Weekend in Philly
I know it has been written about before but I would like to chime in as I followed my fellow hounds and took their recs when I visited this weekend. My first impression and also the hardest ticket in town was not a favorable one of Bibou. I traveled from NY and took the only reservation possible which was a 10pm Friday nite dinner. At the end of the evening all I can ask is if this is the Philly version of "A King's New Clothes"? The menu and presentation of, the room [a drop ceiling?] and the hostess [owner no less] who misplaced my reservation and made me prove it by looking on my phone was too much for me. Enjoy your dinners there but if you come to NY you can get 100 intimate places that are tremendously better - I'd rather pay for my wine. Sat. we went to Tinto and had a nice experience eating at the bar but then foolishly accepted a table in the dining room where everyone sat in their coats because the ac was on. Regardless, good food and service and will go back [first see about the climate control]. Lastly we went to the Italian market to do some shopping for the holidays and on the way home passed a hound favorite, Cochon. We decided to stop and have a quick brunch and was rewarded with an amazing meal, tremendous friendly service and was able to taste one of the great wines I brought down. Highly recommend this restaurant and I foolishly canceled my reservation Sat. nte for Tinto. Next time I will start with Cochon and figure out the rest by listening to you all. As for Bibou all I can say is BOOOOOO! Then again, everyone has an off nite.
Sorry I've been to Vetri and though I didn't say before the plan was all BYOB places. I ended up in Tinto bc I couldn't get into Melograna on Sat which was my 2nd choice as I gave up my reso at Cochon [said earlier].
The food at Bibou was good nothing special, simple French bistro food. Escargots, foie gras, fish. I'm not saying it was bad but it was nothing special and looking at their menu, the presentation, vegetable accompaniments, room, decor, and WARM greeting, I just didn't see what the fuss was all about. I thought the space was better at Cochon plus it was alive.
Wow, sorry you had a less than stellar experience at Bibou. I usually find Charlotte to be charming, however, she is very french and i'm sure capable of getting that "french edge"---esp. at end of a busy night---no excuse, but could see it happening.
The food for me has always been very fresh, good and straightforward---which is what i think their aiming for.
As far as BYO's, Cochon is very good. Others you may want to try if not already on your list are Matyson, Branzino, Caffe something-something(Italian). A italian, not BYO i don't think that also gets raves is Le Virtu.
If you liked Tinto you'd like his original Amada. Have not tried Chifa.