Wow! What a truly fabulous restaurant we just discovered in Bistrot La Minette, a just-over three year old find on S. 6th St near Philly's Italian market. Housed in a renovated fabric store, the exterior of which used to be painted like a dalmatian (walls, sidewalk and all), the chef has really created something special in this gem. He studied in France for several years, married a French woman who took all the photographs that decorate the interior walls and presents his diners with a truly authentic and memorable experience. The chandeliers are French antiques, his father-in-law taught him to make the outstanding baguettes they serve, and the red velvet banquette is just perfect, lining nearly half the periphery of Minette.I enjoyed a glass of the house white while T opted for a Belgian brew that he'd not previously tried. To eat, I chose (and devoured) the leek and goat cheese tart perched atop spinach purée and abutted by a frisée salad dressed with a superb tarragon vinaigrette which I will definitely attempt to replicate at home. T blissfully consumed his creamed Swiss chard and oeufs de Pecheur: a piece of artisan toast topped with two poached eggs, surrounded by mussels and dressed with a tarragon cream sauce. It was all scrumptious. We tried to purchase a baguette to go but are not able to do so until tomorrow as they go through so many on Fridays and Saturdays. On our way out of town, I feel certain we will make time to go grab one or two for the road and home. A definite two thumbs up and must-return-to place.
We also had a complete blast in Fante's, an old housewares store in the Italian market. God, it had everything, and naturally we came away with all sorts of previously unknown to us "necessities" such as a larder. I'll let you know what and when I lard. ;)