The Rittenhouse to open new signature restaurant

The Rittenhouse
Scarpetta, a modern Italian restaurant, is scheduled to open later this summer.

An Italian restaurant will be coming to The Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia.

Scarpetta, a modern Italian restaurant with locations in New York, the Hamptons, Las Vegas and Miami, will become the signature restaurant at The Rittenhouse Hotel in Rittenhouse Square.

The LDV Hospitality-run, bilevel restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner with a menu of its existing dishes, including what Thrillist recently named as one of the best pasta dishes in New York. New menu items that highlight Philadelphia's local ingredients will be made specifically for the Rittenhouse location.

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The restaurant is scheduled to open later this summer. Other details will be announced at a later time.

It's still common for full-service hotels to run their own dining facilities, but it's becoming increasingly common for upper/upscale and luxury hotels to lease out restaurant spaces or strike a joint relationship for their signature restaurants – like The Rittenhouse Hotel-LDV Hospitality deal, according to Greg Stafford, president of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.

"While hotels are in the food-and-beverage industry, that's not their specialization," he said. "In most cases, you see, increasingly, hotels leasing out their signature restaurants because they get the cachet of either a very high-profile chef or chef-inspired restaurant, or a restaurateur who's a concept-driven person."

This is typically due to young talent wanting to follow their luminaries, resulting in customers wanting to follow, Stafford said.

"Let's face it, consumers, particularly more affluent customers, are more interested in the experience of a restaurant," Stafford said. "They don't get them out of a hotel restaurant, but I'm not saying it can't be done."

Hotel-run restaurants include Penne Restaurant & Wine Bar at the Hilton Inn at Penn in University City (where Stafford is the general manager), and Bank & Bourbon at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel.

"The consumer, particularly that very high-end consumer, really doesn’t have a very positive opinion of hotel restaurants," Stafford said. "Hotel restaurants are synonymous with an effort to be everything to everyone, and consequently they end up being very vanilla and nothing to anyone."

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal

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