Not long ago, the 18th Street area between Walnut and Chestnut had limited options for dinner and drinks. Sure, during the day, there were establishments such as Tony Jrs. and Wrap Shack, but at night, some restaurant closures left the area somewhat lacking life.
That’s all changed in the past few months. First, a few months ago, Stephen Starr’s Dandelion added the variety of an English pub. Then, in just the past two weeks, there have been two major additions, with the long-awaited Serafina, the new outpost of a New York-based Italian restaurant group, and a kitchen, a new concept from David Fields and Bryan Sikora.
a kitchen (yes, spelled with lower case letters) held its official grand opening night this Tuesday night. It may be a new restaurant, but it’s hardly a rookie debut, as the principals have impressive pedigrees. Fields has had many successful ventures, including as the owner of Salt, which was another restaurant in the Rittenhouse area. Sikora was the chef and partner at Talula’s Table, one of the most acclaimed dining experiences in the region.
It’s a small indoor space, with a modern look. The kitchen is open and visible to all. The menu at a kitchen features small plates in the categories of vegetables, meats and vegetables. Chef Sikora has created many innovative American dishes. The one I tried was chorizo-stuffed calamari with tomato fondue. While not the largest serving of calamari ever (there were about three large pieces), the blend of flavors worked well. The taste more than made up for the portion size.
Another big bonus? Until the liquor license is cleared, a kitchen is serving alcohol for free. The beer (1) and wine (about 5 options) list is currently limited, though that’ll change by the time it has the liquor license. With a stellar chef, great location and outdoor seating, a kitchen definitely looks like a nice addition to the Rittenhouse area.