Tinto since its opening more than five years ago. It was nothing against the idea of Basque pintxos and wine from Iron Chef Jose Garces - but instead, a notion that the diminutive bar and dining room was always crowded and too tight to really relax. Turns out that was a misconception. Don’t make the same mistake, or you run the risk of missing out on some of the best bites in Rittenhouse.Mea culpa: until this week, we hadn’t been to
There have been a series of expansions and renovations inside the wood-covered dining rooms, so what was once slightly cramped is now totally manageable (you still wouldn’t call the multi-tiered space expansive, but that’s part of its charm). Take a high two-top and order some sidra (cider) direct from the barrel, and wait for a parade of perfectly executed small plates - the kind that feel worth their price tag - to come your way.
After starting with some of the smaller options (can’t go wrong with albondigas - spiced meatballs - or duck confit wrapped in serrano ham), don’t miss the pulpo. Sliced coins of octopus have sweet and hot Spanish spices seared in, juicy enough alone but even better dipped in the smoked green olive aïoli on the plate. Crunch a thick chip of fried potato and take another sip of bubbly sidra as you make plans to return before too long passes ($12; 215-665-9150).