• Sunday , 24 September 2017

The Red Owl Tavern is Rocking Seriously Delicious Seafood like Lobster and Clam Bake

Story, photos by Cassie Hepler

Once upon a time there was a magical place where you could go and eat copious amounts of delicious, fresh seafood. Fortunately for Philadelphians, that restaurant still exists and has stellar outdoor patio seating and a new bubbly weekend brunch program to boot.

Attached to the beloved (and progressive) Kimpton hotel, Hotel Monaco, you can also pop next door for some yoga and score a free drink ticket to the Red Owl Tavern bar to quench and accentuate that post yoga glow.

According to Manager Jay Meley, he is so devoted to his work that he rarely takes a vacation. We’re totally calling you out on that now, Jay! Get thee to an airport and a beach far, far away. As we said, we have some tropical location suggestions for you and our readers.

But that kind of attention and devotion is apparent in the food, the jolly wait staff and the chill yet vibrant energy in the air. Don’t be mislead by the name “Tavern”, this is not your corner dive bar. It is fine dining on the corner of one of the most historic areas in the city with second floor leather booth seating for privacy or first floor open bar space and seating for when you’re feeling social. And they have much more than just seafood, like their perfectly seared steaks.

Enough with the food tease, on to the food porn!

The best way to start any meal is with a cheers with the delicious De Perrier rose from France on an empty stomach, the bubbles go straight to your head!

The best way to start any meal is with a cheers with the delicious De Perrier rose from France on an empty stomach, the bubbles go straight to your head!

Switching it up to the Spanish brut when the rose tasted too sweet, but it was yes way, rose soon after again.

Switching it up to the Spanish brut when the rose tasted too sweet, but it was yes way, rose soon after again.

The grilled octopus with black garlic puree and white bean ragout made us fall in love with the medley of textures, tastes and grilled perfection.

The grilled octopus with black garlic puree and white bean ragout made us fall in love with the medley of textures, tastes and grilled perfection.

Not on the menu but a summer special is the soft shelled crab with a spicy mustard sauce. We even converted our date into loving soft shelled crab. Bravo, Red Owl!

Not on the menu but a summer special is the soft shelled crab with a spicy mustard sauce which was perfectly flash fried, light and delightful. We even converted our date into now loving soft shelled crab. Bravo, Red Owl!

Some sides to snack on included the fried brussel sprouts with saffron aioli which made it more oily - and less healthy but much more tasty.

Some sides to snack on included the fried brussel sprouts with saffron aioli which made it more oily – and less healthy but much more tasty.

Speaking of converting, our fun and funny waiter, Aaron, was on a sort of a "Jewish rumspringa" and had just tasted lobster recently.

Speaking of converting, our fun and funny waiter, Aaron, was on a sort of a “Jewish Russian rumspringa” and had just tasted lobster recently – and loved it of course.

Having a very protein heavy meal called for the big guns, the fat and greasy Red Owl fries with smoked ketchup. We could eat a whole bucket in one sitting. Seriously.

Having a very protein heavy meal called for the big guns, the fat and greasy Red Owl fries with smoked ketchup. We could eat a whole bucket in one sitting. Seriously.

And for the piece de resistance, the lobster and clam bake. It was tough to share but we did it somehow since there is 1 pound of lobster, clams, mussels, shrimp, corn, potatoes and butter. This is truly an amazing feast for the eyes and stomach.

And for the piece de resistance, the lobster and clam bake. It was tough to share but we did it somehow since there was 1 pound of lobster, clams, mussels, shrimp, corn, potatoes and butter. This is truly an amazing feast for the eyes and stomach.

Urged to try one more dish, we kept with the theme and got the seared sea scallops with succotash and corn puree. Even with semi-full bellies, we cleaned the plate and yet somehow didn't feel grossly full. Salty sea scallops got enveloped in the corn puree and veggies, making it a heavenly dish.

Urged to try one more dish, we kept with the theme and got the seared sea scallops with succotash and corn puree. Even with semi-full bellies, we cleaned the plate and yet somehow didn’t feel grossly full. Salty sea scallops got enveloped in the corn puree and veggies, making it a heavenly dish.

An espresso was in order for the driver of the night after such a succulent meal.

An espresso was in order for the driver of the night after such a succulent meal. We’re still wondering what is going on with that guy on the mug…

To die for: the Red Owl chocolate pudding. So creamy with layers of flavor including caramel which is immediately joined with

To die for: the Red Owl chocolate pudding. So creamy with layers of flavor including caramel which is immediately joined with vanilla mascarpone and brioche croutons. And you get to take home the sweet jar if you don’t finish it (which you probably will).

Bread pudding is a tangy, fruit and carb lovers dream

Bread pudding is a tangy, tart fruit and carb lovers dream with fresh fruit and creme anglaise.

And as the sun went down and the city lights came out, a nightcap with this strong sherry.

And as the sun went down and the city lights came out, a nightcap with this strong and potent Bodega Hildago Mazanilla Dry sherry. Aperitifs really do work as we had nothing but laughs and a great night’s sleep after this meal.

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