Rittenhouse Curls Up With a New Library BarJune 12, 2013
Luxe Philadelphia hotel The Rittenhouse has a cozy new hideaway for literary types in the City of Brotherly Love.
The independent luxury hotel has opened a new Library Bar and expanded Afternoon Tea service in the hotel’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room. We hear this is the first in a series of enhancements to the hotel.
“The Rittenhouse is entering a new phase this year, starting with the highly anticipated opening of our new Library Bar and enhanced Afternoon Tea service at Mary Cassatt Tea Room,” said Reginald Archambault, GM of The Rittenhouse. “As one of Philadelphia’s most cherished hotels, The Rittenhouse is the top destination to celebrate life’s special moments, and these new concepts will only elevate those experiences for our guests.”
Library Bar at The Rittenhouse
The Library Bar, named for its intimate design and carefully curated collection of books and fine art, is just off the lobby and newly built as part of $10 million revitalization at the hotel. The 20-seat bar is open nightly for small bites and cocktail service.
The drink menu features choice spirits and seasonal house-made mixers that blend rare ingredients with innovative technique for a refined approach to the classics.With mixologist Pablo “Papi” Hurtado at the helm, the contemporary cocktails offer a sense of intrigue of which highlights include the Perfect Square, a different take on the ‘Manhattan’ where the secret is a house-made Old Fashioned Bitters; and The RH, the Library Bar signature cocktail that revisits the look of the Whiskey Sour with a special preparation of “manna,” Papi’s special addition that establishes a distinctive consistency and light sweetness; dressed up with house-made dried figs. The Library Bar also offers guests an assortment of locally crafted beer, regional wines and fine spirits, including single malt and blended whiskies, rum, tequila, madeira, port, sherry, brandy, grappa and cognac, as well as vodka and gin. A selection of coffee and infused tea is also available for guests.
Inspired by his passion for international flavors, Executive Chef Jon Cichon has created a bar menu with a selection of shareable appetizers, salads and desserts, as well as sweet and savory wine and food pairings designed for one or two guests to share. Using locally-sourced ingredients, highlights from the pairing menu include Foie Gras Verrine, Black Truffle and Duck Rillette paired with Hennessy Paradis Cognac; Ossetra Caviar, Fingerling Potato Chips and Crème Fraîche with Moët & Chandon, ‘Cuvée Dom Pérignon’, Brut, Epernay, 2000; and Dark Chocolate, Caramel-Orange Mousse served with Smith Woodhouse, 1985.
The Rittenhouse selected the internationally renowned Alexandra Champalimaud as the designer for the bar. Champalimaud’s team has set the design style for properties such as Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, The Carlyle in Manhattan, Claridge’s and The Berkeley in London and many other iconic hotels across the globe. Dark paneled wood, herringbone patterned stained oak floors and golden leather barstools and banquettes imbue the bar with an intimate, cozy atmosphere, while the curated collection of books and fine art speak to the hotel’s place in Philadelphia history and American tradition. The standout design elements include an etched glass map of old Philadelphia displayed across the back bar, a cozy limestone fireplace, black glass chandelier, and Macassar ebony bar with Carrara marble bar top. Champalimaud’s designs will be incorporated throughout the ongoing enhancements to debut at The Rittenhouse this year. Combined with the innovative food and drink offerings, the Library Bar is now open with the promise of making cocktail hour a new treasured tradition at The Rittenhouse. Library Bar is open nightly from 2pm to 12am.
Afternoon Tea at the Mary Cassatt Tea Room
Afternoon Tea at the Mary Cassatt Tea Room at The Rittenhouse is a memorable Philadelphia tradition. The assortment of hand-crafted single-note and blended teas are complimented with a seasonally-inspired food menu featuring timeless favorites alongside inventive new sweet and savory dishes created by the Lacroix culinary team. With a fresh new design that maintains the original grandeur of the Mary Cassatt Tea Room and elevated food and beverage menus from Lacroix, Afternoon Tea offers guests a distinctly refined signature experience, and offers a glimpse into some of the improvements being introduced at the hotel across the coming months.
Also led by Alexandra Champalimaud, the Tea Room’s refurbishments pay homage to acclaimed artist Mary Cassatt, the only American painter invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists in 1879. An impressionist palette and new furnishings focusing on comfort and sophistication are enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows, a drapery backdrop for softness and privacy, and modern chandeliers that cast a soft glow onto the all-new crisp white china and linens. The room extends to the outdoor terrace where guests may enjoy refreshments among the fresh flowers and verdant landscaping. The rejuvenated interiors accompany time-honored afternoon tea fare, including house-made canapés, tea sandwiches, freshly baked seasonal scones, and a collection of sweet delicacies, cakes and petits-fours.
Among the assortment of single note and blended teas, is the ‘Rittenhouse Blend,’ created by Nini Ordoubadi of Tay Tea and crafted with Ceylon bergamot, rose petals, cardamom and borage. Select tea blends include Marry Me Again… composed of ceylon, violets, lavender and corn flowers inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes, Duchess’ First Love, a creamy Earl Gray blended with rooibos, and Wedding Chai, a black tea blended with vanilla and whole cardamom pods. The single note teas menu features a refined taste for every nose, including Floral
Jasmine Green, a Chinese green tea scented with jasmine flowers, Lychee Congou, a rare and exotic Chinese black tea from the Congou region, Imperial Oolong, sourced from fourteen different gardens and slightly floral with rich woodsy notes, and classic Irish Breakfast, where strong and rich Assam and East African teas come together for a uniquely intense flavor. Iced teas, organic infusions and French Press coffees by La Colombe are also available. Afternoon Tea at Mary Cassatt Tea Room is served daily from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.
To book a reservation for the Mary Cassatt Tea Room, please call Lacroix at The Rittenhouse at 215-790-2533. For more information about the Library Bar or Mary Cassatt Tea Room at The Rittenhouse visit www.RittenhouseHotel.com.