1523 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1910239.949920 -75.166996
Neighborhoods: Center City West, Center City
A Philly Gem – In Le Bar below Le Bec Fin, you can get $5 martinis and half priced apps M-F from 5-7 . What a great deal! The drinks are good, the food is great, and the people watching is fun. Chef Perrier was hangin' at the bar when we were there for dinner. It's a place to go when you're dressed nicely. I guess that's the only con - I wouldn't feel comfortable dropping in for a drink in jeans.
Great restaurant week – Some restaurants ace their restaurant week debuts (many people try a restaurant for the first time during Restaurant Week), others make them complete faux pas - and I am happy to say that Le Bec Fin, or rather Le Bar Lyonnais, does the former. LBF doesn't participate in restaurant week but Le Bar does, and my friend and I were seated in the mezzanine in the technically-LBF area. For that reason, I can't comment much on the ambience of Le Bar other than that it looks really, really dark (I saw it in passing to and from the restroom).
What I love most about LBF/Le Bar is the service - you get just as great service for restaurant week even though you're paying a fraction of what you would normally pay. The portions are quite small, yes, but they still taste great and they are still beautifully decorated. The food themselves often become the conversation pieces. You still get some choice over the dessert, but if they don't have on the Restaurant Week menu what you might want (say, the 24K gold-flaked "Opera"), then you can request for it. Ask nicely, and quite truthfully, the staff will be nice to you regardless, but it's just nice to be nice especially when they are being so nice :)
$35 for a 3-course meal at a restaurant like this... best $35 one could spend.
Over-rated – I think that this restaurant is over-rated. It's over-priced and customer service is horrible. I would much rather prefer going to Brasserie Perrier. Don't waste your money and time going here.
Le Bar Down Under – More of a subterranean cloak room than a dining area or bar, this place is neither
elegant or atmospheric. Even though the menu is superb, and reasonable for the quality of the food., who wants to eat in a cloak room? The wine list is another story with prices beginning at $55 for some very average bottles and $17 for a glass of pinot noir that can be had at $9 a bottle. The bar scene is comprised of the old, the bad, and the ugly tourist. Not worth the time or trouble, especially those with great expectations of a LeBecFin offspring. Additionally, the staff seem to have a nice time amusing themselves, at the expense of clientele.
With fewer pretensions than Le Bec-Fin, what you lose in stiff formality you gain in a simple, accessible elegance. – Going Down
Located in the basement of the world-famous Le Bec-Fin, it offers a sampling of the fine cuisine served upstairs at digestible prices. And even with the bistro setting, Le Bar still ranks as one of the city's best restaurants.
You may still have sit next to out-of-towners and the extremely rich. But you also have the delight of knowing that people above you are paying at least three times what you are for food from the same kitchen.
Unlike the menu upstairs, this one is printed in both French and English. Ceviche de thon (as good as Vetri), terrine du jour (the duck is excellent), ravioli aux champignons and the grilled quails are superb. Skip the pommes frites.
luscious – This is a much less expensive way to experience the grande cuisine of Beq Fin. It is more comfortable than I imagined, not at all cramped or smokey. The service is first-rate, really first-rate, in that the staff make you feel special and welcome, a refined approach that one sees only in the four star establishments. Like all haute cuisine, dishes are hit or miss because they are more intellectual statements in the language of Cordon Bleu than real food, but be assured you will be well-fed.
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