Oh Bibou – I heart you. I’ve been moaning about how its been so long since I had something truly amazing to eat. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the apples and yogurt and bread that I consume on a daily. I just mean I wanted something from a chef that really made me appreciate the culinary profession. Thank you Bibou for finally giving that to me.

Bibou is a small, intimate but not stuffy, cash-only, bring your own wine kind of place. My friend and I were the youngest people there, which is just fine with me. The owners are a married French born couple (adorable) and Bibou is their first restaurant (also adorable). She runs the front, he runs the back. The chef has worked in the kitchens of Daniel and Le Bec Fin so experience is not lacking.

The menu is made up of 5 appetizers and 5 entrees. If you have a great dinner companion, like I did, you can try almost 50% of the menu.

For the appetizers:

  • Escargot – Snail ragout, fava beans and mushroom
  • Foie Gras – Pan seared, sautéed red grapes, banyuls vinegar sauce

both appsIf you read my blog than you know, I can go a very long time without meat protein. Its not something I notice – I’m just naturally drawn to vegetables and most of my protein needs are met by beans and yogurt. However, I am a foodie at heart and believe that even controversial foods like foie gras deserved to be enjoyed, with rarity. This foie was flawless. It was the perfect consistency, the inside was still warm, and the sauce had to be sopped up with the bread until none remained.  For the escargot, the snails were weak in comparison to the perfectly seasoned wine-based sauce they were presented in.  They were good, I just want to stress the perfection of the sauce. The bread below was used as the vehicle for consuming every last drop of both sauces as well as to try the butter imported from France. The butter was creamy and rich (obviously) but lacked salt.

butterFor the main course:

  • Seared Halibut, artichoke fricassee, carrot julienne, barigoule sauce

halibutThe fish was cooked perfectly. But the real star was the artichokes. I’d give anything to know how to make an artichoke taste so chewy and full of sage.

  • Veal medallions, Brussels sprouts and orzo, sage veal jus

vealThe actual veal was the most uneventful part of our dinner. The miniature brussels sprouts were quite tasty though. A solid dish with again a perfect sauce.

The NY Times and I were pretty aligned on this one. Take a quick read for more info about Bibou. Next time you find yourself in Philadelphia, I say give Bibou a try. Plan ahead though, they’re pretty sought out on Open Table.

  • Healthy Options: 2 out of 5. Other than the small portion sizes there is nothing healthy here.
  • Food: 4.5 out of 5. Superb. Would be a 5 out of 5 if the dinners were as good as the apps.
  • Service: 5 out of 5. Not a single complaint. Perfect service.
  • Seating: 5 out of 5. No wait. Perfect timing.
  • Ambiance: 4 out of 5. Cozy, romantic, intimate.
  • Price: 4 out of 5. Expensive, for app, dinner, tip $50 per person. Saving grace is that you bring your own wine.