Sunday, October 4, 2015

Neuf...and nine reasons why you should go.

Hello, friends.

I know, there was a bit of lag time in between my last post and this one. But, thanks to a few dozen or so friends and family, I'm starting again. One new friend, who I was lucky to meet at Neuf last night, saw a post and kindly suggested I write more. "People want to read what you write, the way you write it," he said. What a compliment and I must oblige. Thank you!

And now onto Neuf, which means nine in French and opened its doors officially this week. It's Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan's new spot that offers African-French cuisine with a full-service bar. It's a departure from Noord, their Dutch-Scandinavian BYO in East Passyunk.

Here are the nine reasons why you should go:

1. The gorgeous entry.
My friend Anita and I walked to Neuf, at 943 s. 9th Street, Saturday night into one of my favorite restaurant facades in the city. The space boasts two bay windows that flank the tiled entry way.

2. Bob and Joncarl.
Once inside, we found both owners smiling and greeting us, either from the dining room or the kitchen.

The menus. 

3. There's halloumi!
We debated on the menu a bit but settled on sharing the bouillabaisse and the kusheri salad (with the halloumi). The salad was light and we pretty much devoured it. Too quickly to snap a picture, in fact. 

The bouillabaisse. 

4. The saffron broth.
We also didn't leave much of the bouillabaisse that we shared. The saffron broth was perfect and light but we asked for more crusty bread to make sure we could enjoy every last bit. I think I had a spoon in my hand at one point.

5. Almond joys have nuts. Mounds don't.
The dessert the gentlemen beside us shared was, according to them, "like the inside of an almond joy," that they ate up. This is what I'll be getting on my next trip.

6. Sherry.
We ordered the Paris-Brest which was a light but filling pastry with cream, sherry and cherries. We also had sherry a digestif to round out our meal.

7. The art work.
After dinner, Joncarl stopped by and said hello and we had a long talk with Bob that focused on his art. He told us about the painstaking installation of mini bottles that he staged, photographed and turned into wallpaper. I make the process seem easy but I assure you, it was not. It's a fascinating story and I won't give it all away, but when you go, walk to the bar and check it out.

8. New and very well done.
All and all, it was a great meal, especially considering it formally opened mere days ago on Oct. 1.

9. Happy hour.
I can't wait to pop by for happy hour and another meal, soon.

I hope you check it out and and create your own reasons to go and enjoy.

Your friend, (new or old)