Rouge: Not Your Typical American Bistro

space-and-company-philadelphia-rougeBY MICHAEL GARDEN (
Right in the heart of Rittenhouse Square is Rouge; a small restaurant with a lot to offer. From its delicately draped walls to its picture window and outside seating, every table is perfect. The bar is oval in shape, affording good views of the room and the square and an opportunity to socialize if you are in the mood. Each seat has a view of Rittenhouse Square, a park considered one of the finest urban public spaces in our country. The square is surrounded by some of Philadelphia’s most prestigious residences, hotels, and shops, and yet fills itself each day with students, picnics, yogis, readers, business people, street performers and endless breeds of dogs and their owners. On special days, there are farmer’s markets, art fairs, balls, childrens fairs, and so much more. Rouge has a reputation of being welcoming to an eclectic array of guests ranging from local and international celebrities, the finest dressed socialites meeting for cocktails, to local Philadelphians just stopping in for an afternoon tea or drinks after work.
The wait staff at Rouge offers the right amount of above average service that makes a fine dining establishment feel like home. They turn the restaurant into more than a place to eat, but also a place to experience. They are knowledgeable in the restaurant’s food and drink menus, so if you’re feeling indecisive, let them decide for you. You will not be disappointed. The menu has adapted to a variety of moods, allergies, and diets, allowing something for anyone.
The food is both prepared and plated to please. Some favorites are the Tilapia tacos; served as two tacos, a lime wedge, and a tangy sauce for drizzling. The kale salad is perfect for pairing with one of Rouge’s summer beer choices. Their cheeses are perfect for sharing, the salads can be a meal in themselves, and all their meats are cooked to perfection. The selection of wines and cocktails and food inspire me to try something new with every visit.
Although I’ve been to Rouge in the height of their busy hours, with friends or clients, I always feel like the intimate dining experience I go there for is being granted. Whether you’re strolling through Rittenhouse looking to share some appetizers, on a first date, have a business lunch, or you just feel like dining alone at the bar, Rouge’s old school elegance and classic character is a perfect fit.

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