In its classic pub atmosphere⎯complete with flat-screen TVs, a long wooden bar, high-top tables, and exposed brick⎯ Cavanaugh's Rittenhouse's chefs breathe life into the gastro pub menu of burgers and sandwiches. Start with the blackened chicken and bubbling gouda pot accoutered with apples, grapes, and toasted bread cubes ($10.99), or the crab cake sliders ($9.99–$13.99). Cavanaugh's Hereford beef⎯delivered fresh and never frozen inside a cryotank⎯ arrives to patrons' plates sprinkled with a variety of toppings, such as bacon, crumbled blue cheese, and sautéed mushrooms ($10.99+), while the beef of the Yards brawler sloppy joe ($9.99) is slow cooked with Yards ale until it's as tender as a fairy godmother's guidance.
An always-bustling Northern Liberties tavern, Standard Tap, which opened in 1999, was at the forefront of what’s generally called the gastropub revolution, with its warmly lit space, hand-built bar, complete lack of TVs, draft-only beer selection highlighting tri-state breweries and the enticing seasonal menu. The whitewashed brick exterior echoes the craft philosophy, with its faded, custom-painted signs. Find a seat in this multi-room space – the charming second-floor outdoor deck beckons in nice weather – and order popular favorites like mussels and sausage or the duck-confit salad, with its luscious, slow-cooked meat. Chalkboards throughout announce the many daily specials, at times featuring produce from the nearby Greensgrow Farms co-op.
At Black Horse Tavern, you can wash down bites of steak seared to order with 1 of 17 draft beers or, if you're feeling daring, with a Hot & Dirty. This mix of dry vermouth, Tabasco sauce, and vodka or gin comes garnished with jalapeño-stuffed olives and is one of several specialty martinis served at the bar.
Saucy cocktail names aside, sophistication is the order of the day in an establishment that is the newest inhabitant of a tavern built in 1754. At the pub's counter and in the dining room, warm red walls meet exposed brick, a rustic frame for white-draped tables. The entrees topping them range from upgraded pub fare to seafood delicacies. The signature burger comes piled with sherry-braised onions, wild mushrooms, and Humboldt Fog cheese milked from the early-morning mists of California. On the other end of the spectrum, smoked duck confit perches on potato gnocchi, and the Fisherman’s Trio overshoots its humble name with a combination of salmon, cod, and scallops in a white-wine lemon-butter sauce. The kitchen similarly soups up its appetizers, featuring truffle fries and petite crab-cakes dipped in one of three sauces.
Though the restaurant’s been open only since 2012, it’s already been making waves on the local dining scene. The Times of Trenton had special praise for the “attentive and knowledgeable” service and noted that the “good food, reasonably priced drinks and a bit of history are a winning combination.”
Winner of four dining Awards for 2009 in Howard Magazine, including Best Bar Food and Best Late Night Dining, Victoria Gastro Pub puts a gourmet spin on traditional pub cuisine. Chef Joe Krywucki’s menu draws on fresh, seasonal ingredients—including herbs grown right outside the restaurant—to hit diners with a flavor tornado, providing a mix of comfort and creativity. Begin with the Duck-Fat Fries, which can be served by the bucket, alongside the Roasted Garlic Aioli ($7), or partnered with their duck confit, gruyere cheese, and duck gravy to make poutine ($8 small, $12 large). More substantial fare includes the official sandwich of Flemish royalty, Lobster Grilled Cheese ($16), a duo of beef that pairs braised beef short rib with a petite filet and cheddar potato gratin and broccolini ($19), as well as the "Mushroom & Swiss" Snake River Farms Kobe burger with gruyere cheese and caramelized onions, and served with smoked paprika fries ($13, $15 with truffle cheese).