These days, it’s cool to be a foodie. Your twice–filtered Instagram of those decadent pancakes? It’s a status symbol. Your Foursquare check–in at the new small plates restaurant that’s been booked for months? A badge of honor. Yet, I fall victim to this trend more than probably anyone else and I see nothing wrong with it.
The Bar at Volver is the perfect place to satisfy all of your attention-whore and foodie desires in one. Volver—which opened this year as one of Philadelphia’s most expensive restaurants and the first to only take reservations through a ticketed system—screams exclusivity, luxury, and not–for–your–student–budget. The Bar at Volver, on the other hand, is just as luxurious and yet totally approachable and affordable.
While it may be easy to get distracted by the very pricey champagne on the drinks menu, focus your attention on the creative cocktails, all priced at $14 (expensive compared to Smoke’s, I know, but think of what you’re getting!). The Truffle Rush with bourbon, truffle, lavender and honey is one you absolutely can’t miss. After it arrived at our table and I took my first sip, I spent the rest of the meal trying to come up with a word to describe just how special this drink is. You could say unique or eclectic or perfect, but none of those do it justice. The truffle is completely surprising but perfectly balanced by sweetness from the honey and citrus from the lemon. If truffle’s not your thing, the Mission Margarita was something we could only describe as “exactly what you want a margarita to taste like.”
Again on the food side of the menu, keep your eyes from wondering to the pricey caviar and instead take advantage of the tartartes, tartines, cheese and charcuterie options. Each small plate, priced from $6 to $18, with the average resting somewhere around $8, is enough for a few large bites of Jose Garces’ deliciousness. Split between two people, three or four plates would be plenty to have you leaving satisfied.
Almost all of the tapas options are served with warm, buttery grilled bread, which simply doesn’t get old. The tuna tartare ($14) is refreshing and the crunchy garlic provides some much–needed texture to the soft fish and multiple sauces. The iberico ham charcuterie served with a red pepper spread on grilled focaccia ($8) tastes like what you imagine a siesta in Barcelona feeling like. And the cheese ($12), oh the cheese, is served as an entire small wheel so there is nothing bad I could ever say about that.
While Bar Volver is not necessarily a “steal,” it’s a great opportunity to get into a classy restaurant for about 30 bucks per person. Next time you’re feeling fed up with your shoes sticking to the floor at Blarney, grab your heels and your red lipstick and enjoy a relaxing and sophisticated time at Bar Volver.