Well versed restaurant diners might recognize one of the dishes that Mica chef-owner Chip Roman is serving as part of his crab tasting menu tonight and tomorrow night as a throwback to Le Bec-Fin’s glory days under founder Georges Perrier. It’s the Galette de crab, the lighter than air and costly crab and shrimp-laden creation that was regarded as one of the storied restaurant’s signature dishes. Roman, who spent five years in the kitchen at Le Bec, said it remains one of his favorite dishes from that chapter of his career, and that it's a recipe he can prepare in his sleep. “I can’t even begin to calculate how many times I made it,” Roman told Grub. “Maybe, like, thousands of times in the years I worked there."
He added that he enjoys serving dishes like it at his restaurants from time to time. “We did it at Blackfish (his well-received BYOB in Conshohocken), and guests went nuts for it,” Roman explained. “Every once in a while I run dishes like this; something I learned from one of the guys I worked for. It kind of gives homage to them.”
Though it's been a number of years since Roman worked the line a Le Bec, he said he still keeps tabs on his former mentor, Perrier. “I see him a lot more than I ever expected to,” he said. “He comes in to Mica for dinner about once a month.”
His take on the dish, he maintains, is 100 percent accurate. After making the Galette de crab thousands of times, he was later put in charge of teaching new hires how to replicate it.
“We’re going to do it verbatim,” Roman said. “There isn’t going to be any sort of interpretation of it; we’re doing it exactly as it was taught to me.”
Since Le Bec’s change of ownership, the dish has gone missing from the daily tasting menu that new chef Walter Abrams serves. A Le Bec insider tells us that it will have a comeback this fall on the menu at Chez Georges, the re-imagined space beneath the restaurant’s main dining room where Perrier rules the roost. Until then, these two nights at Mica may be your only chance to taste the dish. The full $45 crab tasting menu is posted below.
Crab Salad with mustard oil, French melon, cress
Galette de crab 'Georges Perrier'
Veal 'Oscar' with blue crab, spinach, bernaise, trumpet mushroom, sugar snap peas
Peach strudel with raspberry sauce