Two (two!) Philadelphia restaurants just made Condé Nast Traveler’s 2008 Hot List. The lucky winning restaurants? Rae and Tinto. So kudos to misters Stern and Garces… but what did the Conde Nasties have to say?
Rae: “He wants its flavors to be strong, adventurous even—how else to explain smoked rabbit nachos for lunch? The weekday atmosphere is buttoned-down bonhomie, especially at the row of microbrew taps at the bar, but by evening the lights soften and the regulars move in. The flavors remain intense throughout, whether in the skate with fettuccine and clams or in the riff on the beloved Philly cheese steak, made here with venison and truffles.”
Tinto: “The energy-filled upstairs has counter-height tables and an open kitchen, but the downstairs lounge with plush booths is the best way to enjoy the Basque small plates: generously marbled jamón ibérico; tender baby squid in lush ink gravy with crab Bomba rice (a cult brand of grain from Spain); and lamb loin and eggplant skewers wrapped in bacon and served standing upright in shot glasses of sherry jus (pinxtos, $4–$24).”