10 Arts Review: Top 10

With 10 Arts, Eric Ripert has embraced Philly. Will the city accept the NY chef?

Many of the dishes that have their roots in other Ripert restaurants are also successful. The flat-iron steak with shallot sauce, similar to the hanger steak on the Westend menu, is no afterthought intended for those out-of-the-loop diners who pass on fish, 10 Arts’ specialty. Steak this flavorful and juicy hardly needs the accompanying wine-based sauce. And Le Bernardin classics like the rich salmon rillettes are just as craveable here as in New York, where Maguy Le Coze, Le Bernardin’s legendary founder, eats the pink piscine spread daily for lunch.

10 Arts has the most issues when its menu attempts to be all things to everyone. Is a hamburger mandatory in a hotel restaurant, where travel-weary diners might want more comfort than cuisine? It’s cooked well and cut from the same high-quality steer as the flat-iron steak, but it lacks the bold seasoning and inspiration present in so many other dishes. The greasy BLT, augmented with a generous portion of unctuous pork belly, also falls short of the general standard. These sandwiches are served with fries; on two occasions, the spuds were cold. Both offerings fall outside the fine-dining territory that is obviously 10 Arts’ comfort zone.

Also unappetizing: the beverage prices. Zardetto prosecco, an Italian sparkler that retails for $16 a bottle, costs $14 a glass. A $25 bottle of Yangarra GSM fetches $95. Cocktails will set you back $15 each — that’s more than most of the appetizers. A couple is likely to rack up a bar tab that exceeds the bill for food unless they abstain completely or limit themselves to one of the few relatively inexpensive bottles.

Philadelphia diners may resist a robotically cloned restaurant helmed by an absentee celeb chef, but 10 Arts, a satellite operation with an identity and local toque of its own, brings big-league cachet to Philadelphia’s dining scene. As long as Carroll’s watchful eye ensures each gorgeous oyster is shucked to order and every plate emerges smudge-free, we’ll have another splurge-worthy spot to call our own.