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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
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "a.kitchen's new management has brought the restaurant's dinners to the peak of deliciousness!!"
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "yes the food was very good but I thought that the barmaid set the tone for this establishment: personal attention to satisfy our preferences. delicious unique cocktails. Waygu steak was fantastic. the grilled asparagus was outstanding. stay for dessert!!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Ordered a $15.00 scallop appetizer to share. Had specifically asked whether it was of sufficient size to share and was assured by the waitress that it was. Out came 4 slivers of one scallop and two or three slivers of radish in a refreshing marinade. Disappointing at best, outrageous at worst. Shared the dover sole which was good, but nothing to rave about. Side of mushrooms was okay, nothing special, but the potatoes were wonderful. You decide."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Outstanding with exception of very high noise levels. Service knowledgeable, professional"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Food was very good. Service was slow.Took 10 mimutes to get our drinks when only 2 people at the bar. Server was obviously new, nervous, and not trained. he did try hard. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "We had a reservation for lunch at 1:15 and were seated promptly. Service was great, food was creative and they used good quality ingredients. We enjoyed it thoroughly. Only thing I'd say is portions are a little on the small side and tables are very close resulting in a noisy, bustling environment but otherwise, a.kitchen warrants it kudos! Not where you'd go for a romantic or relaxing meal but nice job!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Once again Craig Laban is off the mark: a.kitchen is not improved with new chef/mgr. Ordered kale and duck salad and got something other than kale and maybe 2 tiny, measly strips of spongy duck the size of a small anchovy. No bread; supposed to come with crostini which we asked the waitress about--she brought a small plate with maybe 2 broken up crostinis that tasted like nothing--no seasoning, oil, or any flavor whatsoever. Once again, would never go back. What a joke. LaBan must be getting kick backs from the restaurants he raves about. Time to retire, Craig, and let someone who knows what good food should taste like review Philly restaurants."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Hadn't done my homework. Great review in the Inquirer is well-deserved. Did an all-veggie selection. The mix was intriguing. The sauces wonderful. I bet a veggie entrée would have been marvelous. Had to have dessert. The pound cake was great but the presentation could have been nicer. (Would have put that in a private note but ran out of characters.) "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "How happy was I to walk into the warm and inviting space of a.kitchen. It set my expectations high with the open kitchen, the smokey hue in the air....we started out with a wonderful chefs bite of smokey scallops... Then it went downhill. Cocktails were small, very small... Ordering was a breeze but the food that was brought our way didn't match the order... Then mid way through our small plate service we heard the chef say, 'table 50 VIP' and then the entire kitchen shifted their focus to preparing food for that table...we were sitting at the bar in front of the open kitchen and watched the kitchen kick it into overdrive. Unfortunately for us, that meant our remaining two plates took another 20 minutes to make their way to us."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Wonderful blending of flavors. Satisfied both diners age 25 and 76."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "Interesting menu - delicious dishes Great drinks too!"
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "The restaurant has many unique small plates but it is hard to put a meal together. I would not go back there for dinner. Breakfast is fine."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "Enjoyed dinner for 2 alfresco at this newer downtown restaurant. Everything we tried had amazing flavors--many accented by the coal-fire grilled cooking. My husband and I enjoyed the lightly fried peppers, perfectly steamed Manila clams in a fragrant broth, the leek and ramp grilled sourdough bread, and the smoked beet salad for starters. We then moved on the excellent grilled Wagyu beef and the Asian-spiced duck breast for our meals, and capped everything off with a.Kitchen's homemade ice cream trio for dessert. (Toasted Oat, Chocolate Malted Milk Ball, and Rhubarb, mmm-mmm!!) Recommend if you want to eat outside, to get there early, or reserve on OpenTable and request;-))!!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I had the best grilled fish I have ever had (Sea Bream) and my dining partner said it was the best duck breast she has ever eaten. Total perfection."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "It's just too damn noisy to enjoy the food, too noisy to talk to my wife. The food was uneven - mushrooms were tough, steak tartare was drowning in "hollandaise" sauce that was largely mustard, fish didn't have the crispy skin that was promised. Hardwood seat in the "booth" were tough on my rear. I've now had three uncomfortable meals here and will NOT go back. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "The food was very good. Wish it was larger to accommodate larger tables for special occasions. Hard to talk."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "First time in the city and stopped in for brunch. It was so good, I went back again a day later. "
    Dined on 5/25/2014