadelphia -- instead of going to a ballgame or a museum on a fine Saturday afternoon (or most any other time), consider Le Bec Fin for a dining event worth savoring for a long, long time to come.
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