Note: This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the July 31, 2010 issue of Wine Spectator.
Last fall, Kimpton opened Hotel Palomar in Philadelphia and installed Guillermo Tellez, once Charlie Trotter's chef de cuisine, as executive chef of its Square 1682 restaurant.
Tellez's cuisine is bold, flavorful and international, with a strong nod to his Latin roots in dishes such as yellowfin tuna tostadas, lobster paella, duck cassoulet and black cod porchetta. There are also homey presentations, like the apple cider fritters dessert, and a thread of local ingredients throughout (Pennsylvania goat cheese ice cream, pan-roasted Amish chicken). The wine list, with 80-plus selections, boasts a few choice nuggets, though it's thin in some areas. Pricing is fair for a control state.
The stylish 90-seat second-floor dining room is comfortable and remarkably quiet, given the revelry in the cocktail lounge below. Designer Dayna Lee has successfully fused a sleek, modern interior with the Art Deco features of the historic 1929 Architects Building. Eco-conscious patrons will appreciate that the restaurant and hotel are currently silver-level LEED-certified, and they are going for gold.
SQUARE 1682 at Hotel Palomar
121 S. 17th St., Philadelphia
Telephone: (215) 563-5008
Open: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, daily
Cost: Entrées, $16-$35
Credit cards: All major
117 S. 17th St.
Telephone: (877) 725-1778