Philadelphia’s five-star Rittenhouse Hotel recently opened up its new Library Bar and expanded Afternoon Tea service to its guests. The renovations, a first in a series of enhancements, will allow the hotel to offer a more contemporary experience while keeping the same spirit and traditions of the hotel alive. Known for its timeless elegance and exceptional culinary offerings, the 25-year-old Rittenhouse has become a cherished addition to the Philadelphia landscape.
Named for its intimate design and curated collection of books, the new 20-seat Library Bar is located just off the lobby and is open nightly for small bites and cocktail service. Its dark paneled wood, herringbone patterned stained oak floors and leather barstools juxtaposed with the room’s fine art speak to the hotel’s place in historic past. The highlight of the room is an etched glass map of old Philadelphia displayed across the back bar. The inclusion of the bar is part of the $10 million revitalization of the hotel, as it hopes to become one of Philly’s desired cocktail destinations among the business community.
Filled with choice spirits and seasonal house-made mixers for rare and innovative cocktails, the menu at the bar offers a refined approach to the classics. Behind its masterful drinks is mixologist Pablo “Papi” Hurtado whose creative concoctions include a Manhattan made with a secret house-made Old Fashioned Bitters and the signature RH cocktail that revisits the look of the Whiskey Sour with a special ingredient that establishes a distinctive consistency and light sweetness. For all those beer lovers out there, the bar also offers an assortment of locally crafted beer to satisfy your cravings.
Speaking of cravings, Executive Chef Jon Cichon Lacroix at The Rittenhouse has created a bar menu packed with tempting appetizers, salads and desserts, as well as wine and food pairing options. On its menu, guests can find Foie Gras Verrine, Black Truffle and Duck Rillette paired with Hennessy Paradis Cognac and Dark Chocolate, Caramel-Orange Mousse served with Smith Woodhouse, 1985.
The Rittenhouse’s Mary Cassatt Tea Room has been a longtime favorite among locals and guests with its afternoon tea events. Many single-note and blended teas are available including the ‘Rittenhouse Blend,’ created by Tay Tea's Nini Ordoubadi and crafted with Ceylon bergamot, rose petals, cardamom and borage. The fresh new design gives a sneak peek into the upcoming renovations for the rest of the hotel while proving its dedication to maintaining parts of the original look.
Designed by internationally renowned Alexandra Champalimaud, the Tea Room’s refurbishments pay homage to artist Mary Cassatt who was the only American painter invited to exhibit with French Impressionists in 1879. Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows open up the room and modern chandeliers cast a soft glow. Guests can also opt for some sunshine with their tea on the outdoor patio. Afternoon Tea at Mary Cassatt Tea Room is served daily from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.
Whether enjoying afternoon tea at Mary Cassatt Tea Room or a cocktail among friends at the Library Bar, your thirst for a new watering hole in Philly will be quenched.