A Fresh Perspective on the Allure of Le Bec Fin

Philly’s swankiest restaurant just got a little more accessible to the masses.

By Brian Freedman
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Oct. 24, 2012

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9. The Price

Much has been made of the fact that Le Bec-Fin’s dinner options were limited to elaborate, gorgeous $150 tasting menus, and lunch to a two-hour, $55 commitment. New owner Nicolas Fanucci has obviously been listening: Starting this Friday, there will also be a four-course, $85 dinner option—and a three-course lunch alternative for $39. As far as the wine list, it is, of course, easy to find pricy bottlings of legend. But perhaps unexpectedly, there is a lovely selection of excellent, thoughtful options in the under-$100 category, as well. In our phone interview, Fanucci told me that he wants Le Bec to not just be a place for birthdays and anniversaries, but also for a nice night out that can be considered alongside our city’s other great restaurants. He also will be rolling out new iPad-based menus, which will arrive at the table fully customized for each guest. So: You’re a vegetarian? Or a pescatarian? Your menu will only feature dishes that fit your personal dietary requirements. And in a smart nod to our digital world, customized menus can be printed for guests, posted to Facebook and more.

10. The New Owner

Fanucci works the dining room like the professional he is, with a mix of charm, enthusiasm, deep knowledge and unflappable professionalism defining his interactions. He was GM at Le Bec before moving out to California to helm the dining room at the French Laundry; his career at the top echelon of American gastronomy has allowed him to wear the vestments of fine dining with real comfort and ease. Talk to him a bit and you’ll see just how personal this project is for him, how deeply he believes that Philadelphia needs a reinvigorated Le Bec Fin. I agree with him wholeheartedly; eating here is exciting again, and watching it continue to evolve promises to be one of the great stories of Philadelphia dining for years to come.

1523 Walnut St., 215.567.1000. lebecfin.com

Cuisine type: Fine-dining French

Hours: Lunch: Mon.–Fri., 11:30am–2pm. Dinner: Mon.–Sat., 6pm–10pm

Price range: Lunch menus $39 or $55; dinner menus $85 or $150

Atmosphere: Regal and elegant

Food: Delicious and not nearly as heavy as you might imagine French to be

Service: Professional, passionate and thoroughly approachable

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1. Anonymous said... on Oct 24, 2012 at 11:30AM

“Brian's review mirrors my own experience at Le Bec Fin. Nice to have a beautiful, world class, fine dining option right here in Philly!”

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2. Judith Jacobson said... on Oct 24, 2012 at 05:22PM

“Brian!! You are an amazing writer. You make me want to eat out again. It's your words, your other worldly descriptions, which I know you are using sincerely to describe the food, that is as enticing as the food. You are a true artist!

Judith”

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3. Anonymous said... on Oct 25, 2012 at 01:45PM

“The meal was very, very good but I certainly didn't get the same omelet. Yes, the one I had was delicious but not even near the transcendent experience of the writer. Wish it had been!”

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4. Anonymous said... on Oct 26, 2012 at 01:05AM

“I had a similar experience recently at Le Bec Fin: each dish was transcendent. I found myself closing my eyes to focus completely on each wave of flavor. Once great food lovers get wind of the renaissance here, it won't be so easy to find an open table.”

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5. austin said... on May 19, 2014 at 01:54PM

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