Had asked others where to go for dinner in Philadelphia - Lacroix, they'd say. Had read reviews, mostly positive, some not. We knew, if nothing else, this would be an expensive visit, but it was our last night in the US after all. So Lacroix it was.
The restaurant decor is quietly elegant and the ambience - refined without being stuffy is probably the best way to describe it. The noise level was just right, not so hushed that you feel uncomfortable but certainly conversation friendly. Our table overlooked a snow-covered Rittenhouse Square, looking quite pretty in the winter lights.
From the outset, the service was exemplary. The restaurant was busy but we didn't feel rushed. A number of people waited on us, showing interest and sharing conversation at the right times, moving unobtrusively around us at others - all under the direction of Sylvain Briens, the General Manager - a bit like a symphony really. If you work here, you are very good at your job (the best in fact), which is exactly what you would expect for this price point - polished, professional staff, highly skilled sommelier.
We went with the eight course tasting and grand wine matching. A great choice. The dishes were delicious little works of art - seemed a shame to eat them really - and the wines were perfectly matched.
To be totally honest, the service nudged out the food on this occasion. Don't get me wrong, the food was extraordinary, no question, but that little group of players made the evening particularly memorable.
And in a final touch as we were leaving, when Sylvain heard we were not staying in the hotel, he kindly offered the services of the hotel car to drive us back to our accommodation. We declined as we were happy with the short walk, but it was a considerate gesture nonetheless.
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