As chef at Le Bec-Fin, Nicholas Elmi prepared escargot in the style of French master Georges Perrier. With Royal Boucherie, the bar and restaurant Elmi opened in Old City last month, the snails are back.
His escargot appetizer is a rendition of the Le Bec-Fin recipe, Elmi said. The snails are braised in a light champagne reduction and delivered to the table in a small silver saucepan with hazelnuts, butter, garlic, and shallots. Green parsley and chartreuse give it a flavor that tastes brighter than a traditional escargot sauce.
"This is a way to convert people on escargot," said Elmi, chef-owner of South Philly restaurants Laurel and ITV.
The snails are served alongside a hunk of crusty sourdough baguette made by Machine Shop boulangerie, to mop up the buttery, nutty broth.
Royal Boucherie serves classic brasserie-style fare, with an emphasis on raw bar offerings and charcuterie. Other small plates include baked Cape May salt oysters, endive and kale salads, and crispy-crunchy bar snacks, like trout croquettes and fried olives. Entrees include steak, pork cheek, duck, and lamb dishes.
Champagne-braised escargot; $15 at Royal Boucherie, 52 S. Seconnd St; 267-606-6313; royalboucherie.com.