Run to Rittenhouse for a taste of Restaurant Aleksandar

-Brenda Hillegas

Head to 126 S. 19th Street for a beautiful new dining experience in the Rittenhouse Square area of Philadelphia. Restaurant Aleksandar is owned by Germany born and raised Aleksandar Stojnic and the menu is a nod to his German upbringing, blended with American favorites. Small plates feature farm fresh ingredients, there’s a select fish dish, classic burger, strip steak, and gnocchi. Add in the German flare like spatzel underneath a duck confit and other menu offerings like potato pancakes, cabbage rolls, and pierogies with brown butter- you’ll be in for an evening (or brunch/lunch) like no other, thanks to executive chef Montana Houston.

Start off with some cocktails. If you like a perfectly crafted drink, Restaurant Aleksandar has some tough choices! Pictured above- Peachy Keen Smash (with local Boardroom Vodka), Blackberry Bourbon Brandy (also featuring the local Manatawny bourbon), and Schuykill River Iced Tea (a medley of local distilleries are featured in this drink). The draft and wine list is small but impressive with quality choices. If you’re a non-drinker, this restaurant has very good mocktails (the Blueberry Vanilla was refreshing).

If Brussel sprouts are on a menu, I usually order them. At Restaurant Aleksandar you can get a basic dish like the one above or add on bacon lardons, caramelized onions and/or roasted peppers. The potato pancakes include a lemon sour cream and you should absolutely order these. The cabbage rolls are a good option if you want something heavier than a salad but not too filling.

The entrees were some of the best I’ve had recently. I sampled my friend’s gnocchi which was crispy and very flavorful. A couple of the menu items include mushrooms, this is one of them. They worked well with this plate, as well as in the short rib pasta which I would definitely order again. The pasta was perfectly cooked, the dish was steaming, and the horseradish creme fraiche mixed with a bite of braised beef…just wow. I would eat this all day. My other friend finished off her duck confit before I could even steal a bite! But I did have a few forkfuls of the spatzel and that was great.

Aleksandar’s mother, artist Svetlana Alimpijevic, traveled from Germany to Philadelphia to help put the finishing touches on this restaurant. Her gorgeous, original paintings can be seen throughout Restaurant Aleksandar. Come for the food but be sure to take in all of the artwork as well.

Whether you want an intimate night out, a small gathering with friends, or a drink at the bar- this is a perfect go-to spot for all occasions. Restaurant Aleksandar officially opens tomorrow. Visit and make a reservation.

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