In a perfect world, customers a few months ago would be settling into seats at the polished bar at The Wayward, the new brasserie in the old Stephen Girard building at 12th and Ludlow Streets, a selection of gin to wash down oysters in a sleek, boldly decorated room.
But this is a completely imperfect world. Staff training was to begin March 16 when the city shut down indoor dining. Chef Yun Fuentes and general manager Tobias Moser had to hit the pause button, which also applied to the adjacent Canopy by Hilton Philadelphia hotel.
On Aug. 3, management opened both the 236-room hotel and The Wayward, which is seating about 30 people on a lush, landscaped terrace festooned with strings of lights. Initially, it’s serving dinner as well as happy hour daily from 4 to 6 p.m.
Fuentes, a Puerto Rico native whose Philadelphia stops included Alma de Cuba, JG Domestic, Society Hill Society, and Double Knot, considers his menu to be American with French touches — “not fusion.”
The opening list is small, not only to help staff execute but to accommodate those who want takeout. There are snacks such as corn beignets, escargot croquettes, and cheese with local charcuterie accompaniments, and plates such as steak frites with bone marrow chimichurri for $26 and a Pennsylvania-raised Angus burger for $16. “It’s a melting pot of America,” Fuentes said.
Bar specializes in gins and American and French wines; cocktails include classics such as the French 75.
Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, till 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.