For beurre blanc: In a small heavy saucepan boil wine, vinegar, shallot, thyme, bay leaf and pepper to taste until liquid is evaporated.
Add crème fraîche and boil until reduced by half.
Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time, lifting pan off heat occasionally to cool mixture and adding each new piece before previous one has melted completely. (Do not allow sauce to simmer; it should not get hot enough to separate.)
Strain sauce through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl and add chives, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Keep beurre blanc warm by setting bowl in a larger pan of very warm water.
For the halibut: Preheat broiler.
Pat halibut fillets dry and season with salt and pepper.
In a large non-stick skillet heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté fillets in 2 batches 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden and just cooked through.
Transfer fillets as cooked with a slotted spatula to a baking sheet and cool 5 minutes.
In a small bowl with a fork stir together breadcrumbs, almonds and remaining tablespoon butter.
Brush tops of fillets with egg and spread with almond mixture.
Broil fillets about 3 inches from heat 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned.
Arrange a fillet on each of 6 plates and spoon beurre blanc around it.