My brother and sister-in-law very generously gifted us a super fancy brunch at Lacroix, in the Rittenhouse Hotel, for Christmas last year. We kept putting off making a reservation, convinced we needed an Extra Special Occasion, but figured a four day holiday weekend was the best opportunity we would get. So this past Sunday we put on our fanciest eating pants and went. At $70 per person for brunch (not including drinks), it wasn’t something that had even made its way onto my radar before, because while I LOVE brunch food, I’m content with $8 waffles from a diner. But having been now, I can safely say it is the only thing I want to eat forever and ever, amen. You guys, when I say there was SO MUCH GOOD FOOD please trust that I am not exaggerating. We’re talking (and these are just the things I can remember) stations of ceviche, and house-made sushi, and grilled octopus skewers, and four kinds of caviar, and east and west coast oysters, and shrimp, and fresh croissants, and yogurt panna cotta, and fresh fruit, and waffles, and pancakes, and smoked duck, and grilled salmon, and fleur de sel potatoes, and flank steak, and cheese boards, and shooters of Vietnamese broth with quail eggs, and two chocolate fountains, one milk, one dark, with homemade donuts and marshmallows and pretzels for dipping, and an ice cream station with lavender ice cream and blood orange sorbet, and a towering dessert table with miniature chocolate lava cakes, and macarons, and The Best Thing I Have Ever Eaten Ever Ever: cherry ricotta bread pudding with a croissant crumb crust. I thought about taking a giant scoop home in my purse, were it not decidedly déclassé.
The service, as you would expect in this kind of establishment, was totally top-drawer. Every waiter and chef (because the majority of the stations were in the kitchen, which was neat) seemed to be placed on earth solely to ensure you had the perfect meal. The restaurant itself looks out over Rittenhouse Square, and the broad stretch of windows were equipped with automatic blinds that lowered incrementally throughout the meal to make sure the sunlight streamed in beautifully.Was it a luxury? Absolutely. Did I roll myself home and nap for two hours? You better believe it. It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had, second only to our hilarious engagement dinner in Paris.
Lacroix Restaurant at The Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 West Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. Brunch served only on Sundays.