By 1992, Rames had moved up to the fourth floor. This gave him a much larger space, and - more important - a kitchen he designed. Plus there was the shimmering view of the Schuylkill, 30th Street Station and, depending on the seat, the Art Museum.
The restaurant also has a cafe-like setup outside the main dining area, around the corner from the elevators. It's not the most exotic arrangement; something like dining in an office hallway, but sometimes at lunch that's all that is available.
Which is quite a testament to Rames' food.
At lunch there are soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches. Delicious LeBus bread is used, and garnishes range from tomato-onion chutney to pesto and cumin-flavored slaw. There also are a few entrees and pastas du jour; all are served on oversized plates and are pleasingly presented.
A pureed soup of roasted peppers and eggplant ($2.50) sounded more intriguing than it tasted, but the onion soup ($2.75) was a classic creation, light and delicate, and not sealed over with thick layers of rubbery cheese.
Fried Chinese-style dumplings ($3.95) were crisp and greaseless, filled with a centerpiece of minced shrimp and flavorful enough on their own to not need the rather tasty dipping sauce.
Grilled mako shark ($9.95), an entree special, came with a lemongrass salsa, whipped rosemary potatoes and sauteed string beans. At dinner, a pan- roasted salmon ($13.95) also uses lemongrass.
While dinner features numerous catch-of-the-day fish, there are meat entrees as well, and even the likes of pork medallions with caramelized apple and onions ($10.95), and sauteed sweetbreads with a morel reduction sauce ($12.95).
A full-service bar offers wines by the glass, and there are chic and memorable desserts. Best to make reservations for dinner.
BISTRO ST. TROPEZ
The Market Place
2400 Market St.
Open: Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Dinner 5:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Price range: Lunch $5.75 to $9.95. Dinner $9.95 to $14.95.
Credit cards: Yes.
Nonsmoking section: Yes.
Atmosphere: Bistro with a city view.