Rittenhouse Tavern, the Restaurant Associates-led remake of the bar, dining rooms and outdoor garden at the Philadelphia Art Alliance opens Tuesday. R.A.’s Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage, Ed Brown, piloted the project from the start, but he’s signed on former Le Bec-Fin chef Nicholas Elmi to serve as executive chef. “Approachable elegance” is how Elmi describes the menu. It’s a collection of seasonally-inspired American dishes that Elmi told Grub was a welcomed deviation from his natural inclinations towards all things French. “It’s familiar flavors,” the chef told us. “We’re taking familiar dishes and putting a little polish on them.”
Highlights from the menu include snacks like cold pressed foie gras, crispy frogs legs and deviled eggs with pork scrapple. Smaller plates include an Anson Mills polenta soup with fresh ricotta that’s poured table side, and roasted sweetbreads salad. Dishes like Amish chicken and a prime Creekstone hangar steak are offered as entrees. There’s a dry-aged beef LaFrieda burger too.
In weeks to come, the tavern will host firkin fridays in the gorgeous outdoor garden that’s outback. Elmi and crew are working with local brewers to bring in different barrels of cask conditioned beers each week. They are also working with Twin Lakes to create a house brew, Rittenhouse Pale Ale.
Rittenhouse Tavern, 251 South 18th Street, (215) 732-2253.