2013 Ranstead St. – Rittenhouse Square
The Ranstead Room is part of the Starr Restaurant Group, whose reach includes Morimoto and Buddakhan right here in NYC. This little ‘hidden’ speakeasy is not such a secret. But it sort of feels that way as you enter the unmarked door. The menu is sophisticated and, of course, requires varied ice shapes. The bartender told us as we sipped our ‘Son of a Beesting’ and ‘Tatanka’ cocktails that New York’s cocktail genius Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey fame helped build the menu. Damn, that guy is busy. He’s done it for half of the similarly unmarked ‘speakeasies’ in Manhattan. It takes the charm out of it after a bit hearing this from every elitist mixologist in town. I digress. Anyway, we were thrilled to find it on the weekend before Christmas late night. It was the only spot open around. Even the curiously named Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. was winding down when we tried to get in. By the way, this is a sub-terranean speakeasy a couple of blocks away. Even in Philly, becoming commonplace.
Nonetheless, we really enjoyed it. The bartender was friendly and we met a couple of people at the bar. Good times. Next time we are back in Philadelphia, we will absolutely make another visit, especially if we go back to the Kimpton Palomar around the corner. Nothing like a lovely cocktail bar steps from your room!
By the way, the Ranstead Room’s sister restaurant at 2013 Chestnut is El Rey Mexican, where apparently earlier in the evening, the bar snacks are made. http://www.elreyrestaurant.com/#/Home
RANSTEAD ROOM’S FALL COCKTAIL MENU
|Applejack 75 applejack, lemon, champagne|
|Son Of A Beesting gin, lemon, ginger, honey|
|Tatanka bison grass vodka, apple, lemon, cinnamon|
|Tuxedo #2 gin, vermouth, absinthe|
|Quick Fix pisco, st. germaine, grapefruit, lime|
|Jersey Buck applejack, ginger, lime, soda|
|Brown Derby bourbon, grapefruit, honey|
|New York Sour bourbon, lemon, egg white|
|Carroll Gardens rye, vermouth, amaro|
|Dominicana aged rum, coffee liquor, cream|