205 S. 18th St., 215/732-6622
HOURS: Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m.,
Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–2 a.m.
COST: Most entrées more than $20
One of the few establishments occupying the prime location directly on Rittenhouse Square , Rouge is always packed. Snagging a table from happy hour onwards can be difficult, especially on weekends, but you can enjoy a drink at the elegant bar while you wait for a table or go in the middle of the day when it’s not too busy.
The scene is dominated by beautiful and wealthy yuppies letting their highlighted hair down after work. Despite that, the view of the square from the elegant bar—or better yet, a sidewalk table—is excellent, and may just make you forget about the steep prices for the tasty drinks and upscale food (try $15 for a hamburger and $10 or more for a martini).
And despite the fact that you pay the premium for the location, the food—American with a French flair—is really quite good, especially the generous fresh-tuna sashimi appetizer.