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Rouge – Philadelphia, PA

November 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

Rouge 98 - Phildelphia, PA Rouge 98 - Phildelphia, PA Rouge 98 - Phildelphia, PA
Sunday morning, after another late night. I am stadium-ed out after the concert, Flyers game, and 76ers game, and the lads are off to see the Eagles play. I’m going to laze around town today, having some brunch, and taking a leisurely stroll through Philadelphia’s awesome art museums.

I look up best brunches in Philadelphia (again) and Rouge comes up – it’s only a couple of blocks away, facing Rittenhouse Square, and supposedly the food is great.

Indeed, those reviews weren’t wrong.

I showed up as a single with no reservation, and was seated immediately, in a good seat with a great view of the restaurant. My first impression was that this place was loud – the atmosphere was boisterous and fun, and I felt like I was at a party at someone’s house. The music was noticeable (but not loud) – playing an eclectic mix (I think Sarah Vaughn singing “Paper Moon” followed by Queen’s “Killer Queen”). The decor is soft textures – drapes all along one wall, with a central round counter, and velvet comfy chairs around the periphery in this smallish restaurant that totally makes you think you’re in someone’s living room. While this setup of a boisterous, noisy, elegant but comfortable interior might make some people cringe, I noticed that everyone at Rouge was just having a great time – it wasn’t a bunch of drunk guys yelling at eachother; it was families and friends taking pictures, laughing and getting ready for their afternoon adventures.

Service was super-friendly and incredibly fast. I quickly decided on the eggs benny and a double espresso and had both in less than five minutes. The eggs benny were great: beautifully soft-boiled eggs with decent hollandaise served on fresh soft white toast, and thick-cut Canadian bacon. There was a smokiness/char flavour to the dish that added a really nice note to the always-delicious hollandaise/egg/bacon combo. I would order this again without any hesitations – it wasn’t quite as amazing as, but was pretty close to the awesome brunch I had at Frank @ the AGO in Toronto. The espresso was great, served with a lemon twist (a nice touch), and service was perfect. I had a soda water, and was brought multiple free refills throughout the meal.

This wasn’t a cheap lunch – $34.50 including tax and tip for eggs benny and two double espressos for one. In fact, now that I think about it as I’m writing this, it was pretty expensive. But for basically a perfect brunch, overlooking Rittenhouse square, in a restaurant where the atmosphere made me smile, and I felt that the service staff were genuinely pleased to have the customers there – it was all worth it. Great food, great atmosphere, great and friendly service. I’d come here any time.

Rouge Ninety-Eight
205 S 18th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5900
Tel: (215) 732-6622‎
Hours (from their website):
Mon-Fri: 11:30am-2am Sat-Sun: 11am-2am
Kitchen – Mon:11:30am – 11:00pm, Tue, Wed, Thu:11:30am -12:00am, Fri:11:30am -1:00am, Sat, Sun:10:00am-1:00am
Brunch served 10:00am – 3:00pm Saturday and Sunday

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Rouge on Urbanspoon

Tags: Bistro · Brunch · Philadelphia · Western Food

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