Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News
a.kitchen
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Address:
135 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia , PA 19103
215-825-7030
Neighborhood: Rittenhouse Square
Handicap access: Wheelchair-accessible.
Related reviews: a.kitchen a.kitchen
Cuisine type: American
Meals Served: Breakfast Brunch - Sat., Sun. Lunch - Mon. thru Sun. Dinner - Mon. thru Sun.
Style: Chef Bryan Sikora (ex-Django, Talula’s Table) has made a resounding return to Center City’s dining scene in the marble-counter-wrapped open kitchen of this spare yet vibrant cafe, where clean flavors, smart combinations, and small plates define a modern aesthetic of casual sophistication. The wine list is sharp, too, as are some of the servers. But the menu is the most compelling draw.
Specialties: Breakfast: chorizo-chile-corn frittata; house English muffin. Dinner: mushroom crepes; burrata with country ham and melon; spaghetti cacioepepe; asparagus and artichokes; crab with farro; scallops and choucroute; skate Provencale; fluke crudo; gnocchi gratin with smoked haddock; octopus and charred watermelon; grouper; tagliatelle with veal; chicken risotto; chorizo meatballs; lamb loin with treviso and olives; pork blade steak; goat cheesecake; macaroons; shortbread.
Alcohol: One of the more sophisticated midsized wine lists in the city, a Euro-centric collection of 200 bottles (40 percent of sales) and 17 glasses (available in two sizes) featuring small, artisan producers from in-the-know regions such as the Loire, Alsace, Le Marche, and Finger Lakes. Try the Baudry Chinon, Boesch Sylvaner, or Spanish Ros de Pacs rosé by the glass. There’sasmall but excellent craft beer selection (Petrus, Rauchbier Urbock; Italian ales),anotable collection of brown spirits, and artful twists to classic cocktails. BYO corkage: $20.
Weekend noise: The restaurant’s biggest flaw is noise — a 93-decibel buzz that bounces off the bare wood. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: Breakfast Monday to Friday, 7 to 10:30 a.m. Lunch Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner Sunday to Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until 11. Brunch Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reservations: Recommended
Prices: $$