Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New happenings at some old favorites: Han Dynasty & Bibou

There are some new happenings at some of my old Philly favorites!

1.) Bibou has been nominated for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.

2.) Han Dynasty in my lovely Old City neighborhood has started offering the new best deal in town on the first Monday of each month. It's the hottest (literally...like face numbing hot) restaurant around and the cuisine is not to be missed. Han Dynasty is offering a not-on-the-menu tasting that is sure to leave your belly and your wallet stuffed. $25 bucks a piece for pretty much all you can eat...and then some.

1.) The restaurant my husband calls "the best in Philly", Bibou, has been nominated for a James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. For those of you who aren't familiar with said award it's a BIG deal in the culinary world. Nick and I re-visited Bibou last week (here is my original blog post) and I can tell you in all honesty that their nomination is much deserved. (**note: Philly is representing this year in the Best New Restaurant category. Also up for the award are Chifa and Koo Zee Doo,both are also great establishments...click on names to read my past reviews**)

This time at Bibou we shared the house made pate' to start. I'm a pate' junkie (the threat of gout is probably the only thing that keeps me from eating it in mass quantities on a regular basis) and this pate' didn't disappoint. Rich, creamy with classic flavors like pistachio. Yes please.

For our main courses the hubby had what I would call Bibou's "signature" dish...the foie gras stuffed pigs foot with french lentils (Nick says he wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about it) and I had the bone marrow. Nick's pig's foot was as perfect as the last time he had it and I have a feeling that we will return again in a few months and Nick will order it once more.

My bone marrow was superb! I'm the type of girl who would happily suck marrow out of a bone through a straw given the opportunity (as unattractive as that sounds). Luckily, this dish made the marrow a bit more accessible. It was mixed with black trumpet mushrooms and bread crumbs then served in the hollowed out bone. The result was a dish so rich, so meaty, so earthy, that I couldn't help but ooh and ahh over it. Home run chef!

We finished with a lovely cheese plate (and an AMAZING sweet tomato jelly...I need to know how to make this) and a smile on our face. If you have not yet visited Bibou I highly recommend a trip. And be sure to congratulate them on their nomination while you're there!

**I recommend reservations**
1009 S. 8th Street
Philadelphia PA 19147

2.) Han Dynasty in Old City has just started offering what felt like a bazillion course dinner on the first Monday of each month. It's family style, $25 bucks a head, BYOB so bring all the beer you think you'll need (and then some...thanks folk sitting across from me for giving me another beer when I ran out!) and freaking delicious. ***Note: I didn't want to keep anyone waiting while I selfishly snapped pictures of the food last night (it being family style and all), so this pic below is stock footage from our last trip there...link to last post***

Nick and I were lucky enough to snag a seat last night for what I will call a "Fiery-First-Monday-Feast". Yah. Cute right? A little after 7 they started bringing out the bowls of food. At first glance I thought that there wouldn't be enough to go around. I have never been more wrong in my life. Bowl after bowl after bowl of delicious morsels came streaming out of the kitchen. And just like at your family Thanksgiving dinner they were passed around the table to the diners' delight.

Cucumber in chili oil, tripe with chili sauce (I think this was my favorite actually), pork, three kinds of noodles, fish with vegetables in a mild (very welcome at that point) sauce, rabbit dry pot, frog's legs with really yummy spices...the list goes on folks. I couldn't take pictures...I could hardly keep up with the names of the dishes as they passed. Everything was delicious. Everything was unique and certainly different than your typical Chinese take-out. Everything was approachable...nothing was "10" hot...he kept it at a very delicious "7". Everything was CHEAP ($25!!!!). Everything was plentiful! And probably best of all...everything was shared. You get to chat with the folks across the table from you and giggle about who is sweating most. You share bottle openers, beers and say "please pass the rice" because it's the only thing that really cools your mouth. And you get to try new things right along side these folks. Trying new things alone can be boring. Trying them surrounded by food-loving-folks is downright fun.

If I were you I would clear your dinner plans for Monday, May 3rd. Break out your cooler, pack some beers, wear a shirt that you don't mind getting dirty (anyone know how to get chili oil out of my husband's favorite shirt?) and get ready to try something new.

Han Dynasty
108 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106


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