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Echo & RIg

We were there yesterday. They have a lot of potential but a long way to go. My husband has a gluten allergy. The server told us that they didn't have a gluten free menu and just to ask about items. After much back and forth and some guessing by the server he ordered a plain steak and mashed potatoes. At one point the manager came out and apologized that there was no gluten free menu but assured us that the chef was working on it.

The steak was served on a plate with their standard side of crumb topped tomatoes and potato chips. Neither of which was gluten free. Duhhh..... At least we were able to actually see the gluten and avoid a catastrophe.

We were seated outside and someone complained that it was too cool so instead of moving them inside they turned on these massive heaters. For a few minutes we thought we were on the menu char broiled. When someone complained the manager said that they couldn't keep everyone happy and if they turned them off someone would be complaining that it was too cold.

I ordered the duck which the server was careful to warn me was served medium rare. I said that was perfect, exactly how I wanted it. Well it might have been plated medium rare but after sitting under the heat lamps for a while it came out medium well. It was obviously a heat lamp problem because the bottom half still had a little pink clinging to it. It had a wonderful flavor but sadly was overcooked.

My husband loved his steak as did our companion.

Sep 28, 2013
joluvscards in Las Vegas

Bouche Santa Fe

Stay away if you have a food allergy.

Would you like a side of gluten with your canned artichoke hearts? Should have been the greeting we received from our snotty server. After calling to talk with the manager about my husbands gluten allergy we felt comfortable that they knew about the allergy and were equipped to handle it. We made a reservation. Big mistake.

We ordered everything gluten free. The Lyonnaise salad was very good with a perfectly poached egg. It was missing the vinegary bite found in the classic one but good anyway. My husband loved the snails Then things went downhill.

Many of their dishes incorporated artichoke hearts. We love artichoke so we ordered several dishes. One side was sautéed mushroom and artichoke hearts. How can a presumably high end restaurant serve canned artichoke hearts? I can open a can at home but I wouldn't.

My husband's steak tartare was served with bread on the plate. Not the gluten free bread we were promised but regular bread. Luckily I asked before he at any. Our server shrugged and started to take it away. I knew better and had her leave it on the table while they prepared a fresh one. The manager shrugged and said they would prepare a fresh one. Apparently no one appreciated the potential negative impact of serving food to someone who is allergic to it. The server tried to cover it up by saying that she served us another table's food. Now that's a comfort.

The worst was our server brought the check and said to my husband sorry but I wasn't really trying to poison you. What a snotty attitude. Lucky for her I didn't hear it or there would have been a smack down in the restaurant. I'm still pissed that my husband left her a tip.

Sep 08, 2013
joluvscards in Southwest

Matyson - so sad

What has happened to Matyson? In the years since they opened we have been regulars (more than 100 dinners), taking local and out of town guests to this once wonderful restaurant. Last year we moved away and just came to town for a few days. Of course we had to go to Matyson.

We were given a lukewarm greeting at the door and shown to a table. They handed us the regular and tasting menu. We were informed that they changed their policy and now everyone at the table has to order a tasting menu if we want it. We asked if we could order something ala carte from the tasting menu and were told no.

The food was a real disappointment. Two of us had the salad which was an overdressed gloppy mess. Where was that lovely flair they used to show with their flavors? One of us had the crudo. The server made a point to tell them that they were not eating it correctly and had to drag the fish from the side of the bowl through the sauce. Huh? BTW when I asked about the fish they couldn't tell me what type of fish it was.

The duck was fine but sorta boring. Served over pureed corn with one baby bok choy limped over the top. Tasty enough but certainly not up to their previous standards.

After dinner they gave us dessert menus and asked if we wanted coffee. That's when things really went downhill. We ordered three cappuccinos and one decaf coffee. All was served luke warm and we sent it back. How does someone make a luke warm cappuccino by accident?

For dessert we ordered the coconut cream pie and the brownie sundae. We have enjoyed that pie since the original Sonya was making it years ago. What happened? They turned a once beautiful dessert creation into something one would expect from Acme. Instead of a high fluffy pie with a lovely crust we got something made with gelatin and what tasted like store bought crust. It was disgusting. The brownie sundae was not memorable.

I finally figured that they must have changed hands. Upon asking I was given some double talk about the chef opening another restaurant. They tried to tell me that he spends most of his time at Matyson. Yeah right

We're so sad about the demise of this once fabulous restaurant. Even sadder that we wasted our only night in town here.

Aug 01, 2013
joluvscards in Philadelphia

What do you keep in stock for guests, that you never consume?

hard liquor and mixers
herbal tea

May 19, 2013
joluvscards in General Topics

Gluten-free good Chinese food, especially Szechuan?

PF changs

Nov 30, 2011
joluvscards in Greater Seattle

A great lobster dinneri

The Palm

Nov 13, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

In Phil for one night

Bibou, can't do better than a spot at the counter.

Oct 28, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

In Phil for one night


Oct 28, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Ok, how about a recommendation for Thai

Why not give Doma a try. It's korean and sushi. We love it. It's at 18th and Callowhill. Byo

Oct 27, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia


OMG they are the bomb! Call first. It comes in slabs and you can cut it as thick as you like. We get their bacon at Rittenhouse on Saturdays but they are not there every week.

Oct 27, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Girasole Philadelphia

Effective marketing tactics I suspect

Oct 24, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Fun, decently priced restaurant for a Monday night

For a taste of Philly you can't do much better than Radicchio. It's a short cab ride.

Oct 06, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Looking for a critique of my Philly food itinerary

If you love Japanese go to Fuji. Skip Vetri and go to Bibou whcih Robert Parker called the best bistro in the country. I definitely agree that asian isn't what Philly dining is all about. I recommend trying one of our great new American places like Bistro7, Matyson or Sonata. Have a great time.

Aug 17, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

ISO Italian Restaurant that's BYOB

L'oca is in Fairmount near the Art Museum. It's trendy Italian. Very good but no red gravy.
Radicchio is in Northern Liberties near 4th and Wood.

Both are byo and excellent.

Aug 10, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

BYO in Philadelphia

I agree with my good friend, Sylvia. Matyson and Bibou are the two restaurants we recommend to our out of town visitors for non Italian byos. We dined at Matyson a few weeks ago and it was better than ever. Excellent innovative new american cuisine. Save room for their wonderful desserts.

Aug 08, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Heirloom tomatoes

Rittenhouse farm market on Saturdays

Jul 14, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Any lunch ideas??

Pad Thai shak?

Jul 12, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Le Select or Steak Frites Bistro?

We are coming to Toronto in a few weeks. There doesn't seem to be too much on the board about Steak Frites Bistro. Fellow chows which would you choose? Thank you

Le Select
432 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V1E3, CA

Lady's 50th birthdays

How bout Nan. French asian in west philly. BYO too

Jun 30, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

In Search of Awesome Philly Wedding Caterer

We loved the job Feast Your Eyes did for our party. We are going to use them again next year. The took care of everything, were very professional yet fun. The food was amazing.

Jun 24, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Recommendations for good cheap eats- Center City

Sazon has great Venezuelan cheap eats at 10th and Spring Garden.

May 31, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Looking for ideas for a fabulous and memorable 10 year anniversary in Philly area..

If you are a food person and want a memorable meal go to Bibou. It's definitely not a fancy place just great food and a loving atmosphere. Since it's byob you can splurge on some wonderful wine.

May 27, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Sazon Recommendations

We love the plantains with cheese, patacon, beef stew and the steak with sugar. Everything is great tho.

May 13, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

well-known but non-touristy things to eat in philadelphia

Second Koch's. Also I would recommend anything at Sazon. We love the Bimimbap at Doma in the Art Museum area.

Mar 25, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Looking for Glute-Free Diet friendly restaurants in Center City/Old City/Rittenhouse area

Bibou is great for a special evening. Matyson is one of our favorites and very accommodating. Fish is outstanding but all seafood. Sonata they will present you with a customized gluten free menu and the food is terrific. Sazon is extremely casual but they may want to go on one other evening. For a special treat take him to Sweet Freedom Bakery. Everything they have is gluten free.

Feb 25, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Gourmet Caramel in Philadelphia?

The pennsylvania store at the Reading Terminal has fabulous plain caramels. They are made locally and individually wrapped. They are soft but not too, chewy but not too, perfect. They also have caramel covered marshmallows. They are located right next to the checkout. When I visit out of town family I must take a box or they won't let me in.

Jan 30, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

cooking supply stores in Philly?

This is definitely the place to get what you need. They are actually at the intersection of 5th and Bainbridge. Not open on Sundays tho.

Jan 23, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Vegan options in center city

Sazon at 10th and Spring Garden. Sweet Freedom bakery on South. Bibou does great things for Vegans.

Jan 10, 2011
joluvscards in Philadelphia

NYE By Rittenhouse Square

Tria is nice for wines by the glass. Try the one on 12th it's larger than the one on 18th. Also Max Brenner is fun for drinks and/or dessert.

Dec 22, 2010
joluvscards in Philadelphia

Philly Mag top restaurants?

Can't believe that Blackfish beat out Bibou. Went to Blackfish some years ago and was underwhelmed particularly with the service and atmosphere. They must have improved. Bibou is close to perfection in a dining experience imho.

Dec 22, 2010
joluvscards in Philadelphia