101 West Franklin St. (Inside the Jefferson Hotel)
Richmond, VA 23220
American | $$$
Located in the stately Jefferson Hotel, the dinning room with all it’s dark wood reminded me of the Edwardian Room at the Plaza Hotel in New York. A nice change from the modern era flashy noise enhancing decors of many restaurants.
Whipped butter and home-made bread are a nice start.
We started with this Jumbo Lump Blue Crab Cake that was the best I have had. For a whole host of reasons it takes a good bit to get me to order seafood when I can’t see the sea from the restaurant. I am glad I ordered the crab cake, it was extraordinary. When I mentioned how good it was to the waiter he told me the chef adds a pureed scallop to each pound of crab. I asked the waiter 2 more times about this thinking I did not hear him correctly.
When you order steak you get a serious knife. It really wasn’t necessary, the steak was so tender you could cut it with a butterfly.
I enjoy a Sous Vide steak.The asparagus was perfect, just a little bit of crisp to it.
My wife had the Pan Seared Rockfish. She really enjoyed it and said she would order it again.
For my dessert I chose the Fluffernutter Candy Bar with a Brownie, Peanut Butter Marshmallow, and Salted Caramel Brittle. Chocolate and peanut butter, you can’t go wrong.
My wife had the Peaches & Cream dessert. It is a light White Chocolate Cheesecake with Peaches and Hibiscus. She is not a big cheesecake fan but said this was one of her favorites.
The wait staff was excellent on par with what you would expect in a better restaurant. The noise level with low making it a pleasant romantic dinner.
Consider arriving early for your reservation to take the opportunity to wander the beautifully restored 120 year old hotel.
Restaurant Owners and Managers Cannot Keep Servers’ Tips, Per New Budget Bill. Eater.com has full coverage of the changes to the law.
Source: Restaurant Owners and Managers Cannot Keep Servers’ Tips, Per New Budget Bill
Saveur Magazine is out with their Culinary Travel Awards 2014. Locally the Inn at Little Washington made the list as Outstanding in the Best Hotel Restaurant Fewer than 100 Rooms category. Washington, DC is listed as Notable in the Best Culinary Destination, Small Domestic category.
1715 Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Charming | $$$
We recently celebrated my wife’s birthday with a weekend trip to Philadelphia. While searching for a nice place to stay in the Center City area I found the charming Rittenhouse 1715. A cozy boutique hotel located a half block from Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia’s arts district.
The staff takes great pride in the hotel and decorates seasonally.
The hotel is a four story 1911 mansion accommodating 8 guest rooms and 2 suites. The rooms are beautifully appointed with antiques, luxurious linens, and marble baths with terrycloth shower curtains. While it may look like you are stepping back in time each room has wireless Internet and large plasma TVs.
A 24-hour concierge service is offered as well as a complimentary Continental Breakfast in their delightful little basement café.
If you are looking for something more substantial for breakfast they offer an assortment of fresh made items. I selected a delicious bacon and egg breakfast sandwich. The coffee was full bodied and just what I like to start the day.
My wife had fresh squeezed orange juice and a omelet. The coffee, juices, pastry and made to order items are of the highest quality and expertly prepared.
If you are driving to the hotel know that street parking is limited in the neighborhood. The staff recommends a garage 2 blocks away that has a reasonable daily rate. You will not find a more professional friendly hotel staff anywhere in Philadelphia. Everyone was helpful with directions, umbrellas, and arranging car service. While not an inexpensive hotel, it is an exceptional value. Rates start around $250 per night depending on the type of room and dates of your stay.
When our trip was cut short by bad weather at home the manager waived the customary 72 hour cancellation rule and did not charge us for Sunday. Not really a revenue loss for them since their willingness to accommodate us and attention to every detail means Rittenhouse 1715 will be our hotel of first choice on future visits. If you are planning a visit to Philadelphia on business or pleasure I highly recommend Rittenhouse 1715, you won’t be disappointed.