le cheri, rittenhouse square, philadelphia


Le Cheri is a perfect French restaurant without the attitude. Remember when I was at a bistro in Paris and was instructed that I was eating bread at the wrong time? Not so in this special haunt.

The Location Art Alliance building- right on 18th street on Rittenhouse Square. My mom and I, having a girls weekend, walked for the better part of an hour and arrived with time to spare at the park across the way. A bit before our reservation time we walked in and were greeted by the most beautiful interior facade you ever did see in this fair city. The outdoor space, though, is where Le Cheri really shines. Seated under a soaring white umbrella and looking back at the building, we were immediately transported back to the building’s Art Deco fame.

The meal Perfect in part due to the abandon with which we ordered and of course their skill. We started with a rosé tasting for two before our main dishes of quenelle for me and the lamb for my mama. Looking back, I realize I ordered this same dish when I visited their Bella Vista restaurant last fall. If I’m being honest, I’m always convinced by the note that the chef is the only one in the city to make the quenelle. I’m never disappointed. Le Cheri has all your favorites, including foie gras but on this hot July afternoon it just wasn’t happening. Cursing myself for resisting now. That and the pavlova . Never mind that, next time.

The Mood   This place is the “let’s dress up and treat ourselves” date night location without being overly stuffy  (let’s be honest, the neighborhood demands a certain level of that but the staff and owner are as sweet as can be). You never feel rushed and the complimentary marshmallows and macaroons (coconut, that is) are the perfect touch. All this and space to breathe which is heaven on earth in the big city.

251 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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