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Dined at Striped Bass Friday night. Outstanding, fabulous, fantastic. Every part of the evening was terrific. Service was great, no speeches, no sneering when we asked for tap water. Enjoyed all 5 items on the tasting menu, especially the Halibut and the Cheeseskate.

Glad to hear it, do you recall any more details from your meal? Did you have to arrange for the tasting menu ahead of time, of was that an option presented to you that evening? Approx. what did the tasting menu cost? Thanks!

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Tasting menu option is on the menu. 5 courses for $80 plus an option for wine pairings for each couse for $45. Server recited each course before we ordered and again when it was served (which was helpful because it was hard to remember everything). The Amuse Bouche was a wonderful lobster bisque served in a demi-tasse cup. I wish it was a whole bowl. The first course was an Ahi Tuna ceviche, although the fish was cut in slightly larger peices. Next was a soft shell blue crab and after that was the halibut over brocolli rabe that the server poured a wonderful herb broth into. The last savory course was the Philly Cheese Skate, which was 2 peices of Panko breaded Skate with shredded short rib in between. There were several palate cleansers throughout, including a citrusy homeade foamy soda and a wonderful cucumber sorbet sprinkled with grey salt. Dessert was a spin on the old fashioned orange creamsicle bar in a dome shape.

Overall this turned my 5th wedding anniversary into a memorable experience. Highly recommended!

Previn Inc.

Supplier to Fine Restaurants.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm bumping up this thread because I wasn't sure if I should start a new thread on Happy Hours, or whatever, but here goes.

On Fridays during the summer, the Striped Bass has a free raw bar from 5pm to 7pm. The raw bar includes a variety of oysters, chilled shrimp, and yellowfin tuna tartare. It usually fills up by 5:30, so it's a good idea to get there early and be near the food. Unfortunately, no drink specials, but to wash this down, Mr. Duck and I had a nice Chardonnay from Bourgogne. Maybe one day we'll actually eat there, but for now, this will do.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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  • 3 weeks later...
With Christopher Lee taking over at Gilt in NYC, does anyone know if he has been replaced at Striped Bass or will he be running both kitchens?

There is no way anyone can run both kitchens.

Besides,ignoring the fact that they are in two different states, Gilt belongs to a Mid Eastern Royal Family and Bass is a Starr restaurant.

Each entity requires dedicated attention and there is no way either entity would accept such an arrangement.

Of course Starr will replace him if he hasnt already.

Its Philly's loss for the most part, the city always seem to lose chefs on the more creative side of Food.

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Besides,ignoring the fact that they are in two different states, Gilt belongs to a Mid Eastern Royal Family and Bass is a Starr restaurant.

Each entity requires dedicated attention and there is no way either entity would accept such an arrangement.

Okay, I have been giggling about this all afternoon.

Tonight! At the Spectrum! It's Restaurateur Smackdown: The Iron Sheik vs. Steven Starr! Who! Will! Win!

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Okay, I have been giggling about this all afternoon. 

Tonight!  At the Spectrum!  It's Restaurateur Smackdown: The Iron Sheik vs. Steven Starr!  Who!  Will!  Win!

You've passed the giggle torch - :laugh::laugh::laugh:

I look forward to hearing about who the next chef at Striped Bass will be. I'l be interested in how Starr selects this individual. Alas, I opted to go to Le Bec Fin instead of Striped Bass shortly after it opened and was all the rage. I've regretted that decision ever since. But, with a new chef coming in, I'll have a new reason to visit!

Also, now that Lee has moved on to Gilt, it gives me one more reason to re-visit NYC soon!

u.e.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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  • 2 months later...

I know that Chef Lee has moved to NYC so who is the current chef at Striped Bass and has anyone here eaten there recently? I am supposed to go in two weeks and I am concerned that I might want to eat elsewhere until things in the kitchen settle down. Any answers, opinions or advice would be most welcome.

Best regards,

Daniel Kremens

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Striped Bass appears to be without an official executive chef, at least no announcement has been made regarding a replacement. It however seems to be coasting along on autopilot (remember Dan Akyroyd from SNL...the Bassomatic...... :laugh: ).

It has the quite talented paul liebrandt as a "consulting chef" so the kitchen is certainly in good hands. Would be much better if they serve lieb's real food though.

Dined there 3 weeks ago with 3 people, everyone seemed to like thier food but no one seemed to be wowed by anything for the price.

I did not taste the other people's food but i had a relatively flavorless tomato soup with a copious amount of baby greens and a rather inventive scallop dish with a lobster emulsion, sweet corn and I believe either cocoa nibs of coffee......That was tasty

Still at the end of the day, the $$$$$$ X-axis Vs Deliciousness Y-Axis graph falls precipitously that for me it is money best saved for top end New York Dining.

Should you go ?

Absolutely....the room is fabulous, the food is good enough and the servers fawn all over you.

Just depends on how comfy you are swinging the dollars.

Edited to add : It was just vastly different from my 3 meals at Gilt.

see: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=78174&st=30

Edited by Vadouvan (log)
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Vadouvan,

Thanks for your fast reply. I've eaten at Striped Bass a number of times under all the Chefs going back to Alison Barshak so I do know how lovely the room is and how accomodating the staff is. My concern is would I be disappointed now and does the restaurant seem directionless without an executive chef. I do not simply want a good serviceable meal; I'd like something special. Thanks for your insights.

Dan

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I personally know everyone who has ever run the bass except Lee....

Barshak, Ternay,California Allison, Feury....

Feury was the most on point.

If Liebrandt is there, it wont be a "servicable" meal.

Almost every restaurant in philly cooks variations of what could be sublimated into essentially the same food, just depend on how fancy you want to dress, how much you want to pay and whose wine you want to drink, yours or thiers.

Bass under Lee was cooking delicious but safe food.....but more importantly different.

Just avoid that silly cheeseskate and the tuna with shortribs they served all summer.

Lieb's cooking is much more interesting.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last week I posted regarding an upcoming meal at Striped Bass. I was concerned that without an executive chef in place the restaurant might seem directionless. Any concerns I had were thoroughly laid to rest with my meal last night. It was the best meal I had had at the Bass since Chef Fleury and perhaps the best I've ever had there. We started with the shellfish tasting which consisted of a selection of oysters, shrimp, stone crab, alaskan snow crab claws and (for a $25 supplement) a lobster tail. The shellfish was fresh and attractively presented along with five sauces. I thought the sauses were superfluous given the quality of the fish but my companions especially enjoyed a chipolte aioli. My only complaint was that I thought the tail was small for a $25 supplement. For a first course, I had rocchetti with fresh shaven white truffles. This dish had a $65 supplement but here the truffle serving was extremely generous. The truffle was amazingly fresh and earthy and despite the cream and aged parmesan, the dish was remarkably light. It was the best truffle dish I've had in years and, to me, worth every penny. I was so enthralled with the truffles that I did not give my companion's first courses the attention they deserved. My wife had a simple salad. Her friend had a pumpkin soup with diver's scallops and her friend's husband had octopus salad. I did not taste the octopus but the pumpkin soup was delicious on a cold night. For a main course I had a new dish of Paul Liebrandt's creation, a lobster carbonara. It was a deconstructed carbonara with pasta in a cream sauce on one side of the plate, a puree of peas designed like a leaf in the center of the plate and lobster, black olive, pancetta and ham on the other side. Like the truffle dish, it was rich but not overwhelming. It was a beautiful colorful presentation and tasted every bit as good as it looked. My wife and her friend had parmesan crusted halibut and her friend's husband had the striped bass served with butternut squash. Again, I was so enthralled with my entree, I did not taste the others but everyone agreed that their meals were great. For dessert we shared a butter pear cake with a pineapple sorbet and a chocolate tart. When the staff learned it was an anniversary celebration, they sent out an chocolate cake for the table. I spoke with Chef Liebrandt after the meal to let him know how much we enjoyed everything and he had the staff bring a truffle out to show me. The truffle was slightly smaller than a baseball. When he unwrapped it, the truffle smell was incredible and he encouraged me to hold the truffle to appreciate its texture. We also talked about the lobster dish. It is clear that he takes great pride in his cooking and it shows on the new menu and at the table. The staff was excellent, attentive without being overly solicitous and the pace of the meal was perfect. Finally, we drank some lovely wines (Champange with the shellfish, 96 Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin with the main course and Tokaji with dessert). Overall, it was a memorable meal, the kind that lingers in your thoughts long after you've left the restaurant.

Regards,

Dan Kremens

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  • 1 month later...

Wanting to check out chef Liebrant's cooking while he's in town, we had dinner at Striped Bass recently. While we did not see him behind the line that night, and the menu seems pretty similar to previous incarnations, looking a little pedestrian on the page, it seemed clear to us that his imprint was on the food - it was assertive, and vibrant, and a little odd in good ways. I noted a rather forward acidity in many of the dishes that perhaps not everyone would like, but I did... quite a lot... It's clearly not Liebrant in full-on experimental mode, but he seems to be putting a little bit of his sensibility into play in this more conservative context.

I should hasten to add that I'm no expert in Liebrant's cooking, but I had eaten at Striped Bass under chef Lee, as well as back in the Stein era (can't remember who was cooking that day...) Although the menu seemed very similar to those I saw on earlier visits, the server even mentioned a few items that were long-time favorites, the actual food on the plate had an intensity and vividness that I had not experienced before.

The lighting is pretty moody, so the pix are grainy, sorry...

Amuse:

gallery_23992_4073_26584.jpg

Sea Trout Ballotine, Yuzu, Brioche

This was a lovely starter, the rich salmon-like fish offset by the bracingly sharp citrusy tang of the purée on the side. Lurking behind the crunchy brioche baton is a scattering of powder (I'll go out on a limb and guess olive oil powder) that signals an edgy contemporary attitude toward a relatively classic dish.

2nd:

gallery_23992_4073_64000.jpg

Grilled Octopus and Shrimp

Delicious and perfectly tender seafood with an intense mustardy glaze that threatened to overwhelm the delicate flavors underneath, but didn't. That type of balancing act: bringing accompaniments right up to the line, but not crossing it, characterized much of this meal, and I like that approach.

gallery_23992_4073_87287.jpg

Crab Croquettes with Barbecue Sweetbreads

gallery_23992_4073_14048.jpg

The crab croquettes were light mini crabcakes with an intriguing herby halo, accented nicely with tart apple. I'm not sure what I expected from barbecue sweetbreads, but sure enough, they were sweetbreads with what was essentially a tangy barbecue sauce. It worked beautifully. The sweetbreads themselves were creamy and delicate, with no crust or char (maybe poached or sous-vide-ed?) the intense brightness of the sauce balancing their richness perfectly. I'm not sure I understand the combination of the sweetbreads and the crab croquettes, but I liked it, and the textural contrast alone made them excellent companions.

Mains:

gallery_23992_4073_36969.jpg

Diver Scallops with Wild Mushrooms

The scallops themselves were amazing, perfectly cooked, and dusted with an intriguing spicing I couldn't quite identify. The wild mushrooms were a marvel in and of themselves: earthy, round, and almost too vinegary on their own, but combining them with the scallops put the flavors right back in balance. Another lemony purée lurked in the shadows as well as two different glaze-ish sauces that added dashes of color to the autumn hues. I'm not sure what the leaves were, but they made for an intriguingly exotic presentation, and as they were dusted with spices, gave an interesting flavor and texture contrast as well.

gallery_23992_4073_37176.jpg

Salmon with Sauce Choron

This was perhaps the most traditional thing we had all night, but there's something to be said for a lovely piece of fish and a classic sauce. It was luxuriously rich, and once again, had a compensatory acid component from the tomatoes in the choron, as well as a tomato purée under the fish. Delicious.

and what the heck, we were celebrating a birthday, might as well have dessert... glad we did!

gallery_23992_4073_9557.jpg

Warm Bittersweet Chocolate tart, Grapefruit Sorbet, Ricotta Canolli

The bitterness of the grapefruit sorbet played off the bittersweet chocolate in a delicate crust. The cannoli was, other than its shape, pretty conventional, but that said, could give Isgro's a run for their money! Excellent.

gallery_23992_4073_102906.jpg

Striped Bass Banana Split

This seemed like an appropriately decadent birthday treat, and indeed is so excessive as to be rather funny. The banana and three huge scoops of ice cream are brought tableside, where one can have the server add any or all of about 75 accompaniments it seemed... Despite its massive size, it disappeared pretty quickly, so I didn't get to try it, but it got the thumbs-up form across the table. We saw a few of these being ordered around the room, and a passer-by even stopped to comment on ours, so it seems to be a bit of a sensation.

In sum, it was all quite delicious. Sadly the website menu is woefully out-of-date, and I didn't steal a hard copy, so I'm missing details about specific ingredients. It's rather amazing to me that despite the technical sophistication of the Starr empire, their website menus are almost never close to current. Some foodie nerd want to go apply for a job? They need you...

Service was smooth, prompt - yet not rushed, gracious - but not stuffy, with several people checking on whether we were happy with everything - without being intrusive.

The wine list has been tweaked since the last time I was there, with more good selections under $100. There are still plenty of big-ticket wines if you feel like dropping some coin, but I had no problem finding several attractive possibilities in the $60-80 range. Mark-ups seem to still be pretty brutal, about 400% of retail, judging from a few wines that I know the price of off the top of my head (including the excellent Amity Gewurtz we had) but hey, at least there are a few that start low enough that the quadrupling doesn't kill you.

All in all, a pretty pricey meal, starters in the high teens, entrees in the 30s, so our food was about $70 per person, but that was for 3 good-sized courses, with wine it was about $100 each before tip.

But it was very good food, served well, in a cool space. It's a little too pricey to be a regular haunt, but I'd consider it a good special-occasion destination. I hope chef Liebrant sticks around a while longer, and passes on some of his technique to whoever takes the helm next.

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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