The New Le Bec Fin Reviewed

The story of the death and rebirth of Le Bec Fin has been the story of the year on the Philadelphia restaurant scene. We’ve written extensively about its sale, closure, history and reopening. Now Trey Popp visits and reviews the results of all the work put in by new owner Nicolas Fanucci and chef Walter Abrams.

From an opening teacup of chilled cucumber juice with watermelon and nasturtiums, to a seventh-course riff on ants-on-a-log (the celery as a sorbet, the peanut butter switched for candied almond butter and brittle, foraged mulberries in place of the raisins), the meal replenished all that the heat wave had scorched. A bonito emulsion graced a melon and smoked corn salad like fairy dust. Corn ravioli and mussels in a lovage sauce reeled me back 10 years to an unforgettable chowder on a wooden windjammer in Maine.

There was richness and depth, too: Cured Mangalitsa ham under parmesan foam inflected with mullet roe. Lamb medallions with garlic scapes and a subtle curry sauce. A tower of chocolate mousse and poached cherries almost decadent enough to overcome nostalgia for the retired dessert cart.

Three-and-a-half stars (Excellent to Extraordinary)

Philadelphia restaurant review: The return of Le Bec Fin [Philadelphia magazine]
Le Bec Fin [Official Site]

Photo by Courtney Apple