Walking into the Rose Tattoo Cafe, at the corner of 19th and Callowhill, feels like entering a secret garden. This undiscovered gem nestled near the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Franklin Institute boasts a romantic atmosphere and is bursting with fresh, green plants and cast-iron decor.
Immediately after walking in, request to be seated in the balcony area that overlooks the black and green tiled bar and offers a quieter atmosphere than the downstairs dining. And although your fellow dining guests may be older, the restaurant gives you a nice abode to flee to that is outside of traditional Center City.
And the freshness of the flowers hanging in the room was only surpassed by the taste of the food. There is an eclectic choice of appetizers ranging between Lobster Quesadilla ($12) and Rose Tattoo Oysters ($12). The restaurant prides itself its Lobster Quesadilla, which was far from Taco Bell style and came with a chipotle sour cream that enhanced the dish's flavor. Most appetizers ranged between $8-$12 with salads around $8.
For main courses, the Rose Tattoo Cafe offers a variety of dishes ranging from New Orleans jambalaya ($22) to jumbo-lump crabcakes ($26) and crispy Long Island duck ($27). The duck is accompanied by duck-confit and apple crepes that are a harmonious combination of tart apples, sweet crepe and meaty duck. Only the filet mignon in a mushroom demi-glaze broke the $30 mark, although most entrees were more expensive than a typical college student's wallet might appreciate.
If you don't want to rack up a bill, I suggest skipping dessert, as the meals are of generous proportion anyway. If you can't give up that sweet tooth though, Rose Tattoo Cafe changes its dessert menu daily to include items such as lemon-raspberry cheesecake and chocolate mousse cake. Two desserts that are offered everyday are the Rose Tattoo chocolate macademia-nut brownie and a creme brulee that changes flavor depending upon the day. Most desserts range around $8.
By the end of dessert and tea, my guest and I were filled to the brim. While pricey, college students might like to venture to an unexplored part of the city and perhaps stroll by the fountain that is located just 2 blocks away from the restaurant on the Ben Franklin Parkway. You'll feel like you've discovered a secret garden right in Philadelphia.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.