Long a favorite hangout for the Francophile crowd, the Liberté Lounge at the Sofitel Philadelphia Hotel now has a fresh feel (and taste).
Recently acquired executive chef Justin Perdue, who’s worked under notables Bobby Flay and Rick Bayless, has retooled the sophisticated lounge and restaurant’s menus to emphasize fresh, local and sustainable ingredients.
In true lounge style, the menu is short and to the point with plates small — think fresh burrata with pickled mushroom, arugula, blueberries and fig vinegar or stone-ground polenta with crispy egg and wild mushroom — and large like seared halibut with leek and spring vegetable confit or roasted pork tenderloin with kohlrabi risotto, red onion confit and cherries.
With warm-weather (and bathing suits) in mind, some of the dishes are also notable for their nutritionist stamp of approval.
If calories are not a big concern, though, there’s also honey ginger panna cotta and Meyer lemon cheesecake with blackberry mousse that sings of summer fun.
The cocktail menu, featuring a bevvy of French-inspired concoctions from Sofitel Hotels around North America, keeps in the local vein: Signature sips like Val’s Garden (Uncle Val’s Gin, St. Germain, lime, cucumber and mint) draw on ingredients harvested from the hotel’s private rooftop garden.
Chef Perdue’s new menus are served daily at lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and alongside cocktails in the bar. Reservations are available online, but walk-ins are more than welcome to this chic spot, too.
Spring Dining at Liberté Lounge
When: Daily, 11:30 a.m-2 a.m.
Where: Liberté Lounge, 120 S. 17th Street
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.libertelounge.com