Morning-after-the-wedding brunches let you extend the party and maybe even indulge in a little gossip. The Philadelphia area offers a plethora of brunch choices from Revolutionary-era country inns to brand-new glass and chrome trendy hot-spots.
If you’re looking for something stylish, head south of City Hall along Broad Street’s “Avenue of the Arts.” The Cadence Restaurant at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts sits proudly in the recently opened arts venue with its curved glass ceiling and long views of the Avenue. The French-influenced menu features trés chic entrées such as poached eggs with duck confit and asparagus stuffed omelettes. The $26 prix fixe meal includes a choice of Bloody Mary or Mimosa and many chocolate desserts including one billed as the “most decadent”- Chocolate Cadence – chocolate mousse and bread pudding inside a chocolate cone served with homemade chocolate ice cream and drizzled with – you guessed it – chocolate sauce! Cadence Restaurant at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets, On the Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, 215/670-2388.
If you aren’t quite ready to go casual after your ultra-formal ceremony, invite your guests to join you at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse for an elegant brunch featuring a raw bar, buffet appetizers and entrées served à la carte. Fresh local ingredients are used in such specialties as crab hash browns and fresh herb omelettes prepared by internationally known chef Jean-Marie Lacroix. The Sunday brunch runs up to $40 and reservations are recommended. Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 215/790-2533.
The trendy Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant is located in what was originally Krook’s Mill, an important part of the textile industry on which the town was built in the early 1800s. Enjoy the brunch buffet with live jazz in the fireside room or on the patio overlooking the Schuylkill River. The menu highlights include deep-fried turkey – the skin is crispy which seals in the juices – and salmon with bing cherry sauce for $16.95 per person. Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant, 4120 Main St., Manayunk, PA, 215/482-8220.
Party like it’s 1739 at The Joseph Ambler Inn, about a 45-minute drive from Center City. This cozy country inn, with its exposed stone walls, charming fireplaces and set on 12 lush acres, dates back to Colonial America. For a large group (12 or more guests) the Inn will create a customized brunch menu, including goodies like poached eggs with salmon hash, tarragon cream sauce and asparagus and brioche French toast. Prices range from $25 to $33 per person. The Joseph Ambler Inn, 1005 Horsham Road, North Wales, PA, 215/362-7500.
Have a little time before you take off on your honeymoon? Take a meandering drive up scenic River Road to New Hope and the recently opened restaurant in the elegant Mansion Inn. Braised Norwegian salmon and tuna sashimi are two standouts on the à la carte brunch menu of this four-diamond eatery. Lace-covered floor-to-ceiling windows allow lots of light to shine on the high-quality antiques and artwork, Depression era glass and antique clocks adorning this Victorian manor home. Two formal dining rooms offer plenty of room for large groups Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Note to families with tykes in tow: the restaurant does not allow children under 16. The Mansion Inn, 9 S. Main St., New Hope, PA, 215/862-1231.
The charming Marlton Tavern is just a short drive over the Walt Whitman Bridge into Marlton, NJ. Brunch is served Sundays in this 1898 Victorian landmark voted “Best of Philly 2000”. The atmosphere is elegant, yet informal, with hardwood floors, stained glass and a sun porch overlooking the historic town. The expanded breakfast menu includes eggs benedict and eggs quesadillo or the tavern’s signature crab cakes for as little as $10.95. Marlton Tavern, 65 East Main St., Marlton, NJ, 856/985/2424.
Brunch in the “wilderness” of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park – one of the country’s largest urban parks. The Valley Green Inn, part of an original roadhouse, recently underwent a major renovation designed to maintain its historic ambience. Tucked away in the woods of the Wissahickon Valley, the Inn offers a special brunch served in front of a cozy fireplace in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Choose challah bread stuffed with French double cream brie, vegetable frittata or lobster and crab ravioli from the à la carte brunch menu starting at $18.95. Kids eat for $9.95. The Valley Green Inn of Wissahickon Valley, Fairmount Park, PA, 215/247-1730.
Latin flavor is unmistakable in the Cuban food and the recreated street scene of Havana of the ‘40s at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in Old City, Philadelphia. Vibrant colors, exotic ingredients and tropical plants evoke the feel of the Caribbean for the tropical brunch served Saturdays and Sundays. Start your meal with fresh seasonal tropical fruits, then choose the ropa vieja – shredded beef with scallions and sliced potatoes – made only as spicy as you like it. Or try the lump crabmeat and ripe papaya folded with a fresh papaya vinaigrette for a decidedly atypical brunch. Prices for the à la carte meals top out around $14. Call the events coordinator there for groups of more than 20. Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, 10 S. 2nd St., Old City, Philadelphia, 215/627-0666.
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