Eli Collins, A.Kitchen
In a restaurant world roaring with egos (excuse us, personalities), Collins quietly lets his food speak for itself. Since 2017, A.Kitchen’s executive chef has been flexing his talent and imagination sub rosa, evolving new recipes and techniques for his ever-changing menu at this Rittenhouse cafe. You can see it in the smallest details: the dab of made-from-scratch date mustard that comes with the chicken liver terrine, the delicate tortellini hand-filled with chevre from a local farm, the mussels with broth built from ramps and pickled long hots. What’s missing from the menu is any shred of ego. Instead, every dish gets to be the star.
135 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103; akitchenandbar.com/