Tale of the Tape: Rittenhouse Tavern

Rittenhouse Tavern is now open in the historic Philadelphia Art Alliance building with Le Bec-Fin alum Nicholas Elmi in the kitchen. The contemporary American restaurant aims to be the destination spot such a fine building deserves.

Rittenhouse Tavern: The Space

  • Located in the historic Wetherill Mansion, now home of the Art Alliance of Philadelphia.
  • Four distinctive areas make up Rittenhouse Tavern:
    • main dining room
    • salon
    • bar
    • outdoor garden
  • Designed by Elisabeth Knapp, Elisabeth Knapp Architect.
    • Knapp has also designed Zahav, Xochitl and Percy Street Barbecue.
    • Space keeps classic tones and elegance.
  • Original 1920s mural created by artist Richard Blossom Farley, depicting a flock of geese and other birds wraps around the main dining area.
  • Bar and lounge rooms anchored by marble fireplace
  • Garden tucked away from 18th Street
    • Surrendouded by greenery and potted fresh herbs for the chef’s “secret” garden
  • 100 seats in total.

Rittenhouse Tavern Food

  • Nicholas Elmi, Executive Chef
    • Was most recently at Le Bec-Fin
    • Has also worked at Brasserie Perrier as well as Lutècec, Union Pacific and Oceana in New York
  • Ed Brown, Senior Vice President at Restaurant Associates
    • Also is chef/owner of Ed’s Chowder House in New York City
  • Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday (Lunch and Brunch to come).
  • Menu highlights include:
    • Deviled Eggs with pork scrapple
    • New Jersey Striped Bass with Tuscan kale, mushrooms and hibiscus-red wine
    • RT Burger, La Frieda dry aged blend, Yard’s ESA roll,Ed’s special sauce, sharp provolone, watercress
    • Rack of Berkshire Pork with crisp belly, purple mustard, quinoa crust, endive
    • Blueberry Red Wine Soup with thyme, lemon-sage ice cream
  • Prices range from $15 to $29 for entrees
  • Sunday night a family style whole fried amish chicken with buttermilk biscuits and daily side is available for $18 per person.
  • Rittenhouse Tavern Dinner Menu (PDF)

Rittenhouse Tavern Drink

  • Sixteen beers by the bottle, including local beers both well known and below the radar.
  • 30 bottle wine list with 20 available by the glass.
  • Specialty Cocktail List:
    • Garden Sazerac with Bulleit Rye, Vieux Carré Absinthe and bitters
    • Paloma Fizz with Sauza Tequila, pink grapefruit and housemade lemon-lime soda
  • Price Range:
    • Beer ranges from $4 to $6
    • Cocktails cost between $9 and $13
    • Wine by the glass ranges between $7 and $19
    • Wine by the bottle: $29 to $89
  • Rittenhouse Tavern Drink Menu (PDF)
Photos by Jason Varney