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Old 11-04-2020, 04:53 PM
 
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With so many US restaurant's closing, I was thinking of the closed (since 2013) Le Bec-Fin, which was widely proclaimed to be the best restaurant in the USA. I never got a chance to eat there.


I never went in for fancy dining. When I was living in Montgomery County, my favorite restaurant was Valle's Steak House. They had restaurants on Roosevelt Boulevard and in Valley Forge. All Valle's closed years ago.
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Old 11-04-2020, 05:09 PM
 
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I would say Le Bec-Fin’s spiritual successor is Laurel. Nick Elmi was one of Pierre’s protégés.
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Old 11-04-2020, 08:13 PM
 
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High end restaurants have gotten quite a bit more casual which, IMO, is a good thing. I think of Vetri as the restaurant that most fills the void left by le bec fin in. Obviously they are different cuisine styles but similar in terms of many courses and you can expect to spend several hundred dollars per person and the restaurant is nationally known. Zahav is probably the city most famous restaurant right now but it is not particularly expensive. Jose Garces tried to fill this roll when he opened Volver but his efforts fell flat.

I think the answer of Laurel is a good one. I still pick Vetri only because Vetri is much more well known outside of Philadelphia. However, it is the french influence that drew you to le bec fin then Laurel is a better choice.
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Old 11-04-2020, 09:15 PM
 
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Thanks. I have never heard of Laurel or Vetri. Just glancing at Laurel's "tasting menu," I don't think I'd enjoy the experience.
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:23 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
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Awww, my Mom and I loved Le Bec Fin. We went there in the late 80s, I think. Everything we had was delicious, but things had heavier cream sauces back then (which was why they were delicious!). I remember the two couples next to us kept laughing and saying "where's the beef?" when the waiters would lift the silver platter covers to reveal tiny delicate portions. I think they were there on a gift certificate, because they didn't seem to get the concept. On the other hand, my Mom and I loved the small portions -- otherwise, we never would've gotten through all those courses! Georges Perrier came out once to say hello to everyone in the dining room and gave me a flirty look. (Hey, I was in my 30s then!)

I guess the formality fell out of favor eventually, but I was sad to see it go.
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Old 11-06-2020, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
With so many US restaurant's closing, I was thinking of the closed (since 2013) Le Bec-Fin, which was widely proclaimed to be the best restaurant in the USA. I never got a chance to eat there.


I never went in for fancy dining. When I was living in Montgomery County, my favorite restaurant was Valle's Steak House. They had restaurants on Roosevelt Boulevard and in Valley Forge. All Valle's closed years ago.
Not an answer, but I have been trying forever to remember the name of Valle's. I remember they had very fancy drinks. So, thank you.
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Old 11-07-2020, 09:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newmarlig View Post
Not an answer, but I have been trying forever to remember the name of Valle's. I remember they had very fancy drinks. So, thank you.

I'm not an imbiber so I never ordered drinks at Valle's. In addition to their regular menu, there was an insert, which items changed daily. Some of the daily specials that I liked were braised short ribs of beef, really tender beef brisket, potted swiss steak, London broil, etc. Valle's also had excellent fish and seafood like stuffed lobster. Gooey deserts, too.


Valle's seating arrangement included high backed booths where you couldn't see or hear the people at the neighboring table. I never see these in today's restaurants.

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...x13-1888335978

Last edited by Wells5; 11-07-2020 at 09:36 AM..
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon08 View Post
Awww, my Mom and I loved Le Bec Fin. We went there in the late 80s, I think. Everything we had was delicious, but things had heavier cream sauces back then (which was why they were delicious!). I remember the two couples next to us kept laughing and saying "where's the beef?" when the waiters would lift the silver platter covers to reveal tiny delicate portions. I think they were there on a gift certificate, because they didn't seem to get the concept. On the other hand, my Mom and I loved the small portions -- otherwise, we never would've gotten through all those courses! Georges Perrier came out once to say hello to everyone in the dining room and gave me a flirty look. (Hey, I was in my 30s then!)

I guess the formality fell out of favor eventually, but I was sad to see it go.
I think the highlighted is important.

Things change, taste change. I went to le Bec Fin one time, it was nice for a special occasion but that's it. lol I did hate the fact that I had to dress up to go.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:54 AM
 
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Experience and quality food = Vetri
Quality food and food genre = Laurel
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:34 AM
 
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I will say that I LOVE eating excellent foods and meals. AND I'm willing to pay -- and have paid -- high prices for that enjoyment. I don't need to dress up to enjoy the food.

Sure the highest quality ingredients cost more than cheap crap. But I'd imagine that foodies know that MOST of the restaurant tab and the final bill is NOT for the food or ingredients themselves, but the atmosphere. And sorry to say for me, restauranteurs and maybe most people in general equate "fine dining," or 3 or 4 Michelin star restaurants with dressing up, or more formal -- or at least not casual -- attire.

Never went to Le Bec Fin. But personally, I'd enjoy Daniel on the upper East Side of Manhattan or Le Bernardin or Modern in Midtown just as much in my knit pull on pants, as getting dressed up just because that's the dress code. I have been to those restaurants and boy were they GREAT food experiences. I do wish I didn't to get dolled up to go, though.

A 3 or 4 star place where I can wear jeans and a T-shirt -- THAT would be great.

Quote:
I guess the formality fell out of favor eventually, but I was sad to see it go.
Quote:
I did hate the fact that I had to dress up to go.
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