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LaCroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel


Peter LaGuardia
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It's very well liked locally.

Check here for thread on brunch.

Other than that, there's no one thread with huge amounts of Lacroix info.

Do a search in the box below for the specific threads.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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I have been to Lacroix and of the various philly restaurants, this one seems to have the most dichotomous opinions. Here is mine:

I had dinner there for my birthday 2 years ago and really enjoyed it. I like the interesting way the menu is set up. You can choose from a 3-4-5 course prixe fixe and I can't remember the prices (45-55-65?). The menu is set into suggested groups of food choices although you are free to pick from either one at any time and there is no rule.

Having said that, the flavors were interesting and Lacroix is creative. The portions of each dish are not big but I went for the 4 course and with the dessert it was fine for me. It's a nice place for people of varying appetites to get on well together.

I am certain you will see other opinions elsewhere but that is mine. I think it is an e-gulleteers place and worthy of trying. If you go with a meat and potato crowd, they will likely feel underwhelmed and undernourished.

The service staff for us was kind and prompt. The big caveat is the absolutely unconscionable wine markup - it is extreme - I want to say 400%. What a shame.

My 2 cents.

Evan

Dough can sense fear.

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I have been to Lacroix and of the various philly restaurants, this one seems to have the most dichotomous opinions.  Here is mine:

I had dinner there for my birthday 2 years ago and really enjoyed it.  I like the interesting way the menu is set up.  You can choose from a 3-4-5 course prixe fixe and I can't remember the prices (45-55-65?).  The menu is set into suggested groups of food choices although you are free to pick from either one at any time and there is no rule. 

Having said that, the flavors were interesting and Lacroix is creative.  The portions of each dish are not big but I went for the 4 course and with the dessert it was fine for me.  It's a nice place for people of varying appetites to get on well together.

I am certain you will see other opinions elsewhere but that is mine.  I think it is an e-gulleteers place and worthy of trying.  If you go with a meat and potato crowd, they will likely feel underwhelmed and undernourished.

The service staff for us was kind and prompt.  The big caveat is the absolutely unconscionable wine markup - it is extreme - I want to say 400%.  What a shame.

My 2 cents.

Evan

Thank you, Evan. Your 2 cents is worth a lot. We were just in Philadelphia and went to the new Striped Bass on Thursday night. It was far different from what I remember eight years ago, but very, very good. Delicious food. Beautiful Asian-inspired presentation. And attentive service. Not an intimate space, as you no doubt know, but quite glamorous and bustling, which pleases me. I detest restaurants that remind me of funeral homes.

The concierge at the Westin, the next morning, told me about Lacroix, pointing out that he had been the chef at the Fountain, in the Four Seasons, I think. That made our friends skeptical, because on their last visit to the Fountain, they were disappointed -- and considerably poorer.

Anyway, Lacroix sounds like it's worth a try. There seem to be quite a few good restaurants in Phildelphia, which we get to from time to time. We go more often to New York City. where I was born and lived most of my life. My personal favorite there -- for a variety of reasons -- is Le Bernardin.

Thank you very much for your comments.

Bon appetit.

Peter

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I thought Lacroix was really great, serving really interesting, elegant food.

The menu is inherently a series of small courses, so I agree with Shacke that people who are more comfortable with one big plate of food might feel a little put-off by this style. I did the 4-course option and although none of them were large, I left completely satisfied. The prices have crept up a bit: three courses for $58, four for $67, five for $75, but that's still not bad. You get dessert, which doesn't count as one of your courses. The wine is a bit pricey, which is not uncommon, but it's a broad and interesting list.

If you liked Striped Bass, I think you'd enjoy it here too. The food is every bit as good, maybe better, it's a lovely space with a great view, and the service is very polished without being stodgy.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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I thought Lacroix was really great, serving really interesting, elegant food.

The menu is inherently a series of small courses, so  I agree with Shacke that people who  are more comfortable with one big plate of food might feel a little put-off by this style. I did the 4-course option and although none of them were large, I left completely satisfied. The prices have crept up a bit: three courses for $58, four for $67, five for $75, but that's still not bad. You get dessert, which doesn't count as one of your courses.  The wine is a bit pricey, which is not uncommon, but it's a broad and interesting list.

If you liked Striped Bass, I think you'd enjoy it here too. The food is every bit as good, maybe better, it's a lovely space with a great view, and the service is very polished without being stodgy.

Thanks very much, Herb. I'll put it on my list for my next visit.

Peter

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i was there on sunday for brunch....my fav brunch ever...food was delish and beautifully presented.all served in small plates so you dont have to watch folks trying to balance 32 ozs of beef along with 2 lbs of scalloped pots on their plates(does that sound snotty) one thing was nicer than the next

foie gras custard was extra special

oysters were wonderful and glistening, not your typical room temp buffet shellfish

shrinp were good not great

lobster pot creme were v good (i may have the name wrong)

i am not a dessert person but they looked beautiful and i did try a few...i think the ice creams were special

they had a 3 tier chocolate fountain with fruit and marshmellows for dipping

coffe was v good which is important to me

i did not see the check but i also heard the wine was v v pricey

check out the other thread for unbelievable pics...i looked at them once a week for a couple months until i had the opportunity to get there

also, lacroix was available to speak with you about the different dishes

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  • 11 months later...

Bumping this thread up -- I was there last night for Restaurant Week.

I'm going to open with a curmudgeonly thought: I'm getting less and less enthusiastic about Restaurant Weeks -- service seems to deteriorate and the experience isn't the same as what you would get the other 50 weeks of the year. I don't blame restaurants for that (it's to be expected; this is just a giant loss leader-type promotion, after all) and I don't blame them for disliking Restaurant Week. It is what it is, in the immortal words of Britney Spears. I just feel like I'm beginning to notice it more. It feels more evident in the higher-end places I've visited (Pasion, Lacroix etc.) than in the places where conceivably, you could get a meal at regular price for $30 (Matyson and so on).

That said, Lacroix was still quite nice last night. The Chef himself greeted us at the front entrance (happened to be passing through, I think) and even the hidden corner tables in that place have a lovely view of Rittenhouse Square. I miss the holiday lights.

The menu is slightly different from what's posted on the RW website. My friend and I both started off with the celery soup (celery veloute, truffle oil, poached egg)--fantastic. Thick, velvety, comforting on a cold night, and the truffle fit in nicely. Other choices: salad, or skate wing.

Second course -- The options were short ribs with a blue cheese (Gorgonzola, maybe) crust, braised endive, and some kind of reduction; seared scallops with veal and celery; or roast chicken. Strangely, neither of the first two entrees blew me away (maybe I should have gone with the chicken). Both were fine, though I thought the sauce on the beef (oddly tart) clashed with the blue cheese and endive. I think I was expecting Studiokitchen quality, and didn't quite get it.

Dessert got back on track, though -- a chocolate-pistachio cake with salted caramel and almond ice creams, deliciously dark and decadent (I love ganache!), and a lemon poppyseed cake with citrus salad.

There was an optional add-on course of lobster or ____ (forgot to take notes), but I wouldn't have been able to finish it all. The portions aren't gargantuan, but I think most people would fill up there. Especially during a typical meal (three courses plus dessert plus all the little freebies -- chocolates, amuse bouche, etc).

I forgot to take a look at the cheese cart, which I seem to recall getting rave reviews, so instead, we went to Tria afterwards. Not a bad alternative...

Service was radically different from my first visit there--I went on my birthday a few years back and experienced four- or five-star-type service: hushed, gliding, nearly invisible but always there to anticipate your needs, constantly replenishing bread and water and wine, lots of personal attention, that kind of thing. Last night was more along the lines of Restaurant Week service--the waiter and busboys only showed up at occasional intervals, and front of house was slightly brusque about arrivals and coat check and so on. I know they were absolutely packed, and turning tables nonstop, but I wasn't feeling much love last night. And I get especially grumpy when I feel like it's being chalked up to my age -- sure, my friends and I may be the youngest diners in the room by a good twenty years, but it doesn't automatically follow that (a) we are food Neanderthals or that (b) we're bad tippers. Anyways. End rant. It's still a good restaurant and I'm sure you'll get first-class service if you're there on a regular week. I still plan on going back for brunch!

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Thanks for that report Diann. I've gotten similarly curmudgeonly about Restaurant Week, haven't even bothered to go anywhere the last couple of times. But I'm glad it was at least good.

Some out of town friends managed to squeeze into brunch yesterday at the last minute, and while I haven't gotten get details yet, I got a voicemail describing it as a "spiritual experience," and TOTALLY worth the money, so... I think they liked it!

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Diann,

I was in Philly last night as well, for Restaurant week.

I love Lacroix, but unfortunately my wife does not. So after our last brunch there (posted on the

Brunch at Lacroix thread), I have not been able to return.

Any takers for brunch/lunch/dinner at Lacroix?

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Diann,

        I was in Philly last night as well, for Restaurant week.

        I love Lacroix, but unfortunately my wife does not. So after our last brunch there (posted on the

Brunch at Lacroix thread), I have not been able to return.

        Any takers for brunch/lunch/dinner at Lacroix?

I'm up for brunch at Lacroix! I could use a "spiritual experience" right about now.

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I forgot to take a look at the cheese cart, which I seem to recall getting rave reviews, so instead, we went to Tria afterwards. Not a bad alternative...

I have had their cheeses and they are sublime.

Perfectly ripe, exquisite choices.

Eileen

Edited by etalanian (log)

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

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My fiance and I ate at Lacroix for our anniversary this past Saturday (not a restaurant week night). It was unbelievable. Far surpassed any other dining experience in my life. We went last time around for Restaurant Week and were impressed, but this experience was ten times better.

We both had three plates and a cheese plate.... I'll do my best to describe, but this is my first post to eGullet, so pardon me if I break any unwritten rules of the board:

I started with a scallop "ravioli", thin slices of scallop used in place of ravioli sheets, stuffed with some type of shellfish, squash and paddlefish roe. Really unusual taste, good, but you wouldn't want a plate much larger. It was intense.

My fiance started with a raw trout dish (I really wished I'd taken notes or pictures), that focused on three cubes of raw fish topped with roe. Melted in your mouth.

Next up for me was the slow-cooked halibut, encrusted with nuts, on a bed of veal sweetbreads. The sweetbreads were first for me and so tasty. The fish was cooked perfectly. Translucent, almost opaque, but not overcooked or too flaky.

My fiance had the scallop ravioli for his second plate.

My third plate was the wild boar, mashed purple potatoes, and mushrooms (earthy, hearty, not shittakes or criminis, not sure what they were). I expected the boar to be game-y, but it was really mild... the mushrooms made the dish more earthy than the boar.

My fiance's third dish was the rabbit. Chunks of tender rabbit in a salty glaze. Wonderful.

We both finished with a cheese plate (could have gotten away with sharing one, but we love cheese almost as much as we love each other). We were allowed to select 4-5 cheeses from a board of about 15. They had a good selection, heavy on the goat, but I love it, so I didn't mind. Cheeses were served with more crusty bread slices, water crackers, and a tray of mashes of quince and pear, and a little bit of wild flower honey. I was in HEAVEN. The person who served our cheeses was very knowledgable and friendly.

Overall the service was impeccable. Polite, but not pretentious. Friendly and attentive, but not obtrusive. Chef Lacroix came out to greet us and was extremely welcoming.

After the cheese were the included desserts. We were stuffed, but managed a little room for dark chocolate ice cream (me) and pinapple-cilantro sorbet (him). Because we had told them it was our anniversary, we also received a tiny chocolate cake with fondant icing to replicate a tiffany box and the words "happy anniversary" written in chocolate across the plate. As if that weren't enough, we also received a small tray with three types of little chocolates and gummy candies. Too much!

After over three hours of dining, we slowly made our way out to the square. If we can ever afford it again, we'll definitely be back.

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I'm starting to get curmudgeonly about RW too. Still a good deal in some places, but my enthusiasm is beginning to wane. When we went to LaCroix for RW, the food was good, albeit cold, we felt rushed, and the portions weren't all that big.

Any takers for brunch/lunch/dinner at Lacroix?

The brunch sounds amazing, so maybe I'll have to go back and try it again. Count me in!

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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welcome urbanfabric!

i have been to the rittenhouse once and was very happy with my meal there. thanks for your post. while your description of scallop ravioli was near-criminal, i'm not sure that you broke any eGullet rules (that i'm aware of) - but, if you did - keep breakin' em! :raz:

u.e.

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Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Urbanfabric:

I'm so happy to hear about your wonderful dinner at Lacroix. THAT'S more like it. Your description of the service, the quality of the food, and the little extras reminded me of my original experience at Lacroix, and confirmed, as I was hoping, that my Restaurant Week dinner was just an anomaly. (And again, that wasn't bad, it was just unremarkable.)

Thanks, and welcome to eGullet!

Diann

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  • 7 months later...

i was there for brunch in mid july, which was what, a month and a half after dude retired?

and at that point it had exactly the same strengths and weaknesses it had always had. the raw bar was abundant and high quality. the appetizers and salads and whatnot had several very high points and some 'eh, why bother' moments--dessert bar was the same.

the hot buffet in the kitchen had the same issues--things under heat lamps had been overcooked but the basic principles were the same classic stuff.

i haven't been back for dinner since though. maybe we should...

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I went to the party last week to debut new menu items. I don't know what I did in a former life to deserve being invited to a party at Lacroix with free food, wine, champagne, and cocktails.

They served small plates of the items off the tasting menu and the new ala carte apps and entrees. They had a raw bar area and a carving station as well as the passed food. Everything was wonderful and there were a few stand outs like the venison, squab on a shrimp shumai/wonton hybrid, and a piece of cuban pork belly on a bed of black beans.

The new chef, Matthew Levin, was friendly and gracious. The kitchen was the place to be, as that's where most of the food (including dessert items) was, they were cooking, plating, and handing out dishes to guests.

What really impressed me was the staff. It was a busy party, people in the dining room and lined up to get in the kitchen, drinking and eating what ever they could get their hands on, and the staff was polite and extremely patient. A woman who was manning the wine station in the kitchen spotted my fiance's empty champagne glass from across the room and made her way towards him to refill it. Empty plates and glasses were whisked away before they could even be left on a table. If I had been plating that food, I would have swatted away the people that were loitering to catch a plate, but instead, the woman in charge would just make sure that folks got a plate the next time around if they were missed.

I suppose the purpose of the party was to reassure people that it was still Lacroix, with a few changes by Levin. I was definitely impressed with the food and the service and think that we will probably shell out for another anniversary dinner there this year.

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I have not been to LaCroix since Matt took over the kitchen, but after reading your review of the party food, it sounds like it might be time. I am a long time fan of Levin's having first eaten his fantastic food when he was the Executive Chef at Moonlight in New Hope (closed for a few years) His food blew me away and I am happy that he has found a new home in Philly.

Jennie Hatton

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I have the best job ever :)

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I have not been to LaCroix since Matt took over the kitchen, but after reading your review of the party food, it sounds like it might be time. I am a long time fan of Levin's having first eaten his fantastic food when he was the Executive Chef at Moonlight in New Hope (closed for a few years) His food blew me away and I am happy that he has found a new home in Philly.

Interesting.......As inspector Clouseau would say.....very interesting Indeed.

there was no actual review of the "party food" to the degree of rushing over there,was urbanfabric's post edited ?

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I've always wanted to eat there.

I had reservations for brunch a couple years ago and got there to discover that it wasn't quite "brunch" as a NY'er would understand it. We ended up leaving (feeling embarrassed but a giant spread wasn't what we were looking for at the time)...it's too bad because if I had been prepared for it...it looked wonderful. Glad to hear it's still the same.

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