after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Bibou: Their Hanger Steak Reigns Supreme

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t says: After a seemingly never-ending hiatus, we’re back!!  And there’s tons to do.  The problem is that the longer we’ve been away, the less I remember about the places we’ve been, so I guess I’d better get crackin!

6/2010, Sunday 9:30pm, Party of 2. Ahhh, Bibou.  How we love thee.  Not the least bit pretentious.  Not super-spendy.  No glitz or glam.  Just good food.  We had to choose one BYO for our anniversary dinner, and Bibou was our first choice.  We had originally scheduled dinner there after the Idina Menzel concert at the Mann Center in Fairmount Park, but sensing that she would run late, we rescheduled to a Sunday.  As a side note, Idina is absolutely silly … but we think it makes her awesome-er.  Yea – and she can sing your socks off (the Philadelphia Orchestra was also great, too!).

We arrived at Bibou and were promptly seated.  I forgot how small the place was.  It didn’t matter – we wanted small.  The waiter asked if we would like our wine, and, noting that it had already been opened (I wanted the wine to breathe some before we actually got to dinner), asked if I wanted it decanted any more.  I had never had such an offer at a BYO.  I kind of wanted to say yes just to test their wine service, but didn’t really want to draw attention to ourselves – after all – it is a small place.

The meal was their fixed price Sunday 4-course dinner.

The first was a chilled cauliflower soup.  It was surprisingly good.  No, it wasn’t super-complex, but it had a lightness despite being what appeared to be a creamy soup (maybe it was just a really smooth cauliflower puree).  It was perfect for summer, and a great start to the meal.

For the second course, I went for the escargots and g went for the duck liver terrine.  Yes, the escargot were as good as I remember.  g was perfectly happy with the duck liver terrine, but confesses that it’s not the type of dish that she dreams about …  Sorry we’re short on details for these two – but it’s because the next course was just too memorable …

We actually both ordered the same dish for the third course – there’s just something about the hanger steak that just KILLS IT.  It has just the right balance of savory and herb.  The asparagus reminded me of the asparagus omelettes my dad would make on Sunday morning breakfasts when we used to invite over the extended family.  The potatoes were addictive.  The meat had bite, but was tender, and, unlike at some places, was substantially large.  g said she liked it even more than the steak served in Cochon’s steak-and-eggs brunch dish … and that’s a LOT.

I opted for the pistachio ice cream, while g had some sort of berry tart.  Alone they were good.  Together they were a perfect combination that lent an air of humility to the meal – it was like eating a warmed slice of pie with a scoop of ice cream … well, except better.  Thus, the dessert was good, but not not quite Zahav-good.  But with a meal that was so splendid overall,  I really can’t complain.  Somewhere in the meal Pierre Calmels came out to greet us.  He seemed like such a nice guy.  Of course, it would be hard to seem like a bad guy in the face of all of the praise that we were showering on him, but he humbly accepted our comments and wished us a happy anniversary.  Indeed, it was a happy anniversary.

g says: i’d like to take a moment and recognize how delightful the tiny complimentary madeleines are at the end of the meal. they are about one-quarter the size of normal madeleines, but probably contain the same amount of butter… mmmm… a must-eat!

also, a note about pierre’s visit to our table — i was a little starstruck, i have to admit (i get that way sometimes, i just can’t help it! and it feels oh-so cool to have such an acclaimed chef offer us his personal attention) but i could barely understand a word he was saying through his thick french accent. it didn’t really matter, though, because every syllable was so dreamily smooth, i just stared at him smiling for most of the conversation. conclusion: i thought he was an impressively nice guy! t thought he was impressively tall…

Written by afterdinnersneeze

16 July 2010 at 10:10pm

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