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  • a.kitchen

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  • Address:
    135 South 18th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
    Rittenhouse Square
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $30 and under

a.kitchen Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.akitchenandbar.com/
  • Phone: (215) 825-7030
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: Monday to Friday: 7:00 am - 10:00 am
    Weekend Brunch: 10:00 am to 2:30 pm
    Lunch: Monday to Friday: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm
    Dinner: Sunday through Thursday: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm; Friday and Saturday: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Chef Eli Kulp
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Walnut
  • Public Transit: Bus: 18th and Walnut
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking available in local garages. No Valet available.

    Central Parking System – 1616 Sansom Street
    Parkway Corporation – 1845 Walnut Street
    Central Parking System – 201 South 18th Street
    Priority Parking – 1710 Chancellor Street
A word from a.kitchen
a. kitchen, located in the AKA Rittenhouse Square, is a contemporary American restaurant focused around Chef Eli Kulp's bold flavor-forward cooking on natural hardwood charcoal and accompanied by one of the most compelling wine lists in the country featuring many of the most in-demand Old World style artisan grower-producers in the world, as well as a large selection from leading natural winemakers. Continued
Diner Reviews
  • "My dinner recent at a. kitchen was absolutely wonderful. It was my first time there and it was better than I expected. We sat adjacent to the outside tables so it had an al fresco feel and the weather was great. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and made fabulous suggestions; both on food choices and quantities. The food was so delicious with outstanding flavors and sauces. I will definitely be back."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Met a friend here for dinner and had a really nice experience. Started with a glass of the dry Rose and the sourdough with squash. The bread was unique and very tasty; it had a nice crunchy exterior and soft interior. The squash added nice flavor and was not overwhelming. Had the smoked beet salad as a starter and the Arctic Char as a main followed by the chocolate mousse. The smoked beets were delicious. I am not sure what the dressing was but the creamy tangy sauce was a perfect foil for the beets. The Arctic Char was excellent, perfectly cooked with crispy vegetables on the side. The mousse portion was small, but by that time I was full, so it was fine. I look forward to my next visit."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Truly excellent. Fabulous small plates, great wine list."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "Wonderful food and staff who are not pretentious-but knowledgeable and warm. Always fun to watch when a kitchen is well run, too."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "My husband and I had friends coming to visit from out of town so chose a kitchen thinking it would be a great way to show them how awesome the philly dining scene is! We had a reservation for 9 pm. We arrived at 8:50 pm and were told our table wasn't ready yet and to have a drink at the bar. When we went to the bar, there was a 4 top table open, set and ready for people to sit at. We waited at the bar for 30 minutes (until 9:20 pm). We were finally seated at the table (that was open when we arrived at 9:20 pm.) The servers were not very attentive and when you are at a nice restaurant that should be one of the top priorities. Our courses didn't come out promptly (our friends had their first courses for 20 minutes before ours arrived)."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Fabulous meal at the chef's counter as part of Rittenhouse Row restaurant week."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Runs here before it gets too well-known. This is the best."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "I can see why a.kitchen might not appeal to everyone, but if you are up for trying some truly creative cuisine with tastes you haven't experienced before, a.kitchen is the place to go. My husband and I loved every dish we ordered, from the grilled beet salad and smoked eggplant to the skate and duck breast and then the dark chocolate mousse and pound cake. Some of these dishes may sound familiar, but each one was prepared in a new and creative way, and each was delicious. Serving sizes are not overly generous, but they were fine for us and encouraged us to really savor each dish. Service was great too. We are new to Philly and have been sampling the restaurants nearby, and a.kitchen will be at the top of our list for a return visit."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Anything Ellen Yin and Eli Kulp are involved with seems to be gold! Brought my family for a birthday/anniversary celebration and couldn't have asked for a better experience."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Enjoyed a productive business lunch on the sidewalk in beautiful weather."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "The waiter explained the two options they had in the menu, one was to order several of the smaller plates to share or go with the main courses that were larger portions. The smaller plates looked more appealing so we decided to get several of these, thinking bread and three of these would be enough. We went with the Buckwheat Noodles, $14 there was barely enough for one person to eat. The Caputo Brothers Burrata, $16, the menus says "fried green tomatoes", I took the plural "tomatoes" to mean more than one. We got one slice of a tomato. Two people had to share one slice, really? Then the East Coast Squid, $16, it was okay and again small, but at least two on the plate we could share. ~$113 +1 wine and 2 beers with tip, and we left starving."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "This is our second time at a.kitchen, and it was a special experience as was the first. The service is first rate, the food is outstanding, and our seat at the kitchen bar was fun. The chefs were friendly, well informed, and added to our enjoyment. Go and have fun."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "We were delighted to find inventive offerings in the traditional brunch egg category and beyond--in perfect portions for our appetites. My plump and tasty mussels married beautifully to a preparation that is difficult to describe other than suggesting the best of Basque and Asian in its imagination, lightness, simplicity and integrity. My partner's grilled shiitake sandwich (with scrambled eggs) pleased enormously. The wine list is imaginative and well priced. I applaud their rarity, a Fino sherry, "Elcano," JC Gutiérrez Colosia, Puerto de Santa María. Our table bridged outdoors and in, perfect on a summer day. The ambiance may be chic but it welcomes older hoodies like us. Kudos to the Fork and AKA teams!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Wow. What a disappointment. I had read some good reviews of this restaurant, and we were looking forward to dining here. First, the dining area is extraordinarily small and cramped, more on the order of a BYOB place than a 'fine dining experience'. The noise level is extraordinarily high. The food is delicious, although the portion sizes are the smallest seen by any in our party. We each ordered three items, two apps a piece plus entree, drinks, and dessert, but we all left hungry! The portion sizes are way too small and definitely not shareable. Even the cocktails are tiny. You are left with the impression that every drop and morsel is metered out. The prices are way out of line with the service and portions. Hope it improves. Hated it!"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "We'd go back based on the food and wine list - which were interesting and very good - but that waiter was terrible. He was barely interested and the kitchen was having a problem with the grill so we waited an incrediy long time for our food."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "I did not find the new menu to be very appealing both from a selection perspective and taste. I am getting tired of the "chose 2 or 3 dishes per person" format. You never know if you are ordering too much or too little...do the items go together, blah, blah. The noise level was off the charts...and I like vibrant place, so judge from there."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "We have always liked a.kitchen, but were eager to try the new menu with the new chef. It didn't disappoint. We had two small plates, two large plates, and one dessert, all of which were excellent. Standouts were the burrata and the deviled skate, but everything was wonderful. Portions were not as small as some reviewers had suggested, and neither of us left hungry. We will definitely be back."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "The fried chicken and freshly baked pastries were great!"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "The charcoal grill really leaves with you a lasting flavor and succulent smokey hymns from each dish. The chicken thighs in particular were a personal favorite. The beet salad also a favorite was unbelievable good. However, the best dish surprisingly was the grilled broccoli with bacon. Eli Kulp continues to impress. The only regret I have is that I did not frequent more of his restaurants while in town."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "We went into a.bar for a drink before our dinner reservation and were pleasantly surprised to find we were in time for Happy Hour. $1.50 oysters! They were awesome and we had 2 dozen before we knew it and had a great $4 stoudt. We went into the restaurant and enjoyed a great dinner. The deviled skate was fantastic as were the cold soba noodles! Definitely would go back for dinner as well as the oysters!"
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "This is not a sharing plate place even though that is what they are billing it as. How do you share items that have soups underneath them easily? $25 for 4 bites of a duck breast? That is an entree? I left hungry and that is hard for me to do. Eli Kulp may be a hot chef according to Food and Wine, but I think he is not paying attention to balancing flavors with satisfying his customers."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "The meal was excellent-the service not so good. Lovely server who was hogtied by the kitchen! The food was beautifully prepared and presented and we will definitely return."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Had high expectations after reading Craig LaBan's review and a.kitchen still managed to blow us away! Every dish, bar none, was a star. Even the desserts. The Dover Sole was like no other. We will definitely go back. Only negative was the bar service. Food order was taken before we could even speak with the manager to order a bottle of champagne. Three plates had arrived before the bubbly, so that was a miss. Need to fix the awkwardness between food order and bottle service. However, the food shined so brightly I have to give a.kitchen 5 stars!"
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "There is zilch atmosphere, kids and coaches at lunch, but we knew this going in. However, if food is your thing then it's worth the lack of atmosphere and the noise level. Three of us go out every other month, we inform the wait staff we will be there for awhile, and proceed to order. We share everything. Three people, five apps, four full plate entrees, two desserts, drinks, wine and espressos. All delicious. In particular, a great twist on steak tartare. Wait staff excellent!!!!!"
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "Good was pretty good, but menu was a bit more eclectic than I remembered. I came away smelling like I had been at a campfire."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "a. kitchen recently changed chefs. This small restaurant with a thoughtful design, energetic service staff, and great location will need additional change. The new chef has designed a menu that lacks clarity of style and incorporates too many ingredients and too many flavors into each dish. Despite these negative changes, a.kitchen is still committed to fresh ingredients and good service. Despite not enjoying 3 out of our four plates, we still had a nice night out due to good wines and great service. Hopefully the management team will preserve the great while they help Chef Koh(?) find clarity of his culinary vision."
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Small plates were perfect for sharing. Wagyu beef was great! I'm not a fish-person, but the dover sole was outstanding."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Great Food, Outstanding Service. Definitely plan to visit again with the Mrs."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I went by myself because I had some time to kill, was hungry and really wanted to try this restaurant. They were serving brunch, which I really did not want but decided to try anyway. I had the mushroom sandwich and it was very good -- especially for not being in the mood for eggs. My only complaint is that I felt kind of abandoned by my waiter once he took my order. Someone else brought me my food, someone else refilled my water, someone else grabbed me a new fork. It was a little strange? Otherwise, the meal was excellent and I would definitely try it again."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Had another exceptional dining experience with out-of-town guests. Menu included new dishes with local, seasonal ingredients. We always share many dishes and would definitely recommend this to other diners. Yin/Kulp/Nodler is the most exciting and creative team in town, probably in the Northeast/MidAtlantic region."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "we had a memorable dinner celebrating birthdays - excellent food and service, wonderful waiter. will definitely return."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "While the atmosphere at lunch time is MORE than "energetic", like you need to do sign language to talk across the table, the food and SERVICE are meticulous! Even at lunch. Some restaurants stand down a bit for lunch but their food was incredible and the server was top notch. Would absolutely go back again....with a megaphone this time!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "AMAZING food - go with a group and order everything --- smoked beets, tempura-fried pickled peppers, quail eggs, eggplant BBQ chicken thighs, fried bass were outstanding. Cocktails were a huge hit - especially Queen Wasp, a peppery gin concoction that did not disappoint."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I am a big fan of a kitchen but we took friends there for dinner recently and we were all a little disappointed. The new reviews have been amazing so we were ready for an even greater experience than in the past (which has always been good), and I have to say -- our meals were very good but not awesome. The portions are very small for the price -- and we don't like a lot of food."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Restaurants that emphasize the chef produce meals inferior to those at restaurants that emphasize the food. (Both should focus on customers, of course.) Bizarre additives to classics degrade the taste. We would never go back, even though it's 3 blocks away."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "This was our second visit, first since the Fork crew took over. Very enjoyable evening! Excellent appetizer selections were the stuffed squid and the steamed clams, both reason enough to order the sourdough to sop up the delicious sauces! We considered sharing the sole but decided on the duck (not too spicy thankfully) and the skate. Both were delicious. Small but adequate list of wines by the glass. Nice latte and the desserts -- pound cake and cajeta custard were both very good. We enjoyed visiting this time in the warm weather and having a window seat by the street. Service was very good. Jim gave us good guidance and the hostess even wished us to enjoy the show on our way out, nice touch and attention to detail! Highly recommend!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Lovely little space that opens onto the sidewalk on nice days (it may feel cramped in the winter?). Attentive service. Menu features kitchen's wood grill, and does some very interesting twists on things."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "I made the reservation for Friday night. Thurs get a call to see where I am Arrive Friday, was told they have me in the book for SATURDAY. That set the tone of the meal..already aggrevated.. Very disappointed. I have had duck w/orange or raspberry sauce in center city & even at a gourmet Chinese restaurant. Always excellent! This piece of duck was seasoned highly. No sauce...if I closed my eyes it tasted like meat. Had TUMS for dessert. I looked forward to coming here..read so much about the chef The crowd & it was crowded @ 5 30, very upscale young people. I t was handled quite well when I told the waiter & manager how I felt about the meal Would suggest this place to well heeled young adventureous diners."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "I was a big fan of a.kitchen when it first opened, but with Chef Eli Kulp at the helm, it's gotten even better. Every dish we ordered was delicious - the meats were perfectly cooked, and the grill also brought out the very best in the vegetable dishes. Two days later and I'm still reliving the flavors - particularly the rhubarb sidecar! I only wish the space were a little quieter, but it's a small price to pay. I look forward to my next visit!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "The four of enjoyed our food but......the wine was pricey, the portions were small For us to keep eating the bread you know w left Hungary Our waitress was very cheery"
    Dined on 6/18/2014