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“Casual, elegant and delicious”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Bibou

Bibou
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Ranked #177 of 4,339 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Bella Vista / Queen Village
Cross street: Kimball
Transit: Septa buses
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Casual, elegant and delicious”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

I've been to Bibou twice now and both times I've been extremely impressed by the care, creativity and deliciousness of the food. It's such a comfortable setting. There's no pretension. Just excellent food. The chef and owner comes out periodically to greet each and every guest to let us know that our presence is valued and appreciated. In a tiny kitchen, amazing dishes are conjured. The foie gras three ways - food politics aside - is one of the most delicious dishes I've had in a long time. The fish is amazing. So are desserts. And although this restaurant is very crowded and it's hard to get a reservation, it's worth getting on the waiting list. We were able to cadge a table at the last minute when someone canceled.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Linda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    102
    24
    5
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
498 reviews
322 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
“Finally!”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

I've been meaning to try this restaurant since they opened. Tonight I finally got my chance & I can see why this establishment is consistently in the top ten lists for Philadelphia dining.

The food is excellent from appetizers though dessert. Our party of four sampled the terrine of boar & pistachio, the mushroom soup and a special of truffle risotto as starters. For entrees, the duck, a mahi-mahi dish, the legendary pig foot and another special: a bone marrow dish. Each item was executed meticulously. Flavors were rich and deep & subtle when they were supposed to be. Desserts consisted of a wonderful Floating Island, a small plate of Truffled Brie and a Cranberry tart served with complimentary macaroons & meringue cookies. Strong espresso & coffee to finish.

So why not five stars? A few things but mostly it's just an issue of size. It's a small restaurant. Tiny. While 32 seats aren't a lot, in this size room it can feel very cramped. On the plus side it is much quieter thanks to the acoustical tiles on the ceiling. The other issue worth mentioning is the amount of menu options. This is not a great restaurant for a vegetarian or a non adventurous eater. There are 6-8 app/entree choices on the menu and a lot of them include meat but also selections that may scare off some diners.

Portion sizes are what I would expect. You will leave sated after 3 courses but not stuffed. If you are looking for large portions this would be the wrong venue.

Service was very good & the staff are obviously dedicated. The chef came out before we left & took the time to thank us for coming. A delightful & charming touch specially given that the restaurant was full & he had a busy night ahead.

Expect to spend $60-70 for 3 courses, tax & tip per person. It's a BYO & Cash Only. Reservations are a must on Friday & Saturday nights. Lastly, parking can be difficult in this part of South Philly so add in some extra circling time if driving.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank pookala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Mirage, CA
Level Contributor
217 reviews
162 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“France in Philly”
Reviewed December 14, 2012 via mobile

Another TripAdvisor WINNER. Left Palm Springs inthe morning and could have been in France for dinner but really only a 30 minute walk from the downtown Marriott in Philly. French Onion Soup with thick broth, escargot in country broth not bathed in garlic, rabbit for the lady, swordfish with citrus salsa for the gent. BYOB. Not even a corkage. Under $120 for two for beautiful food excellent service, topped off with a table visit from owner chef Pierre. Reserve early. We got in at 9pm and they were still seating after us as seats at the 32 guest bistro became available.

Helpful?
1 Thank Keffco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
206 reviews
132 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Very good and cosistent! Love Pierrre cooking”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

Great place to visit for dinner. I am there once a month. It is true French cooking with sophistication,consistency, and wonderful atmosphere.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Laserza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fripp Island, South Carolina
Level Contributor
219 reviews
190 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“FRENCH PERFECTION!”
Reviewed December 1, 2012

After friends had been Raving about Bibou, I finally got the opportunity to join them for a Fabulous Dinner there. Their comments were "Did it live up to our Hype?", My response, "It Exceeded my expectations". This was definitely a Culinary Adventure "French Style". Serving Traditional French Dishes such as "Bone Marrow" & "Pied de Porc", Braised pig foot stuffed with foie gras, every touch of the fork will be heavenly! Chef Pierre Calmels is a true Culinary Artist! The Restaurant is a very small, cash only, BYOB. It also can be difficult to get a reservation. My Suggestion is to plan 5 to 6 weeks in advance if you're looking to get in on the weekend. Always Crowded, but Cozy, The Chef and Staff welcome you as if you were a relative they haven't seen in a while.
The Adventure started with one of my favorites " Tartare de Thon " Ahi tuna tartar,pickled squash, spiced butternut squash glaze. The Tuna had hints of Citrus, and a slight saltiness of the Sea. My Date Chose the "Soupe " Lobster bisque, fish cervelas. Lighter than an average bisque, The server, pours the bisque into a prepared bowl with Fresh Lobster & Butter. The Flavors were Fantastic! Our Hosts Chose the "Duo de Foie Gras "Seared foie gras with sautéed persimmon;Foie gras custard. They Raved about. It was Seared Perfectly. A couple of Baguettes with Real French Butter was Served.
Second Course was my difficult, Which to choose? The "Pheasant" or the "Bone Marrow"? My choice of "Pied de Porc" Braised pig foot stuffed with foie gras, French lentils "Du Puy" was a great one. I can't begin to tell you about this dish. A Traditional French Meal, Everything about it was Seasoned Perfectly, and Cooked to perfection. My Date had the "Striped Bass"Sautéed wild striped bass fillet, black trumpet mushroom and watercress fricassée, red beets, lemongrass and ginger jus de poulet emulsion. Once again, Everything about this meal was PERFECTION!
Dessert Course was choices of Chocolate Fondant, Several Choices of Ices & Sorbets including a popular Lemoncello. My Choice was a Creme Floating Island with a Goats Milk Meringue. Served with French Press Coffee.
Our Wine Pairings Included a Chateau Coucheroy 2010, Elegant Light Body, With a Nose hinting of Citrus. Also, a French Pinot Noir, that finished the Evening. The Service Was Impeccable and NOT STUFFY like some establishments. My Summation, I can't wait to go back!!! The Go To Place in Philiadelphia!!! Thank you Chef Pierre!!!

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ChefGaryCurry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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