Late last year, chef, TV personality and Philadelphia native Anthony Marini opened his newest restaurant, rarest, within luxury-apartment complex AKA Washington Square — the perfect place for the modern upscale American menu Marini has put together.
With an ample bar, appropriately dim lighting and floor-to-ceiling windows facing Chestnut Street, it’s no surprise that the vibe of rarest lends itself equally to the businessperson happy hour and first-date crowds.
The menu is a focused and efficient affair, with a handful of items in each section: charcuterie, raw, pasta and entrées.
Definitely pay some attention to the raw-menu section. The tuna poke ($13) is a raw Hawaiian-style salad that is almost sushi-like in flavor, texture and presentation. But its Hawaiian influences definitely represent, as this dish has some nice nutty and spicy overtones that round it out. The rice chips that accompany the plate are a nice touch too. The hangar steak tartare ($13) is impressive as well — a hearty and classic dish with solid flavors and a picturesque presentation.
The pasta dishes at rarest come in the prefect size and really deliver some classic modern Italian and Mediterranean influences. The garagnelli pasta ($18) was bold, with tender red wine-braised octopus and lamb sausage bringing the heat. The red-wine risotto ($22) had more rustic and earthy flavors with nice-size prawns rounding out the dish.
This restaurant is a welcome addition to the Center City culinary scene, so if you need a place to hold court, personally or professionally, with upscale food and drink, take a stroll over to rarest.