Everyone who’s been to Paris likes to talk about “the most incredible little bistro” that they happened upon in so-and-so arrondissement while exploring the city. If a trip to the city of lights isn’t in the cards this season, happily there is a pretty incredible bistro located just south of South Street in the Bella Vista arrondissement of Philly. With neighborhood vibes, solid steak frites and one of the most intriguing wine lists in town, The Good King Tavern already has a lot going for it.
Recently chef David Ansill (of Pif, Ansill and most recently, Bar Ferdinand fame) came on board to give the classic French menu an overhaul. Ansill is splitting his time between the NoLibs Spanish spot and The Good King, leaving day to day operations in the talented hands of chef Mike Blau. Here’s a look at what new and exciting at this neighborhood favorite.
Ansill’s take on this bistro starter ($12, pictured above) tosses hand-cut steak with all of the classic garnishes, finishing it off with a swipe of purple mustard, waffle-cut potato gauffrettes and a tiny quail egg.
This take on a savory Tunisian by way of France pastry ($11, pictured above) is filled with tangy goat cheese and sits on top of a tomato coulis that’s accented with saffron and topped off with flash-fried basil leaves.
Swapping out salmon for the usual tuna, this plate takes all of the elements of a classic Nicoise salad (potato, tomato, olives, haricot vert, anchovies, hard-cooked egg and caper berries), transforming it into a bright, perfect for the end of summer entree ($18).
The Good King’s wine list is full of rarely seen gems and Chloe Grigri, who owns the bistro along with her father makes sure that the offerings are affordable, the right kind of esoteric and infinitely drinkable. This perfectly pink pet-nat (a natural sparkling wine) from Marie Thibault La Roue qui Tourne comes from the Loire Valley, pours for $14 a glass (pictured above) and pairs with virtually everything on the menu. If you’re looking to explore The Good King’s list further, head over on Sunday nights when bottles from the cellar are discounted to half off of the list prices.
There is some serious talent behind the bar here and the cocktail list is a collaborative effort, with riffs on classics, house cocktails and a rotating selection of specials. The Society Hill ($12, pictured above), created by Guy Smith sees rye, sloe gin, dry vermouth and Aperol stirred and strained with lemon bitters. The Good King recently launched a neighborhood happy hour weeknights from 5–7 PM complete with a menu of discounted snacks and cocktails.
614 S. Seventh St.; 215-625-3700