Releases: Expanded View
New On Philly's Hotel Restaurant Scene
Openings Include Urban Farmer, Richard Sandoval’s Aquimero, Ruth’s Chris & Bud & Marilyn’s
In the decades since acclaimed classical French Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix opened his eponymous restaurant in a four-star hotel across the street from Center City’s Swann Fountain, the Philadelphia hotel dining scene has emerged a foodie force. Today, Lacroix, now flourishing in The Rittenhouse hotel, remains a destination dining spot. But so do newcomers to the scene: locally focused Urban Farmer Steakhouse at The Logan and culinary-kitschy Bud & Marilyn’s at boutique operation The Independent Hotel, along with springtime productions by eminent steakhouse Ruth’s Chris, destined for the Sonesta Philadelphia, and acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval’s Aqimero at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.
- Midtown Village, Center City’s thriving district just east of the Avenue of the Arts, has long been the dining purview of Chef Marcie Turney and restaurateur-partner Valerie Safran. The pair opened the neighborhood’s first modern Mexican, Spanish and Italian bistros, all located along 13th Street. In 2015, they debuted fun and funky Bud & Marilyn’s, located just below The Independent Hotel. The mid-century-informed American restaubar, opened for lunch, brunch and dinner, quickly became known for its refined comfort foods. The menu refers to one appetizer as “cheese and crackers;” another is a bona fide pu pu platter, and then there are the outrageously popular cheese curds. Bacon-topped skillet bread, Nashville hot buns, fried chicken, and kielbasa with pierogies take retro fare to refined levels—as does the list of classic whiskeys and old-school cocktails. 1234 Locust Street, (215) 546-2220, budandmarilyns.com
- The Logan, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection of hotels, recently welcomed the country’s third Urban Farmer Steakhouse overlooking elegant Logan Square. Although the expansive restaurant is located in the heart of Center City, its look remains stylishly rural, keeping an eye toward the regional farms, fisheries and breweries that furnish the menu’s ingredients and libations. Steaks butchered and dry-aged in-house are certainly the centerpiece here, but also of note are the regionally focused cheese cart and charcuterie station and bar pouring suds fermented in the region. 1 Logan Square, (215) 963-2788, urbanfarmerphiladelphia.com
- In May 2016, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia welcomes the highly anticipated Aqimero, Denver-based Chef Richard Sandoval’s latest restaurant showpiece. Beneath the hotel’s Pantheonic dome, the redesigned, 206-seat dining room serves as the newest seafood play space for the Mexican-born chef, who already operates a few dozen successes across the country. On the menu? Wood-grilled wild salmon, black bass, Atlantic halibut and other fresh fish entrees served up with made-to-order marinades, as well as steak and poultry dishes. An expansive sushi and ceviche raw bar overflows with oysters, King crab legs, octopus, spicy tuna and more. The breakfast-through-dinner restaurant, which comprises the lobby’s bar and lounge, is expected to be the most visible of the hotel’s multimillion-dollar update. 10 Avenue of the Arts, (215) 523-8000, richardsandoval.com/aqimero
- The famously sizzling steaks of Ruth’s Chris Steak House make their anticipated return to Center City when owner Marsha Brown reopens her popular, upscale operation in May 2016 in the refreshed Sonesta Philadelphia Hotel. Prime beef (filets, New York strips, cowboy ribeyes, Porterhouse for two, all served on 500°F plates) and potatoes (baked, au gratin, in fries and casseroles, along with creamed spinach and massive onion rings) star on the handsome franchise’s menu, as do Caribbean lobster tails and succulent barbecue shrimp. The steakhouse joins the hotel’s Art Bar, a modern, communal-minded cocktail space featuring artwork furnished by The Center for Emerging Visual Artists. 1800 Market Street, (215) 790-1515, ruthschris.com
- The AKA Rittenhouse Square’s a.kitchen and bar can’t seem to stay out of the news. While owner Ellen Yin and Chef Eli Kulp have opened their fourth restaurant in Manhattan, they’ve also stepped up the offerings at their sleek west of Broad Street spot. New additions include a non-traditional Sunday brunch during which burgers outsell eggs, oyster happy hours Monday through Saturday, a power lunch (including martini) and a fixed-price menu for clients having dinner at the restaurant’s kitchen counter. 135 S. 18th Street, (215) 825-7030, akitchenphilly.com
- Long known for its Philly-themed cocktails, Le Méridien Philadelphia’s Amuse is also getting attention for its new, globetrotting, locally focused Chef Daniel Tyrell. A vet of Philly’s hotel dining scene, Tyrell plans to roll out a new modern French-inspired menu in early 2016 and will switch up items seasonally. 1421 Arch Street, (215) 422-8222, amusephiladelphia.com
- Bank & Bourbon at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel welcomed a Bourbon Master Paul Zuber to helm its spirits operation in late 2015. Zuber got his start in the libations business via Philly’s craft beer scene and spent more than a decade behind bars before taking charge of the extensive whisky and bourbon collection—including the onsite barrel-aging program—at the American brasserie. 1200 Market Street, (215) 231-7300, bankandbourbon.com
- Melbourne, Australia-born Bluestone Lane Coffee opened its first U.S. location outside Manhattan in the historic yet contemporary Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, a block from Rittenhouse Square. The sleek, early morning through late afternoon spot includes a bustling center La Marzocco coffee bar, amazing coconut quinoa porridge for breakfast and the brand’s celebrated “avocado smash” open-faced sandwich all day long. 1701 Locust Street, (215) 735-6000, bluestonelaneny.com/cafes/rittenhouse-square
- Named after the floor it fills, elegant and towering American destination dining spot XIX (Nineteen) at the Hyatt at The Bellevue has added Sunday evening (5:00-7:00 p.m.) and Wednesday later-night happy hours (9:00-11:00 p.m.) to its already popular roster of weekday happy hours. During these times, patrons enjoy $4 draft beers, $6 house wines and $6 specialty cocktails. 200 S. Broad Street, 19th Floor, (215) 790-1919, nineteenrestaurant.com
- The DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia’s all-American Standing O bistro has taken a turn for the local. Regionally sourced ingredients now go into the 16-item small plates menu. The cocktail list also leans toward the handcrafted, with a focus on scotch and bourbons. 237 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1600, doubletree.hilton.com/Philadelphia
- Menu upgrades at Taste, the restaurant at Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel, include a better burger and updated Wine Spectator-worthy wine list, plus additions such as stout onion soup; Brussels sprouts with apples, pumpkin seeds and cranberry; and Portobello mushroom Caprese on ciabatta. 1 Dock Street, (215) 238-6000, tastesocietyhill.com
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On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.
Philly's Hotel Bars: Check Out The Scene & The Happy Hours
The Sonesta Philadelphia’s Art Bar opened in July 2014, joining the ranks of cool hotel bars in a city that knows its cool bars. With a stylish interior and an art program courtesy of The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Art Bar welcomes guests with craft cocktails, beers and wines that complement its modern décor.
The Sonesta isn’t the only property raising the bar. It seems Philadelphia’s hotels are vying for the top bar scene, which means locals and out-of-towners win. On the menu: craft beers, fantastic wines, inventive drinks and delicious bites, plus distinguishing features (skyline views, outdoor dining,...
Experience A Taste Of That Famous Philly Flavor
Philadelphia’s signature flavor is a dynamic mix of traditional recipes, new culinary inventions, well-known treats and obscure dishes, and these specialties can be found everywhere—from corner stores to the fanciest haute restaurants. Among the region’s best-known foods are national favorites like Italian water ice, Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels and the ever-popular cheesesteak. More localized favorites include pork roll and scrapple, which are available here in the region and through services such as Taste of Philadelphia, one of many companies that ship Philly goodies across the United States.
Here are some of the sandwiches, snacks, meats and more that have left a...
25 Things To Know About Philly's Food Scene
Philadelphia food is so much more than the cheesesteak and the soft pretzel, or even scrapple, or roast pork sandwiches. It’s also amazing vegan fare, quirky BYOB (bring-your-own-bottle) restaurants, world-class craft local beer, emerging distillery scene, or chef-driven concepts and passion projects. Philly’s food scene is about neighborhoods that grow with their restaurants. And competing chefs who work together. It’s about sourcing ingredients from the region’s farms and giving casual dining its due. It’s about embracing delicious diversity.
Here is a primer of 25 lesser-known components of Philly’s lush and luscious food scene:
- Richly Rewarding Food Shed:
The BYOB Restaurant: A Philly Phenomenon
Despite decades of popularity and expansion, one quintessential Philadelphia dining phenomenon continues to fly deliciously under the radar. It’s the BYOB, the bring-your-own-bottle restaurant—BYO, for short. Typically independently owned and operated, Philly’s BYOBs number into the three hundreds. Diners find them on dozens of corners in Center City, along avenues of renewed urban neighborhoods and tucked down rural roads. It’s a curious trend with an interesting backstory—and an even more interesting present.
Here’s a short explanation of how the BYOB scene came to be—and advice on navigating the landscape.
What Is A BYOB?:
A BYOB restaurant allows patrons to
A Wave Of Authentic Taquerias & Roving Trucks Make Philly A Bona Fide Taco Town
Little by little, Philly’s turned into a bona fide taco town. Between the mom-and-pop taquerias of South Philly, tried-and-true tequila bars, a roving pack of lunch trucks and the newest crop of gringo-owned joints, there’s truly a taco for everyone and their hermano. Here’s where the hungry masses can get their tacos on:
- Fishtown’s divey Loco Pez found its inspiration in L.A.’s fusion-y taco trucks, and the result is a mix-and-match selection of fun—and sometimes unexpected—flavors. Classic preparations like al pastor and cochinita pibil share menu space with unconventional choices, like vegan-friendly seitan and spinach, and soy
When It Comes To Vegan Dining, The Home Of The Cheesesteak Proudly Vedges Out
It’s a curious thing that a city so renowned for its cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches could also foster one of the nation’s most robust vegan food scenes. Upscale diners can find delight in the shared plates at Vedge or the coursed and the home-style elegance of Miss Rachel’s Pantry, while those seeking a quick bite can swing by Blackbird Pizza for fare that is more traditionally Philadelphian. Factor in some coffee shops, bars and even a diner, and vegan eaters will see—and taste—that the city’s offerings have something for every palate, day or night.
Here’s a look at some
Cheesesteak 101: A Primer On The Who, What, Where And Whiz Of South Philly Cheesesteaks
Here in Philly, cheesesteaks are a civic icon, a tourist draw and a cultural obsession. Often imitated around the world, the cheesesteak is rarely duplicated successfully outside of Philadelphia. So what is an authentic cheesesteak and where did it come from? Here’s the lowdown on this region’s favorite sandwich.
What Is A Cheesesteak?:
A cheesesteak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed rib-eye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz®, but American and provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance of flavors, textures
Philly Pizza Pleases Every Palate
Philadelphia’s gained some serious pizza cred in recent years. Not only is this city home to a pizza museum and restaurant (Pizza Brain), an artisan pizza truck (Pitruco) and, according to Bon Appétit, America’s very best pizza (Pizzeria Beddia), but it’s also a proving ground for the idea that this traditional food can be reinvented in infinite ways. Whether it’s a straightforward but studious Neapolitan round, a floppy tri-corner slice with cheese to spare or a newfangled pie laden with unexpected but carefully sourced ingredients, there is absolutely a pizza for every eater’s predilection. Here’s...
Craft Distilleries Revive Pennsylvania's Pre-Prohibition Tradition
In just over four years, the number of craft distilleries in the Philadelphia region has increased by more than a dozen, helping to restore Pennsylvania to its once-prominent place in the national distilling conversation. Until Prohibition wiped out the state’s industry, Pennsylvania housed the country’s densest cluster of homespun and commercial whiskey producers, beginning with some of the country’s earliest settlers.
In 2011, Pennsylvania’s government passed reforms that allowed distillers to offer tours, samples and onsite sales. These new laws opened up the craft to would-be distillers who now proudly produce and sell small-batch spirits in Philadelphia. In a sign...