Gabi, the all-day French cafe from Peter Woolsey of Bistrot La Minette and La Peg, has an opening date. The new North Broad restaurant should start serving steak frites and escargot on Monday, November 4.
Woolsey, a Philly native who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, teamed up with Kenneth Bush, who’s been the executive chef at La Minette in Queen Village since 2014, and Brad Histand, the general manager at first La Minette and then La Peg. They’re all owners at the new restaurant, set at 339 N. Broad Street in the changing North Broad corridor.
The trio is going for a more casual vibe at Gabi than diners usually associate with French restaurants. As Woolsey explained to Eater, “In America, there is such a wide range of available cuisines; in France, most of the restaurants are French. But most French people don’t have the money or inclination to eat out at the Michelin-starred gastronomic temples that made French cuisine so famous every night of the week. So French restaurants in France come in all shapes and sizes ... The most accessible of them all is the French cafe, which is analogous to the American diner.”
No 24-hour diner service here, but this is an all-day cafe, meaning it will serve different menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as brunch. (Breakfast isn’t happening just yet — look for that to be added in the coming weeks, as the restaurant settles in.)
The menus are decidedly French, with dishes like nicoise salad, steak frites, a croque madame sandwich, onion soup gratinee, escargot in roasted garlic-parsley butter, duck confit, and, for dessert, creme brulee. There’s also a full bar, with a focus on classic French cocktails.
The look is the iconic French style art deco.
Starting November 4, Gabi is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week, with dinner entrees added to the menu at 5 p.m. On weekends, brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a limited afternoon menu and then dinner from 5 p.m. on. Breakfast, when it’s added, will start at 7 a.m.