What to Expect from Superfolie, Rittenhouse’s New Wine Bar
Details on the 30-seat, French-leaning bar from the team behind the Good King Tavern and Le Caveau, open today on Spruce Street.
If you were going to open your dream bar, somewhere you’d want to sit for hours with your friends, what would you put in it? An ice sculpture shaped like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? A menu dedicated solely to the appletini? A sauna where you can also dance? Ask Chloe Grigri and Vincent Stipo the same question and they’ll describe something that looks a lot like Superfolie at 16th and Spruce streets: a 30-seat wine bar with plenty of sipping mezcal, hand-painted backgammon boards, a vintage speaker system, and tiny homages to their travels in Mexico City and Marseille. As of today, you can hang out in their dream bar, too.
Superfolie is the latest project from Grigri, who co-owns and operates the Good King Tavern on 7th Street in Bella Vista and its upstairs wine bar Le Caveau, and Stipo, who helped open Vernick Food & Drink and now works in commercial real estate brokerage and hospitality consulting. It’s a family affair — Grigri and Stipo are married, and Grigri’s brother, Lucas, will be behind the bar.
Kaitlyn Caruke, Philly-based sommelier and Grigri’s former neighbor turned best friend and partner in wine, heads the wine program. Like Le Caveau, Superfolie primarily highlights wine from French producers with special attention to sustainably grown and organic options. Grigri says she’s jazzed about the bubbles available, including a grower Champagne from Sadi Malot and a sparkling wine from a young producer making Cremant de Bourgogne that’s just hitting the market in Philly. “We have some heavy hitters that we’ve known and loved for years, but I feel like we don’t see often on lists around Philadelphia.”
The menu’s bounds aren’t necessarily limited to French regions like Jura and Burgundy. Guests will also see options from Croatia, Spain, Italy, the Canary Islands and the United States. The by-the-glass list reads intentionally tight, meant to show off just a few wines in each category. As for bottles, you could spend $49 or upwards of $300 on one of their 72 selections.
Taking inspiration from Grigri and Stipo’s time in Mexico City, Superfolie’s back bar features a hefty lineup of sipping mezcal (even more than what’s available offered at Le Caveau). There will also be a limited menu of beer and four cocktails available. For the martini people — you know who you are — Superfolie is bottling martinis and sticking them in the freezer until you come in and order them. Otherwise, expect two rotating seasonal cocktails plus a highball of red wine and sparkling water called tinto de verano, which honors the drink Grigri and Stipo noticed on menus when they were traveling in Spain last summer. It tastes like sangria grew up, found itself, and mellowed out.
Good King Tavern’s chef Michael Valent is handling Superfolie’s menu of snacks and small plates. Think mousses made at the kitchen in Bella Vista, a tartine with whipped butter and sea beans, chawanmushi topped with caviar, a tangy-charred eggplant dip that you can scoop up with endive leaves, and tuna crudo. The menu is designed for a choose-your-own-adventure approach to eating: Pop in for some wine and some really good comte, or order a meal that feels more like dinner, or maybe even stop by for espresso and chocolate mousse on your way home.
Stipo originally found Superfolie’s 600-ish-square-foot space years ago as a listing he was managing for MSC Retail. (It was most recently home to Plenty Cafe.) “I loved the location, I loved the building, I loved the way it was set up,” Stipo says. “This gives us an opportunity to connect my clientele and my old neighborhood with Chloe’s hospitality in a space that will be accessible to a new audience.”
Grigri and Stipo have left the bones of the old space exactly the same, preserving the mezzanine level (where you can look out at the bar below) and giant windows in the front of the building. They brought on designer Robert Brown to redo the interior with glowing green tile, a custom zinc bar inspired by classic French bistros, and comfy chairs sourced from Betsu Studio on the upper level. Brown also helped design Le Caveau.
Grigri swears there’s a magic to the new place: “It’s really important at Good King and it’s really important at Le Caveau for everyone to feel sort of transported, where they’re like, ‘Where the hell am I? What did I just walk into?’ And I feel like that holds true here as well.”
Now all you have to do is get a seat.
Superfolie is open for walk-in service Tuesday through Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. and last call is at 11 p.m.