DO THIS: Happy Hour at Bar Volver is Seriously Amazing

It's barely out of the Gayborhood, and worth the few extra steps.

Bar Volver

Several months ago, I took a good friend of mine to Volver for drinks. He’s a little bit of a New York snob (which he’ll openly admit), but I knew I won him over when he said that this was the first place in Philly that he’d been to that felt like New York.

I, too, loved the place, even though it had received the reputation of being way out of my price range. Yes, dinner at Volver is, by far, quite an expense, but Bar Volver is a whole other experience. In short, it’s a little place of hip heaven just a few blocks away from the Gayborhood (attached to the Kimmel Center), and you really ought to check it out.

Last evening, I was invited to try their new revived Wednesday happy hour, and it was nothing short of amazing. To start, do not show up and think you’re going to order soda and vodka: They’ll make that for you, sure, but basic drinks clearly aren’t the things to do here. You’d be much better off with what they call a Truffle Rush, which is a mix of bourbon, truffle (yes, as in the stuff you’re used to on french fries), lavender, honey, and lemon. It sounds strange, but, alas, it’s really to die for. If you’re more into sparkly sips, the Kir Petillant may be your weapon of choice (star anise, creme de cassis, cava, and lemon).

The Truffle Rush

The Truffle Rush

There’s also a healthy wine and beer selection, plus some killer bites to help soak up those delightful cocktails. My favorite is the Corn Croquettes, which can best be described as bites of cream of corn soup that have been deep fried. Also quite good is the Tortilla Espanola (egg, potato, a little bit of ham), plus my friend had a Lamb Burger that looked quite tasty (even though I’m a big old vegetarian).

The environment is chill and quite sexy: There’s a huge denim collage on the back wall, and the lighting is dim and intimate. Last night, there was a DJ spinning some house tunes, which added to the ambiance. It’s a great place to take a date, or a wonderful bar to bring a friend who you actually want to talk to instead of competing with loud noise.

And, yes, the place is really inclusive: I’ve brought many of my gay friends there, and one of my favorite times was when I actually met a few new buddies, a lesbian couple who were enjoying a cocktail before catching an orchestra performance right outside the door. We talked about the upcoming concert and how Volver really was the obvious place to hit up before catching a show at the Kimmel, or before just about anything. I’ll clearly drink to that.

Bar Volver is located at 300 South Broad Street. For more information, visit their website.