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French Dining In Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s French Dining Shines During PIFA

The first-ever Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA) features 25 days of arts and culture inspired by Paris circa 1910 – 1920. Where better to showcase French-flavors then at Philadelphia’s incredible restaurant and dining scene.

The Kimmel Center will be hosting the Le PIFA Bistro, a pop-up restaurant featuring cuisine by Wolfgang Puck Catering. The Bistro will by open for dinner Friday – Sunday from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. and for brunch Sundays from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Guest chefs from France will be pairing up with some of Philadelphia’s top restaurants to create special menus in honor of PIFA. Pairings include:

Le Bec Fin
Le Bec Fin will feature a special menu created by Chef Perrier and Chef Mathieu Vinnay of France’s La Mère Brazier. The $100 per person, four-course meal includes a Bresse Chicken and foie gras terrine “En Croûte” with black cherry jam, roasted squab with winter vegetables and shaved foie gras and more.

Amuse at Le Méridien Philadelphia
Chef Dan Black of Amuse at Le Méridien Philadelphia will host Eric Brujan L’Orenac of Le Méridien Etoile.

Pierre Calmels of Bibou will be paired with Olivier Paget of Le Fleuire.

Bistrot La Minette
Peter Woolsey will be creating a special PIFA menu with Joseph Viola of Daniel et Denise.

Caribou Café
Olivier Desaintmartin of Carbou Café will join forces with Jean-Paul Borgeot from La Tassee.

Chef Terence Feury of Fork will be joined by Simon Lacassin of Prefecture du Rhone

Michael Abt of Parc will welcom Frederic Berthod of 33 Cite.

Table 31
Chef Arnaud Languille of Clostan Traiteur will join Table 31’s Chris Scarduzio.

Jon Cichon will be joined by Chef Eric Hubert starting April 13 for a seven-course, $85 per person meal that includes a sweet pea cappuccino with bacon and morel mushroom, foie gras served with sunchoke, asparagus and black sesame and a Bershire port tenderloin with baby turnips and passion-fruit-caramel.

Daniel Stern of R2L will be joined by Chef Babette De Rozieres of La Table de Babette from April 13 – 15. Several of Chef Babette’s traditional Carribean dishes will be added to the menu, including crunchy cod fritters flavored with chili, crisp islands stuffed crab and coconut custard.

More French Dining in Philadelphia

A la Maison – This Old World Country-style bistro in suburban Philadelphia focuses on French comfort food, including coq au vin, steak frites and onion soup gratinee. The restaurant also allows patrons to bring in their favorite wine or spirits. Details: 53 W. Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, (484) 412-8009,

Bakers on Broad – Owned by Raphael de Bussy, a native of Soissons, France, and his wife Linda, this cozy French bakery serves up artisan breads, along with pastries, pies, tarts and more. Details: 503 E. Broad Street, Souderton, (215) 703-0518,

Beau Monde – Sweet and savory Breton crepes are served in this charming Queen Village Beaux Arts-style bistro. Head upstairs to L’Etage for cabaret and dance music. Details: 624 S. 6th Street, (215) 592-0656,

Bibou – A labor of love for husband-and-wife team Charlotte and Pierre Calmels (former executive chef at Le Bec-Fin), this cash-only bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot serves up seasonal, rustic French bistro fare in South Philadelphia. Details: 1009 S. 8th Street, (215) 965-8290,

Bistrot La Minette – Chef Peter Woolsey, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and his wife Peggy, who hails from Dijon, preside over this charming and authentic bistro. Try the mustard-braised rabbit with homemade tagliatelle and Gateau l’Opéra for dessert. Details: 623 S. 6th Street, (215) 925-8000,

Bistro St. Tropez – With its spectacular views of the Schuylkill River and the Cira Centre, Bistro St. Tropez offers a warm, South of France vibe and a creative take on classic dishes from chef/owner Patrice Rames’ childhood home. Details: 2400 Market Street, 4th floor, (215) 569-9269,

Cochon – From its name, which means pig in French, to its menu of rustic bistro specialties, including escargot and pork belly, this family-owned BYOB in Queen Village is a French favorite. Details: 801 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 923-7675,

Georges’ – Georges Perrier’s country French-style outpost in Wayne on the Main Line draws a well-heeled crowd for New French flavors and a friendly bar scene. Details: 503 W. Lancaster Avenue, Wayne, (610) 964-2588,

Gilmore’s Restaurant – Chef/owner Peter Gilmore channels the finest Parisian fare at this West Chester restaurant that’s so authentic a dinner may be tempted to pay in Euros. Details: 133 Gay Street, West Chester, (610) 431-2800,

Le Bec-Fin – Although he recently considered closing his legendary restaurant, chef/owner Georges Perrier has recommitted to his temple of fine French cuisine, partnering with executive chef Nicholas Elmi. The duo has plans to remodel the mezzanine level and Le Bar Lyonnais in late summer 2011. Guests can select from both a degustation and ala carte menu for a truly elegant lunch and dinner experience. Details: 1523 Walnut Street, (215) 567-1000,

Le Petit Mitron – This French bakery across from the train station in Narberth serves the best croissants, pastries and tortes this side of the Left Bank. 207 Haverford Avenue, Narberth, (484) 562-0500,

Miel Patisserie – Gourmet desserts, sophisticated sweets and artisan chocolates line the cases at this gourmet Center City sweets emporium. Patrons can indulge in everything from chocolate-covered caramels to the sensual Rouge et Noir, a vanilla, chocolate, raspberry and cocoa cake. Details: 204 S. 17th Street, (215) 731-9191,

Parc – Restaurateur Stephen Starr created this ode to the bustling French brasserie, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Enjoy the likes of duck confit, bouillabaisse and trout amandine, or when the weather is fine, on the cafe overlooking Rittenhouse Square. Don’t miss the profiteroles for dessert. Details: 227 S. 18th Street, (215) 545-2262,

Rouge – The first French bistro on Rittenhouse Square offers sidewalk seating and an intimate, sexy ambiance that draws a fiercely loyal crowd. Chef Michael Yeamans offers creative twists on French classics. Details: 205 S. 18th Street, (215) 732-6622,

Savona – Originally a historic inn dating back to 1763, Savona features chef Andrew Masciangelo’s inspired cuisine, capturing the culinary spirit of the French Riviera and focusing on the use of local and seasonal ingredients. Plus, there are more than 1,000 wines on the restaurant’s extensive list. Details: 100 Old Gulph Road, Gulph Mills, (610) 520-1200,

Spring Mill Café – Tucked away in Conshohocken, this atmospheric restaurant serves up French Provençal specialties like boeuf bourguignon and rabbit stew, along with a hefty serving of charm and romance. Details: 164 Barren Hill Road, Conshohocken, (610) 828-2550,

Zinc – Experience this romantic New French restaurant specializing in seafood from chef/owner Olivier Desaintmartin, whose Canard à la presse delivers one of the most unique food experiences in town. Locals love the restaurant for its intimate vibe, creative cuisine and sexy bar. Details: 246. S. 11th Street, (215) 351-9901,


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