135 South 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.akitchenandbar.com/
- Phone: 2158257030x
- 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
- 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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
a.kitchen - Best Restaurants in Rittenhouse Square ›
a.kitchen reviews from OpenTable diners
219 reviews since May 25, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (141)neighborhood gem (83)notable wine list (62)great for outdoor dining (58)hot spot (55)special occasion (54)great for lunch (38)great for brunch (35)romantic (34)late-night find (17)scenic view (17)good for groups (17)vibrant bar scene (16)kid-friendly (3)Show More
- DisappointingOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/16/2014To be clear- the food was not disappointing. The food was good- nothing overly special that I would feel compelled to spend that kind of money for, but good. The Beef Tartare was my favorite. My disappointment stems from having made a reservation on opentable at a.kitchen thinking I was making a reservation during restaurant week for a. kitchen + bar (as in one restaurant). Needless to say I was extremely upset that when I arrived at a.kitchen and found out that they were not participating in restaurant week...but their sister restaurant a.bar was. I find it incredibly confusing when a restaurant has the whole name (a.kitchen+bar) listed on their website, the location we were in on their website and half of their name on opentable.
- Interesting, but not there yetOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/15/2014The descriptions on the menu were more tasty than the small, lukewarm, and expensive dishes. With some of the party averse to raw or spicy foods or beef, it was hard to compose a shared table, yet you need a party to assemble sufficient variety. Grilled, stuffed squid were excellent. Buckwheat noodles a total waste--a few clammy noodles with meaningless accompaniments in sour pickle juice. We were contacted several times to make sure that we intended to keep our reservation, but the service was not as attentive in person. Even with all of the street windows open, the grill ventilation was inadequate.
- foodiedudieVIPDined on 9/13/2014Eli Kulp has worked his magic at a.kitchen. I really enjoyed everything we ate...the Arctic char was great, as were the beets, and the side of leeks was amazing. The noise level however, on a Saturday night was deafening. Acoustics are a problem here. We could not hear what anyone was saying.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- letseatoutVIPDined on 9/13/2014Good food, nicely presented. Basically a tasting menu at full menu prices.
- A lovely evening.AmieDined on 9/12/2014Overall, our experience was very positive but I did have a few points that took me out of the experience. Mainly, the course timing wasn't great. Our first three items came out so quickly that I couldn't remember what the first item tasted like by the time the second and then third came out. It was certainly not the leisurely dining experience that I was looking for. Also, the gazpacho, while very nice, was overpowered by the chili oil to the point that you couldn't taste the crab at all. The duck breast was definitely the highlight of the meal and was amazing. The dessert, a cornmeal concoction, was also great although I would have preferred it with a different ice cream. It could have been improved with a sweeter element.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- KateDined on 9/10/2014We actually at at a.bar for Restaurant Week. Our reservation was switched from a.kitchen to a.bar.Our meal was delicious--nice portions. It is very noisy however!Special Features:
- A local gemdanieleDined on 9/9/2014We tired a .bar... During the restaurant week. Great food, amazing presentation, innovative ... Kuddos to the chef ! Great location where you can see the bustle of the city, in a cosy environment ...and the service is spectacular . The young man at the bar was most helpful, attentive to our needs and made the experience even friendlier !Special Features:
- MediorceBlueXVIPDined on 9/7/2014After the writeup in Philly Mag and my friends' recommendations, I thought this would be a hit. I wasn't impressed, though. Service was incredibly slow (we sat for 20 mins waiting for our server). Food was good, but not outstanding. Atmosphere was nice, though. I hope this was just an off-night...Special Features:
- Not so good lunchDidiVIPDined on 9/5/2014Went for lunch today... Beef tartare not well balanced (too much sauce vs meat, too acidic), overload of salad dressing on a regular Green Salad, waitress poured 2 times (!) tap water in our sparkling water, no bread served, chocolate mousse was too dense and tasted not at all bittersweet
- Good Food/Friendly staffbullbearDined on 8/31/2014Arrived earlier than expected but that didn't stop the staff from assisting and interacting while we enjoyed wine at the bar. Menu is quite unique and the dishes we ordered were scrumptious. Would highly recommend a.kitchen to folks who are looking for a culinary adventure.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A must re-visitOpenTable Diner Since 2008VIPDined on 8/30/2014This was my first trip back since the menu reboot, and it did not disappoint. Every plate was above average to excellent.Special Features:
- annkVIPDined on 8/27/2014Fantastic dinner tonight. The food was so flavorful and excellentSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good Food--Too noisyblunchDined on 8/26/2014Noise was a problem. Hard to hold a conversation. Food was good. Service was slow. Best time to go is when it is not crowded.
- SethVIPDined on 8/23/2014Creative presentation and flavors. Very interesting cooking, have been many times and will continue to be a guest.Special Features:
- astonishing foodhermiteDined on 8/23/2014I have eaten out in restaurants for over 50 years, here and abroad. The food at a.table is inventive, charming, unexpected, and very very delicious. I have not had food this exciting in any of the New York restaurants I have patronized in the past. I am still savoring the flavor of the smoked mussels, the fried green tomatoes (name doesn't begin to describe the complexity of this dish), the crispy black bass. I am pretty knowledgeable about food, but were you to ask me what the exact ingredients were for any dish I had, I would be unable to tell you. Great food is always mysterious. My only complaint is the cowering level of noise. At least there was no piped in music. This restaurant deserves to be patronized to the max.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/23/2014First time diners at a.kitchen. Saturday night. Service was great. From the cocktails out on the sidewalk table to our server Jim when we were seated at our table inside. He was very attentive and helpful rounding out our dinner selections (small plates)for the four of us. We were never rushed. Even the sommelier took the time with us to pair our food selections with wine for the four of us. All in all dining at a.kitchen was a very pleasant delicious experience. I would recommend it and would return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- a.plustigerlilyoneVIPDined on 8/20/2014Had a birthday dinner here, and the staff was extra thoughtful and gracious! Bright and airy with perfect views for people watching wether seated outside or in. The appetizers and entree portions are a bit small, but delightful and tasty so we left feeling full but not stuffed. Only downside was the poundcake (tasted too doughy and was microwaved), but we were one of the last diners of the evening so I wasn't surprised that the cake was probably on its last leg. Overall, great time and will definitely be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Better than expectedDininginTownDined on 8/15/2014My 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.Special Features:
- Delightful DinnerARedHeadedWomanDined on 8/13/2014Met 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.Special Features:
- ExcellentFoodfirstDined on 8/12/2014Truly excellent. Fabulous small plates, great wine list.Special Features:
- pamkVIPDined on 8/9/2014Wonderful food and staff who are not pretentious-but knowledgeable and warm. Always fun to watch when a kitchen is well run, too.Special Features:
- Poor serviceJNEFDined on 8/8/2014My 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).
- One of Philly's bestphillydinerVIPDined on 8/7/2014Fabulous meal at the chef's counter as part of Rittenhouse Row restaurant week.Special Features:
- PhillyguyPhillyGuyVIPDined on 8/7/2014Runs here before it gets too well-known. This is the best.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Innovative and interesting foodBrooklynJoVIPDined on 8/3/2014I 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WimmieVIPDined on 8/2/2014Food has greatly improved since first opening and is not cutting edge Philadelphia.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding as usualFanFromPhillyVIPDined on 7/31/2014Anything 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.Special Features:
- Business lunchNeilDined on 7/29/2014Enjoyed a productive business lunch on the sidewalk in beautiful weather.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Small portions left us hungrycjs1Dined on 7/26/2014The 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.
- bjb1VIPDined on 7/26/2014This 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A terrific summer brunchCuriouspalateDined on 7/26/2014We 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!Special Features:
- Left hungryFoodluvrVIPDined on 7/23/2014Wow. 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!
- LoriVIPDined on 7/22/2014We'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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Similar flavors across menu itemsMTagDined on 7/22/2014I 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.
- Even better than beforeOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 7/21/2014We 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great delicious brunch!OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 7/20/2014The fried chicken and freshly baked pastries were great!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- J.WellsJWellsDined on 7/17/2014The 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- foodiecDined on 7/16/2014We 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!Special Features:
- Expensive for what you receivetwelVIPDined on 7/11/2014This 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.Special Features:
- Excellent mealLobsterVIPDined on 7/9/2014The 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.Special Features: