Spirt of Philadelphia First Friday 2017 Leaderboard

Rarest Is Now Open in Washington Square

On Tuesday, November 1, Rarest, a venture from Anthony Marini and Thomas & Stephen Finley (of Finley Catering), opened in the AKA Washington Square space (formerly the Ben Franklin) at 9th and Chestnut.
 
Rarest’s focus is on raw and seasonal foods, and its main culinary draw is the large variety of raw or lightly cooked foods on offer, including a large raw bar, crudo, charcuterie, ceviche, and tartare. They do also offer large plates like braised chicken thighs, pork chops and hangar steaks to complement the lighter, small-plate options.
 
Alexandra Cherniavsky, formerly of Garces, who is serving as both general and beverage manager, created a menu alongside head bartender Kevin Lopez that is “ingredient-driven,” meaning that the drinks are built around seasonal ingredients rather than the base spirit. Alongside this cocktail list, the bar will offer a bottle list with around 85 different options.
 
Lopez's cocktail list ranges from classics to inventive cocktails of his own creation, offering fresh new twists on spirits all guests already love.
 
Cherniavsky's approach to the wine list was to create an approachable yet diverse list, where guests can try something new without being intimidated. She is especially proud of the tableside amaro service, which entails a cart of 30 or so amaros being wheeled over to a table for tastings and flights.
 
Lopez's approach to the cocktails, beyond being "spirit driven," include fresh-squeezed juices, house-made syrups, and interesting combinations. 
 
The menu includes selections like the Man of a Thousand Voices (carrot, Pinnacle vodka, lemon, cinnamon tincture), Don't Beet a Dead Horse (Courvoisier VS, beet & horseradish syrup, lime, Campari, balsamic), and the Bait & Switch (pumpkin seed washed Old Overholt Rye, Laird's Apple Brandy, Ethiopian spiced tincture).
 
They also offer a featured cocktail on draft — currently, that cocktail is a classic Vieux Carré, but both Cherniavsky and Lopez say that will change from time to time.
 
Be sure to also stop by a.lounge, the small cocktail lounge in the building's lobby just outside of Rarest, which offers classic cocktails (like Sazeracs and Seelbachs) alongside a small, selective wine list.
 
Stop by Rarest today for seasonal cocktails, raw bites, and to see what Philadelphia’s newest restaurants have to offer. 
 
Photos via Drink Philly
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