A couple of weeks ago, husband and I ate at Bistro 7 in Old City, Philadelphia. This was, hands down, one of the best meals I have ever had aside from Cyrus in Sonoma. Every single dish was perfection. The small BYO was cozy and at times, a little noisy. The open kitchen and the two chefs working side-by-side all night were captivating. We stayed for a good 3 hours to eat through our carefully prepared meal of local produce and fresh meats. Our meal consisted of:
Green Vegetable Gazpacho with Lemon Cured Salmon, Crème Fraîche and Pickled Vegetables. This was so perfect. The salmon was tender and moist. The gazpacho was crisp and clean with a hint of every herb you could imagine.
Wild Burgundy Escargot stewed in Fennel Pernod Cream with Tiny Sourdough Croutons (Husband tried escargot for the first time and enjoyed. I declined.)
Olive-Oil Poached Rabbit Rillette with Avocado and Pickled Baby Carrots. This dish was so inventive. Little did we know that a small jar of rillette would be so filling. I was daring, and tried the jelled dish of game, but it neither tasted like jelly or game, so it was a win-win for me.
Herb Roasted Striped Bass Filet over Saffron-Scented Mussels Stew with baby arugula, Israeli couscous, yellow pear tomatoes and basil aioli. I was thrilled to have such a light dish for my main course because by now I was getting a bit full. I did manage to finish almost everything, as Israeli couscous is one of my favorite grains, and this time it was prepared to just the right consistency.
Crispy, Slow-Roasted Pork Belly Glazed with Honey, Lavender and Peach Gastrique with roasted peaches, French green lentil pilaf and mâche greens. If husband hadn’t ordered this, I would have. The honey and lavender combo is always a hit, and the salty and crusty pork belly was such a great contrast.
Vanilla Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Lemon Jelly and Summer Berry Terrine. To be honest, I couldn’t manage more than a spoonful of dessert, but I have to say that the Berry Terrine was simply amazing and tasted like it had been prepared with freshly-picked berries from a secret bush in the back of the restaurant.
Bistro 7 is a restaurant that I will make countless excuses to return to.