Sometimes opposites attract and the results can be delicious—just take a look at Rittenhouse Square’s latest eatery, Bar Poulet, the new concept located in the old location of Walnut Street’s Tria brings an upscale French attitude mixed with a traditional comfort-food styled twist in the form of fried chicken, champagne, and so much in between.
“The odd-couple pairing of bubbles and birds has taken on a life of its own in recent years,” said co-owner Jon Myerow in a statement. “Champagne is a well-known palate cleanser due to its acidity, and that tongue-tickling effervescence cuts through rich, heavy foods like fried chicken. Besides, who doesn’t love a glaring contradiction? The irony of this pairing and the stylish setting is 100% intentional.”
Myerow and partner Dave Kwass own and operate the wine and cheese hotspots Tria around the city, and this latest concept still holds a place for vino lovers but also tackles numerous varieties of champagne and a bevy of draft cocktails, that actually taste freshly poured. As for the cheese, they still have a selection of tasty Fromage but also with the added addition of fried chicken and some vegetarian options as well.
The main culinary pull— the Poulet Frit, is served in a half or whole chicken option, and the golden crunchy outside serves as a great transport for the juicy chicken ready to be eaten on the inside. The bevy of sides and sauces is something that only elevates the meal, and Philadelphians can munch on pommes puree (mashed potatoes), cauliflower gratin, marinated heirloom tomatoes, brussel sprouts and more. However, there is also a way that vegetarians can get in on the action as well: With their Champignons Frits diners can indulge in fried portobello and maitake mushrooms, prepared with the same care as their tender chicken.
Other notable dishes include deviled eggs, heiloom crudite, onion soup gratinée, their specialty appetizer that comes with crispy tenders, a fried egg and beer-naise, and much more. The meal can finish on a sweet note as well with a rotating list of desserts, but right now, Philadelphians can sink their teeth into paradiso cake and mousse au chocolat.
According to the release, the 100% French wine list was thoughtfully constructed to pair with the briny birds that are fried to order, overseen by Tria Wine Director Lauren Harris. Sparkling wines are the stars of the show, including Paul Laurent (Champagne, France), Pet-Nat Rose “Columbulle” (Southwest, France) and Cremant D’Alsace (Alsace, France), alongside a range of draft and bottled small-producer still wines, all available by the glass. All the drinks range in price from super swanky to fiscally responsible. Whiskey pours, craft beers and ciders round out the drinks menu, highlighted by a daring, French-accented draft cocktail menu from Tria mixologist Michelle Cudia. Offerings include the House Manhattan, featuring Dad’s Hat Vermouth-Finish Pennsylvania Rye and an instant-classic Philly Special: a twist on the city’s beloved Citywide Special featuring a shot of Old Grandad paired with a specially selected rotating local IPA.
“We aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel here; far from it,” continued Myerow in his statement. “We just felt like everyone deserves a reason to go out and feel special without breaking the bank. We’ve all just been through a worst-case scenario of mere survival over the past 12 months, so Bar Poulet is here to bring a little sparkle and smile to our days as we look ahead.”
The vibe matches the food: Chic and elegant in one respect, and comfy in the other. The French aesthetic is simple and clean, but diners can sit in a dimly lit booth and look out into the bar area or right onto Walnut street while enjoying their meal. The floors of the previous Tria taproom have been reclaimed, the walls now have a Venetian feel and the antique fixtures surrounding the whole layout tie everything up nicely.
In short, it’s a spot where elevated tastebuds can let their hair down.
The release also states a few updates regarding Bar Poulet: Bar Poulet will offer touchless menus, ordering and payment. Traditional tableside service will also be available along with take-out, delivery and contactless curbside pickup. Buckets of chicken to-go will always be available in a signature pairing that’s sure to be seen on picnic blankets in Rittenhouse Square this spring and with Chicks and Champs for Two: an affordable prix fixe menu that includes chicken, dessert and of course, a bottle of sparkling wine.
For more information on Bar Poulet (2005 Walnut St.) visit barpoulet.com