Restaurant in Philadelphia

American Restaurant with a Modern Twist

Lunch at R2L was something I had been eagerly looking forward to with its promise of panoramic views of Philadelphia and excellent cuisine.

I am happy to say that the views lived up to my expectations as did our excellent meal.  We were lucky enough to get a table by the window which meant I spent much of my time gazing out as far as the eye can see across Pennsylvania.  It was also fortunately a clear sunny day so we could see for miles and as I was the guest this time my local host was able to point out all the landmarks in the distance.

Locally renowned chef owner Daniel Stern has created a well thought out American-based menu with an interesting modern twist.  I wanted all the appetizers, as we were spoilt for choice, but in the end settled for an assortment the two of us could share.  So we had the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese, a combination you would not ordinarily put together but wow was it tasty!  We also had their equally good Truffle Flatbread.  We were tempted by the sound of the Lobster and Crab Spring Rolls, but good sense prevailed as we wanted to save room for our main course.

I am in to sharing these days, which probably has much to do with the fact that I am frequently reviewing restaurants and like to try lots of different things, but I particularly liked the fact that you can choose an individual portion size appetizer or a sharing size.

R2L caters well for the fish, meat and vegetarian diners, with a choice of fresh seafood, steak and chicken to pasta and risotto.  As it was a hot day we opted to stick with fish and white wine and chose the delicious Scottish Salmon served on a bed of broccoli and whole grains and dill sauce.  My host had the beautifully presented vegetarian pea and parmesan risotto with added shrimps (an option).

They have a clear, simple but not overwhelming selection of wines from around the world, including whites from Italy, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Oregon and California and throw in some reds additionally from Spain and South America and you have a very complete line up.  We chose a mildly oaked Californian Chardonnay which suited the weather and complimented our meal perfectly.

There was no room left I’m afraid to choose a cake from their amazing looking ‘Treat Cart’, which has to be seen to be believed (photo below).  Instead it was a much needed espresso and ‘small’ Olive Oil Cake topped with peach sorbet and a poached pear on the side – what an unusual but perfect combination.

Our lunch experience was then made complete when the delightful Daniel Stern himself popped out to say hello.

BAR2L is a great place to meet after work to enjoy the fantastic views of Philadelphia. They serve a lounge menu until 11pm during the week and until 1am on Friday and Saturday night.

My Verdict
If you have never been to R2L or for that matter Philadelphia before, do make a reservation as the views are fantastic as are the cocktails, quality of service and food.  This is a fun yet sophisticated place!

R2L on Urbanspoon

Reviewer's Rating
Cuisine American
Need to book Yes
Clientele Locals, business crowd, visitors to the city
Restaurant good for Couples, Romance, Bar scene, Large groups, Meeting up with friends, Special occasions, Scenic view
Cost per head Medium
Dress Code Smart Casual
Dining Options Lunch, Dinner

Additional Ambience Information

Surrounded by large windows on two sides, you get a real sense of space in this sophisticated and elegant restaurant with its unusual cutlery sculptures, zebra striped couch backs and large bar which is very popular at Happy Hour.

Additional Price Comments

Appetizers from $25 individual, $55 sharing size. Salads from $6; Sandwiches from $11; Mains from $14. Wines from $11 a glass; Beer from $5. Cocktails from $8 (at Happy Hour), $12 at regular times.

Last updated on 03-02-2013

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