Habitat: A Character Study in Rittenhouse

Living space: The walls of the home’s “public” spaces are wrapped in reclaimed whitewashed chestnut planks that are riddled with wormholes, creating interesting texture on a neutral backdrop. The exposed wood beams over the dining area create a natural separation that helps define the three connected spaces. Photograph by Jeffrey Totaro

When the would-be owners of this Rittenhouse condo were house-hunting, they knew exactly what they didn’t want: a cold, modern high-rise unit that felt more hotel than home. “That’s what they were moving from,” explains Vivian Su, of Spring Garden-based architecture and design firm Rasmussen/Su. “They wanted a place that would feel more neighborhood-y — more casual and relaxing.” Read more »

Peter Serpico’s Rittenhouse Korean Restaurant Has Been Called Off

Peter Serpico in front of his restaurant, Serpico — Facebook

The last we heardPeter Serpico and Stephen Starr’s latest joint-project — a Korean restaurant that would replace Il Pittore — was “under construction.”

And while a restaurant will surely fill the space eventually, Serpico’s Korean restaurant has been nixed from the docket — at least at the 2025 Sansom Street space.

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First-Time Find: Luxury on a Budget in Rittenhouse for $295K

1500 Chestnut St. #19G, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

Whether you’re single or simply searching for a spot to settle down with your beau, this contemporary high-rise in Rittenhouse could suit your needs.

Situated in the Ellington building, the apartment is located in the lively hub of the city. In the Rittenhouse and Avenue of the Arts area, the digs offer easy access to a thriving nightlife scene, shops and restaurants.  Read more »

YAY! Here’s When Solidcore Opens in Rittenhouse

Solidcore | Photo via Facebook

Guys, guys, guys: Good news! Solidcore, the D.C. import known for its muscle-burning workouts done on a reformer-like machine in a club-like atmosphere (hi, dark room with blue lighting paired with VERY loud Top-40 beats), is opening its third Philly outpost in Rittenhouse this summer. And this just in: We’ve got details on the opening date. Drumroll, please …

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For the Love of God, Don’t Buy Davio’s $95 Picnic Basket

Davio’s Philly/Facebook

While summer doesn’t officially start till next week, it’s definitely picnic season in the city’s parks and green spaces. Lounging on the grass for some al fresco dining is the perfect way to enjoy a lazy afternoon or break up your workday.

The folks at the Center City location of Northern Italian steakhouse chain Davio’s think so, too: They’re offering picnic baskets loaded up with sandwiches, salads, desserts, and sparkling or still water for two through August. Call an hour beforehand and you can swing by their location on South 17th Street — just two quick blocks from the excellent greenery and people-watching at Rittenhouse Square — to pick up your basket.

Which costs $95.

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The Best Cafes (and Restaurants) to Bring Your Laptop and Eat an Actual Meal

The Cusco Sandwich at Plenty Cafe

The Cusco Sandwich at Plenty Cafe

Maybe you’re a freelancer with a few hours between meetings downtown and you want to keep up the productivity. Or there’s construction in your office building and you can’t get anything done with power tools grinding away upstairs. Or you work from home but you’ve reached the point at which you’ll freak out if you don’t leave the house today.

You need a spot to get work done — school, freelance, creative, or just catching up on email. You also need to eat, and as tasty as the croissants and cookies at most coffee shops are, they’re not exactly brain food.

We’ve rounded up some of Philly’s favorite spots to camp out for a few hours (or more), eat a real breakfast or lunch, crush your task list. For our purposes, we’ve stuck with Center City and adjacent neighborhoods; we also made free wi-fi for customers and an actual food menu (however brief) a requirement.

And for when the workday spans meals, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite trendy spots where you might spend a working lunch (and maybe happy hour afterwards) while chowing down on a more substantial, chef-driven menu.

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Russet Is Your Perfect Date Night Restaurant

Salami Toscano

Salami Toscano

Russet could easily be the most adorable restaurant in Philly — quaint service in a Philadelphia brownstone, plus gorgeous, hyper-local dishes by Andrew Wood. The entire dinner experience through and through is delightful — romantic, too, especially with these Friday Date Night menus.

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What We Need Right Now: Veda Reviewed

Veda1

It started with the naan. With that crisp bite and barely risen chew, its weirdly rustic Rorschach shapes and delicate, lacy swirls of golden-brown clarified butter. The naan— that’s what won me over.

Admittedly, I already liked Veda a lot. From the minute I sat down, the minute I smelled it. But that naan? That’s what cemented it. So simple, so utilitarian and so right. I want it every day.

But caring so much about naan is pointless, I know. Naan is everywhere in Indian food. There isn’t an Indian restaurant anywhere that doesn’t offer one or two or 12 varieties, sometimes good, sometimes not. To go bonkers over naan is like going bonkers over the hamburger buns at McDonald’s.

And yet still.

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Who’s Building Philly: Alon Seltzer

One of Alon Seltzer's Rittenhouse Savoy studio makeovers. | Apartment photos: Brian Lauer

Alon Seltzer’s own Rittenhouse Savoy studio was one of two makeovers that wowed viewers during Zillow’s “Tiny House Week.” | Apartment photos: Brian Lauer

Before the “tiny house,” there was the Rittenhouse Square efficiency apartment.

These shoeboxes for urban cliff dwellers enabled singles and others whose desire for urban living exceeded their need for space to take advantage of all the city had to offer: parks, cafés, shopping, culture, you name it. When the city was your living room, why bother with one of your own?

That attribute makes these efficiencies and studios popular with a younger set even now. But there’s a hitch: Back in the 1950s, when most of the apartment buildings containing these units were built, they weren’t terribly efficient in the way they used their limited space. And their appearance had likewise become dated.

Enter Alon Seltzer with his repair kit. Read more »

The New Rival Bros. Coffee Bar is Tall, Dark and Handsome


At 6 a.m. this morning, Damien Pileggi and Jonathan Adams opened up their second Rival Bros. coffee bar inside the Touraine (1528 Spruce Street) and it’s straight-up stunning.

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