The forces of Rittenhouse Row, Kevin Sbraga, and Danielle DelRe, of Starr Restaurants, have come together to create an event that will be one to remember. From August 4th to the 7th, the restaurants of Rittenhouse Row will prepare meals unlike the ones on the traditional menus and give you a dining experience that is one of a kind. As of right now, 18 members will participate in the Rittenhouse Row Culinary Collective, but the list is growing.
You grew up in Mossyrock, Washington. Is that a town of more or less than 100 people? Ha. Last time I saw, it had 498. My mom is from Holland; my dad is from New York. And they were sort of hippies traveling in the ’70s, doing their thing. They met and found this little plot of land in the middle of nowhere and bought it, put a single-wide trailer on it, and that’s where I grew up.
At noon on July 17, Ellen Yin and chef Eli Kulp (the dynamic duo who took over both a.bar and a.kitchen a couple months back) are going to be debuting a new menu at a.bar to celebrate the Rittenhouse bar’s first anniversary. Here’s what they have to say about the change-up.
“Chef Kulp’s menu will expand upon a.bar’s already diverse fresh-shucked oyster program, and adds a globally-inspired selection of crudos, shareable snacks, more substantial salads and sandwiches [as well as] a few select whole fish. In addition, a.bar’s hours of operation will be extended, serving [the] new menu all day long, Monday through Saturday, from noon until 10 p.m, with the raw bar offerings available until 11 p.m.”
So what does Kulp have in store for this new menu? He gave us a few clues…
Not even a stolen purse from next door’s a.bar can put a damper on Craig LaBan’s opinion of the revamped a.kitchen.
[T]he grill’s true stars were whole fish for sharing that are different from any others in Philly. That aji, butterflied and grilled over a Japanese grill grate that blistered the skin over dusky, buttery flesh, is a new favorite. The regal Dover sole, vented for the grill with vertical slashes and served over brown butter-lime vinaigrette – will be a bone-in change-up for older diners accustomed to black-tied servers doing all the fillet work. But the crispy skin and luxurious, moist meat was extraordinary. Like the restaurant’s unconventional wines, this is an a.kitchen challenge worth embracing.
Three Bells – Excellent
a.kitchen: A city gem not undone by a city problem [Philadelphia Inquirer]
You know those people who go to new restaurants purely to order the same dish they order everywhere else? Because the “litmus test” of a good place is how well it makes a roasted chicken—or guacamole, or steak frites, or chocolate mousse, or whatever that person has arbitrarily determined to be the whole point of eating out?
It’s a dwindling species these days. Fewer and fewer chefs want to cook what the other guy’s cooking; straight-up comparisons are harder to find. And I’ve never counted myself part of that tribe anyway. Meals out are too ripe with potential adventure to waste them looking for litmus tests.
But there’s no need to be dogmatic about it, so today I’m going to nominate one anyway: stuffed squid.
Not sure how many of you have noticed yet, but a.kitchen was closed Monday. There’s a sign on the door and everything, explaining simply that “a.kitchen will be closed Monday, March 17 in preparation for the highly anticipated new menu by chef Eli Kulp.”
So yes, as promised, Kulp (who has already made his mark at Fork and High Street on Market) has put together a new menu for the space, which will be launching tomorrow. That snap above? Those are his uni rice cakes. There’s also pork jowl, kelp salt, potato skins, dill salsa, potato soup, chicken thighs, pine (as an ingredient) and deviled skate. And we’ve got a couple more pictures of his new dishes plus the complete new menu below. Check it all out after the jump.
So remember when we told you about Fork’s Eli Kulp stepping in as a partner at a.kitchen and a.bar in Rittenhouse? Yeah, well it looks like Kulp has had time to look over the space, the set-up and the menu at a.kitchen and decide how he’d like to make his mark.
He’s going to do it by changing just about every single thing about the place.
Okay, maybe not every thing, but he’s certainly changing a lot of it. Like the concept, the basic operating gear of the line and the entire menu. Hell, even the PR people are calling it a “reinvention”.
Over on the Insider, they’re reporting on a deal reached between a.kitchen/a.bar’s David Fields and Ellen Yin and Eli Kulp from Fork. The way things look right now, Fields and Yin are throwing in together at a.kitchen and a.bar, becoming partners in both operations, and Kulp will be taking the position of executive chef–designing menus for an as-yet-unnamed chef de cuisine.
The new Kulp-designed a.kitchen and a.bar menus will debut in March. For more details on how this all came together, check out Michael Klein’s interview with Yin and Fields below.
This Monday, December 9th is going to be all about Sherry at a.bar. Though many people’s only experience with sherry is on the sweet side, there are dry Sherries that work very well with food.
From 3 to 6 p.m., all oysters are $1.50 each and several local wine reps will be pouring multiple Sherries, ranging from $5 to $10 a glass.
At 7 p.m. chef Terence Feury (Tavro 13) will prepare a four-course dinner with Sherry pairings. The dinner is $85 per person and there is only one seating. Contact beverage director, Tim Kweeder for reservations.
David Fields posted this photo of a.bar, the new, corner addition to a.kitchen that we’re hearing will open by Tuesday, July 9th. It’s looking ready.