Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

The Love, by Starr and Olexy, opens near Rittenhouse Square

The former Serafina is now a low-lit cafe charmer with tufted banquettes and well-spaced tables.

The Love, 18th and Sansom Streets, shown before its opening.
The Love, 18th and Sansom Streets, shown before its opening.Read moreMICHAEL KLEIN / Staff

The Love, now open, represents a dramatic revamp of the former Serafina at 18th and Sansom Streets.

Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy (Talula's Garden and Talula's Daily) called upon Roman and Williams (Le Coucou, Upland) to design a charmer that manages to satisfy disparate needs: candlelit sophistication in a 2017 world that demands sufficient lighting for Instagram food photos.

The interior features painted brick, lime-washed brick archways, and wooden beam ceilings (with sound-proofing tucked between), tufted banquettes, and well-spaced tables. On opening night, when the nearly 100 seats were half-taken, the room had what I'd call a happy buzz. The bar, tucked off the main entrance, was packed.

Chef Joshua Tomaszewski (A Voce in New York) has built an American menu off of seasonal and local ingredients. Dinner daily is offered at first, followed by lunch and brunch.

General manager Josh Rademacher, beverage director/sommelier Alexandra Cherniavsky, and Olexy went for broke with the beverage menu. You'll find wines from Chester County, a specialty cider list, various kinds of vermouth, a proprietary blend of Dad's Hat Rye made for the restaurant, as well as "Share the Love" exclusive beer from Victory Brewing.

The opening menu is here; figure on $55 or so for an appetizer and entree. It's a splurge.

Dessert menu is here. Wine list (worth a red just for its fun factor) is here.

Click here for more photos.

The Love is running dinner only from 5 p.m. Lunch is at least two weeks away.

For now, the house is handling walk-ins and limited reservations at 215-433-1555.