Great Anniversary Dinner.
My fiancé and I had a wonderful dinner at 10 Arts. We had gotten engaged and celebrated at the Ritz Carlton in Ireland the previous year. We thought it was only fitting to celebrate our big day here. We were greeted when we came into the Rotunda, the lighting was set the mood for an intimate evening. Upon checking-in, the hostess wished us a happy anniversary, as did our waitress (Stephani) once we were seated. The service was just fantastic!! We started with a glass of champagne, and moved on to The sautéed foie gras which was sinfully divine; rich, buttery, with a hint of hazelnut. My fiancé(picky eater) hesitated at first but, tried the Buffalo sweetbreads. We also shared the grilled octopus, again, he was not willing to try it, but with some coaxing from the Stephani, he agreed and surprisingly really enjoyed!
For the main course, I had the highly recommended PA Brook Trout over Bok Choy (chef’s specialty) I normally do not select the fish over a meat course, but I couldn’t have been happier, the portion was enormous and the brown butter sauce was a wonderful compliment to the trout without over powering it. The side of mash potatoes are a absolute must! My fiancé had the Rabbit Roulade, and said was flavorful.
I had mentioned to the Stephani, that I was a HUGE fan of Chef Carroll (of Top Chef fame) and at the end of the meal, she walked us back to the kitchen and I got the opportunity to get some pictures with her! She was gracious and so kind to answer all of my questions.
It was a wonderful evening to celebrate a special occasion. It had some high expectations to live up too and certainly delivered. I highly recommend 10 Arts for your special occasion.
Really wanted this place to be better.
First, let me say that I am a big fan of Eric Ripert, and have been looking forward to trying this place since it opened last year.
We started with drinks at the bar, which is right next to the restaurant- and both are in the open rotunda lobby which has a beautiful high ceiling, but also helps the noise to carry- and boy, did it ever. Granted, this was not the restaurant's fault, but the bar was packed with men in suits and people in nametags- apparently in town for a convetion of some sort. It was tough to get the bartender's attention and patrons were acting inappropriately (let's leave it at that). The whole experience at that bar is not something I'd subject myself to again. however, the space is nice and seems like a nice place for a quiet drink, when the Boys' club isn't there.
When we did sit at our table in the restaurant, the noise level was a bit better. We ordered 2 of their signature cocktails (an orange vodka cocktail, and a pomegranate cocktail). These were delicious, but at $15 each, I wasn't going to have more than 1.
The apps were decent. my beet salad was fresh and flavorful, the goat cheese was smooth and creamy- a good way to start a meal. The sea bass app which my boyfriend ordered was very small, and as he said, "tasted like fish sticks".
Onto the mains. I had the PA Brook trout and was pleasantly surprised to see 2 decent sized fillets. It was served over bok choi which was cooked perfectly, but the hazelnuteurre blanc sauce was a little salty for my taste- and I was not able to finish it all. My BF had a steak (NY Strip, I think) and said it was good- not great. I didn't try it.
Desserts were the biggest letdown simply because of their size. They are about 2 bites each, so sharing is out of the question. The beignets were very good, but the apple cider that is served with these is very fragrant and was a bit like drinking potpourri. The parfait was decent, but a strange consistency.
Unfortunately, I don't think I'd go back here unless there is a change of menu or restaurant concept. With Eric Ripert as "culinary designer"- this food should have been alot better- or half the price- to make it worth a second visit.
Worst Dining Experience of my Life.
I had called this my favorite restaurant in a previous review. I had a wonderful experience in February when I went (see previous review). However, this time (September 2009) my experience was the exact polar opposite. I was very excited to take my boyfriend here because I loved it so much the last time and then I was mortified that I had chosen the place. I first grew concerned when the first course we had ordered came out. It was the heirloom tomato dish. It consisted of 3 cherry-sized tomatoes sliced and put on a plate with a dollop of ricotta cheese. I couldn't even look at the waitress when she put it down in front of us. I told myself that it was probably just that small because it was an appetizer...
Then, the main course came out. I had ordered the agnolotti pasta. Again, I was shocked. It was four, bite sized pieces of pasta swimming in teriyaki sauce (supposed to be a broth)- it was gross and the size of half an appetizer at best. I am a small person and I don't eat all that much, but this meal of three cherry tomatoes and four bites of pasta would not have satisfied even my little dog. I had to go out and get something else to eat after we had spent way too much on this meal. My boyfriend had the hangar steak and he said that that tasted okay. Again, the portion was small and he thought it was strange that it was served with french fries and that these were literally dumped all over the steak.
I thought it couldn't get any worse and then dessert came out. I ordered the green tea rice pudding and it was disgusting. The consistency was terrible and for some reason, they had put Rice Crispies cereal- yes really- on top of it. The flavors were gag-inducing. My boyfriend's dessert was some kind of ice cream and chocolate meant to be a frozen snickers- it was fine and that was it. I don't know if Chef Ripert is trying to have his restaurant match Stephen Starr with these kitschy desserts, but I went to his restaurant to experience the delicious classic cuisine I had the last time and this was not it.
To top it all off, we had ordered the wine pairings with dinner and my boyfriend had ordered the extra third one to have with dessert. He asked if the dessert one was a port and the waitress said yes, so that's why he ordered it. The waitress brought the dessert wine and it obviously was not a port. When asked, she acknowledged that it was not port, but said that it's more port-like than the other dessert wines. It was a citrus-flavored wine that tasted nothing like port. She did not offer to take it back or anything. I spoke to the manager afterwards and he said that he would take it off the bill, but he refused to do so on the spot- I will believe it when I see it and I will never return to 10 Arts...
Disappointment. I must say that I made reservations for 10 Arts nearly a month in advance and looked forward to enjoying a well crafted meal. The reality was a different situation with an extremely lackluster meal and an overly aggressive chef upset that we we were not happy with the meal preparation. I have never in my life been confronted by a chief, both hands gripping the edge of our table convinced that we had no right to question the food placed in front of us. If we had been greeted with a polite explanation of the preparation I feel we would have had no issue, but to be nearly accosted by a chef with an angry attitude was, pretentious, unprofessional and unnecessary. Never again, 10 Arts...never again.
The Perfect Celebratory Evening. Foodie New Yorker that I am, I was excited to see that Philadelphia had a Ripert restaurant opened just before my Aunt's 80th Birthday celebration. I booked about two weeks prior with Elizabeth who couldn't have been nicer. When we arrived, they made my Aunt feel like a star and everyone greeted us warmly. We ordered a few of the cocktails - some named for PA artists - and they were delicious and refreshing - particularly the watermelon/mint martini on a hundred degree + day! For starters, we ran the gamut but the highlights are the fresh oysters and the grilled octopus. Mains included a lot of fish - of course since it is Ripert of Le Bernardin - and the wild bass was a fish-lover's dream. The trout was truly excellent and the steak was eaten with gusto. If you're going for the steak, get the mashed potatoes - there must be a pint of cream and butter in them but they are truly delicious. Dessert was light as we were all pretty full but everyone has room for the sorbets - the apricot and coconut were the highlights. They also brought delicious petit fours and chocolates to the table and my Aunt's dessert had a chocolate "Happy Birthday" sign attached. I highly recommend 10 Arts for a good time, great food and excellent service.
Way better than expected.
I heard that Eric Ripert was opening 10 arts in Philadelphia and was instantly online setting up a reservation. The food was phenominal. For appetizers, we had the calamari and the corn chowder. Both were amazing. The calamari is fried with a tasty remoulade on the side and the corn chowder was very hearty. The chowder had a real smoky taste to it that was fantastic.
For entree we had the trout and the rabbit. The trout was in a sweet sauce that really complimented the fish. The rabbit was breaded and topped with a mustard sauce and salad. Both were amazing but I actually liked the trout better. I would definitely recommend both but the trout I would get again.
For dessert, we got the chocolatepeanut and their special dessert which was an olive oil sponge cake with peaches. I know it sounds strange for a dessert but it was great. The olive oil sponge cake went great with the peaches but it was not like sponge cake drizzled with olive oil. If this is the special when you go here, definitely get it!! The chocolate peanut was very chocolatey, but my fiance loved it because it had crumbled peanuts in the dessert instead of a heavy peanut butter.
The hostess and staff were very helpful and made great suggestions.
Now for the cons, which arent much. $8 for a bottle of water? If I would have thought about it, I would have gotten tap. I didn't really drink the water that is why Im complaining. Also the drinks are very pricey. We spent alot more on the drinks than we expected, but it was a birthday celebration so we didnt mind.
I would definitely go back again.
Globetrotting celebrity chef Eric Ribert had a heavy hand in the reshaping of this celebrated location in the onetime Girard Trust Company, now the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia..
The rotunda of this grand old dame of Broad Street sets a towering center stage for French-born culinary guru Eric Ribert - well known for his overseeing culinary ops at New York's famed La Bernadin. Back in Philly, Ribert's new American menu focuses on regional, organic ingredients with an eclectic menu where highlights come in the way of Striped Bass "Grand Mère" - with wild mushrooms, fingerling potatoes and bacon, steamed mussels and tuna carpaccio. A grilled flat iron steak is served in shallot sauce. Aesthetically speaking, the modern decor strikes a dramatic note in this historic setting.
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