Monday might now start to be your favorite day of the week. Red Owl Tavern on Independence Mall is making the dropping Fall temperatures easier to endure with their new Monday Autumn Harvest Special. For just $25 guests can enjoy a whole and hearty Cornish Hen served with a generous serving of heirloom carrots, potatoes and delicious collard greens in a large black pot. The Cornish Hen pot with all the trimmings is also available the rest of the week for $37.

“We wanted to follow our wildly popular summertime lobster clambakes with savory fall comfort food pot that’s just as delicious and offer it at an amazing value, just one day a week,” said Red Owl Tavern General Manager Natalie Pineda.

We stopped by to try out this delicious special and were excited to find out that our favorite Chef Caitlin Mateo has been named the new Executive Chef of Red Owl Tavern. Mateo comes from Square 1682, in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood on the corner of 17th and Sansom Street inside Hotel Palomar. While Mateo served as Executive Chef there for several years, the restaurant was known there for health-conscious and locally sourced menu options such as vegan soups and entrees, salads, and hearty mushroom tarte. Prior to Square 1682, Mateo also worked under Chef Marcie Turney.

chef-caitlin-headshot
Red Owl Tavern is a modern American restaurant which features American tavern fare with global influences and an emphasis on seasonal, local and expertly curated ingredients.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily. Mateo will gradually change over the menus to reflect her vision for the restaurant and currently she is running specials that reflect this new direction. Red Owl Tavern will see all complete new menus from Mateo in January 2017.

“I’m thrilled to put my stamp on Red Owl Tavern and take this dynamic restaurant in a fresh direction for 2017 and beyond,” Mateo said. “Look for world flavors, including a nod to our city’s Colonial roots, and of course a heavy emphasis on seasonality, freshness, local sourcing and bright flavors — along with some of my signature vegan and vegetarian dishes.”

We started off our meal with some of the lovely seasonal drinks offered at the restaurant as well as the Cheese Board with the Chef’s Selection of Cheese, Marcona almonds, honey comb, grapes, quince paste, and raisin-nut crostini. The dynamic bar program here is led by Lead Bartender Kyle Darrow. And yes, our cocktails did taste as delicious as they looked. We’d recommend trying a Penn’s Treaty with bourbon, blackberries, honey syrup, mint, and lemon or a Hibiscus Smash with Grey goose, hibiscus syrup, mint, lime, and ginger beer. We also loved pairing the cheese with a glass of their Sangria made with Tempranillo, brandy, lustau oloroso sherry, lime, tonic water, apple, and orange.  Additionally, Red Owl Tavern has relaunched its Brewer of the Month program with an exciting line up craft breweries celebrated each month.

We can never decide on a few starters, so we tried to sample a few from the expansive menu at Red Owl Tavern. The Prince Edward Island Mussels were totally calling out to us with the option of being cooked in a coconut-curry or smoked tomato broth with goat cheese, chorizo, and chervil. We chose the tomato broth and didn’t shy away from adding the Bucket of Seasoned Fries. Our pot of mussels was served with a warm side of garlic bread and the fries with homemade ketchup. This is a dish you don’t want to miss.

In addition to the Cornish Hen, for our dinner we snacked on the Crab & Corn Fritters with chipotle aioli and Chicken “Pot Pie” Croquetas which are chicken fritters with peas, and carrots. The menu here offers many small plates and to share options which are ideal for snacking or sharing amongst a large group. For our entree, per our server’s recommendation, we also tried a popular dish-the Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with cornmeal cake, maple braised cipollini onions, red and watercress.

We absolutely loved every bite of our meal and cannot wait to return and see the great additions Mateo will have on the menu here. Additionally with Thanksgiving this week, Red Owl Tavern will be offering guests to enjoy a traditional, hearty Thanksgiving Dinner featuring a Pennsylvania Free Range Turkey served with whipped potatoes, haricot verts, root vegetable stuffing, country gravy, cranberry relish and honey butter biscuits. This turkey dinner will be available from 4:00- 9:00 pm on Thursday, November 24th. Not into Turkey? Not to worry, guests will also be able to choose from additional entree options throughout the day.

If you’re looking for somewhere to hold a private party, Red Owl Tavern features two exceptionally attractive private dining rooms below the main restaurant, taking advantage of the building’s original bank vault and arched brick ceilings to create unique spaces for groups of 10-30 guests. In the warmer months an expansive and attractive outdoor patio flanks Independence Mall where diners can indulge in modern American fare directly across from where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Liberty Bell now holds court.

Both Square 1682 and Red Owl Tavern are Kimpton restaurants. When Bill Kimpton introduced the boutique hotel concept to America in 1981 he pioneered the revolutionary relationship between one-of-a-kind hotels and restaurants led by acclaimed chefs. Today, Kimpton has nearly 70 unique restaurants, bars and lounges across the country helmed by renowned chefs and bartenders that offer guests a chance to dine like a local.

Common cornerstones of each restaurant and bar include heartfelt care; chef-crafted, seasonal menus that celebrate local farms and purveyors; and striking interiors with vibrant style and design. Wines are chosen with a nod toward artisanal and biodynamic selections by Master Sommelier Emily Wines and signature cocktails are created by individual restaurant bartenders and Kimpton Lead Bartender Jacques Bezuidenhout.

Guided by company-wide EarthCare practices, Kimpton restaurants demonstrate a dedication to preserving the environment through the use of local and sustainable ingredients, including adhering to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines; the use of compostable “to go” packaging; and recycling and composting practices. With concepts ranging from rustic Italian cuisine in the Pacific Northwest to oceanic fare on the Florida coast and alluring rooftop lounges and bars tucked away in the nation’s capital, each Kimpton restaurant is as distinct and expressive as its location.

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