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Tria Cafe - Rittenhouse Square
Taps: 8 / Bottles: 19
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
123 S 18th St
phone: (215) 972-8742
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
We're working our way... I don't know in which direction, but I know we're on a jagged path towards the hotel. Just kind of stumbled across it, or maybe there was some effort there, I'd be lying if I said I could recall. Hey, isn't that?? Yeah, I know that dude. We unexpectedly came upon a posse of BA's here, seemingly beyond the parameters of their itinerary for the evening...
It's a long narrow place with a slight "L" shaped bar seating a dozen with a half dozen adjacent bar tables. Mostly spot and dim lantern lighting throughout, except to the front of the bar which is lit by pairs of mismatched differently sized candles on each of 5 shelves above the half a dozen tables located here.
8 very nice taps. DogFishHead 90 Minute IPA (yay!! not the 60), Ramstein Maibock (nice to see out of Jersey), Victory Dark Lager, Yards ESA, Troegs Nut Brown, Allagash White (a good ways from home), Heavyweight Lunacy (my good friend), and Hennepin (the first time I've ever seen it on tap). Had the Lunacy of course, which was just so nice. Also about a dozen and a half bottles. I'm like, "Hey, is that the De Dolle Oerbier?" (We're in love, you know). Like anything else matters after that, they also had imports Triple Karmeliet, Rochefort 8, Saison Dupont, Flemish Primitive, Schneider Aventinus, Weihenstephaner Hefe, Hacker Pschorr Lager, J.W. Lee's Harverst Ale '99, and domestics Stone IPA, DogFishHead Aprihop, Rogue Brutal Bitter, Stoudts Pils. the beer menu breaks out the beers into 4 groupings with headings, "Invigorating", "Friendly", "Profound", and "Extreme".
There's also a 2 page wine list and at least a dozen cheeses to choose from. Very nice. Bartender knows his beers and could speak intelligently here. Was happy enough to stick around for a second beer.
It's been a good day. Quality Dali, great Frites, the unexpected Oerbier. I was in that place, you know, and then overhead the perfect REM tune.
"Nightswimming, deserves a quiet night, I'm not sure all these people understand...."
05-01-2005 01:44:02 |
More by slander
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Corner location in the hoity toity Center city "neighborhood" of Philly. This is an upscale, good for foodies and couples type place. Tasty light fare, menu of eclectic food, wine, cheese and, blessed is the day, beer. Romantic, euro style place. Food was excellent, beer was tasty, the wife was impressed with this "beer joint". You gotta give props to a place that has Three Philosophers on tap. Go with a date, dont go with a crew of guys looking to watch the game, good, mellow place to start a down town Philly crawl.
01-19-2006 17:13:36 |
More by Billolick
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
When Tria first opened it was such a charm. It reminded me of some of the funky, semi-"upscale", small places in Brooklyn or Manahattan. Unfortunately some of that "Manhattan" has gotten into it, and although it's not their fault, success has in a way been a stumbling block as they're just so popular now, than not unlike Monk's, you have to be sure to go early or on a weeknight to avoid waiting and crowding.
That said, I still love it and take my better dates there. It can be very romantic when someones not jabbing you in the back with their elbow!
But let's forget about that and talk about the food and drink. They offer 26 beers, 27 wines, 7 dessert wines, and 12 cheeses.
SNACKS fall in the $3 to 4 range and include Roasted Beets with Bulgarian Feta cheese... 3 1/2
BRUSCHETTA run roughly the same and I really enjoy the Gorgonzola with Fig Jam... 3 1/2
SALADS & ANTIPASTI are roughly $8 to 10 and include Mixed Greens with Figs, Gorgonzola, Pignola Nuts... 8 (Where has my favorite Tusscan White Bean gone? :(
SANDWICHES are actually slightly less than salads and include my favorite Three Cheese and Tomato grilled Panini for just 7
CHEESES vary depending on what exactly they are (there are usually around 16 available), but usually fall in the 6 to 8 range. They're helpfully divided into CLEAN, LUSCIOUS, STINKY, and APPROACHABLE. They've had what I'd consider to be some fairly hard to find cheeses, and the selection is impeccable (as in not liable to sin... the cheeses are certainly "peckable")!
SWEETS channge more often than the regular items and are roughly 6
Other BEVERAGES include San Pellegrino for 4, Virgil's Root Beer for 3 1/2, and Espresso/Cappuchino/Latte for 2, 2 1/2, and 3 respectively
Now that Heavyweight's gone I'm not sure what will replace the great selling Lunacy, but you can always get Yards ESA (5), and they always have something from Victory (5 1/2) and Troegs (5). There are usually a few other locals and a Dogfish as well as something from the left coast. Belgians are occasionally seen on tap, but they're usually the more mainstream stuff. The bottle selection is pretty good though and I've enjoyed Oud Beersel Oud Kriek for 9 1/2.
I won't go into the wine because there's too much to talk about, but with one exception (Abbaye de Tholomies Minervois '99 - don't worry, you'll never find it again) I can say that you can always trust them to deliver. And ask your server to pair some cheese for you; they all seem very knowledgeable and I've never been given a bad recommendation. And maybe that says it best, I have to give great credit to a place that's so well run I can trust them to make suggestions, and even decisions, for me.
12-01-2006 01:17:35 |
More by NeroFiddled
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$$
After reading all the hype about this place, I had a chance to check it out after a business meeting. Its a small stylish bar that serves beer, cheese, wine, salads, and sandwiches. The place is long and narrow, with a 10 seat bar overlooking the cheese section and cook's area, and several high tops and wall seats were available. Some tables were at the front. Trendy interior staffed by young 20 somethings. Funky and hip music playing at reasonable levels.
There were 8 beers on tap from Allagash, Rogue, Sly Fox, Yards, DFH, Victory, and Ramstein. Nice variety on tap, then add about 20 belgian and other bottles available too. The beers I had were fresh.
I did not eat but looking at the menu this place is expensive. My pints cost me $6.50 and $5.50 which is rediculously expensive IMHO. Cheese platters looked interesting. Servers looked a little up tight and weren't too friendly.
Why this gets all the rave reviews is beyond me, when I can spend this money for some unique belgian beers at Monks. Don't get me wrong, its a nice place thats trendy, and if you want some cheese with your beer this would be a great place. But I didn't want cheese - just a pint or two - so I would've been better off hitting any number of other bars in the area. Most of the beers on tap are easily found elsewhere in town.
04-22-2006 19:31:16 |
More by Gavage
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
Tria is a lovely newish bar in the rittenhouse square area of philly. The atmosphere is cool with a large black curtain that you must enter through, dim lighting, nice candles, chilled music, and a nice mix of people. Quality of the beers is phenomenal with 8 excellent draught selections and 12 or so bottled brews which are all world-class examples of different styles. The service here was also wonderful with our waitress being very cute, friendly, and knowledgable. A winning trio in my book. Selection was also great, as noted they have 8 draughts going, which on my last visit were: Heavyweight lunacy, Brooklyn lager, Dupont avec les bon vouex, Allagash white, Yards Esa, Troegs oatmeal stout, and Maredsous 8. The bottled beer list includes such world-class favorites as Deus and Aventinus. An excellent experience. highly recommended to other BA's.
01-17-2005 23:51:38 |
More by francisweizen
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
A friend took me here and at first it struck me as too much of a wine bar. But after a second trip, I realized that while wine and cheese might be their specialties, they do beer very well.
On my last visit, I had a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA on draft and a Schneider Aventinus in the bottle. Both were outstanding. They had a unique pour for the Aventinus which caught our attention and delivered a very nice head. I've been caught up in hops for several years but I'm now catching up with some styles I'd put aside. The Aventinus, a wheat dopplebock, really helped me to remember what I've been missing.
Don't let the wine and cheese fool you. Tria knows beer too.
01-16-2008 03:48:22 |
More by GJ40
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
I like both Tria locations but the original location on Sansom is my favorite. Small and kind of loud in prime time, this is still a comfortable spot at the busiest of times. In mid-afternoon, it's a great place to hang out.
With a long bar holds about a dozen seats, some up tables, some banquettes inside and a few outdoor tables, Tria is a cozy place. Service at this location is always a highlight. Bartenders are quite knowledgeable in both beer and wine, and quite good at making an appropriate recommendation for an uncertain guest.
Tap list is small but well chosen, all or nearly all craft, with a nice variety of American and Belgian styles. I can always find a good option.
The food menu consists of great artisan cheeses and charcuterie, paninis and small plates. All very well done.
08-22-2011 19:37:54 |
More by sholland119
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
A nice little place. Very nice atmosphere here. Clean, a bit classy, intimate, maybe a bit on the hipster side; a small bar seats about 10 or 12 people, slightly cramped, with several tables inside and outside. No TVs here, which is a plus, considering it's not going to be plagued with annoying Philly sports fans, therefore making this a good place to hang on game nights.
Menu is small but very good, with the catch here being specialty bruschettas that are small, but amazing, and very reasonably priced. Lots of truffle oil used in the food, which is always a good thing. Beer selection is decent, considering I think Tria is primarily a wine bar. But there are about 8 craft beers on tap, and maybe 20 in bottles, and when I went there were two exceptionally good and [moderately] uncommon beers on tap, namely Pliny the Elder and Lost Abbey Angel's Share. They're not exactly rare in Philly these days, but $6 for a glass of Pliny ain't bad at all. They also have a specialty cheese menu, but that didn't really interest me. That part did seem pricey, but then what do I know about cheese? Other than kinds that I like.
Service is very good. Our bartender was friendly, and extremely polite, not to mention knowledgeable about drinks.
Definitely a nice bar, and a good destination for multiple visits. Hard to go here with Monk's not to far away, but this is still a nice place. Can come off a bit hipster, but oh well.
05-21-2011 16:26:00 |
More by Rifugium
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
This review pertains to the original location on 18th and Sansom.
Although Tria is very small and often hard to get a table, they have an excellent selection of bottles and drafts, the food is excellent and the service is very good. This place is all about fermentation with a nice selection of artisan cheeses, wine and beer. Their ber list is not very extensive but everything on it is of very high quality and they often get very rare selections. The last time I was there they had Pliny the Elder and Stone Double Bastard Brady Barrel Aged on tap and the time before that bottles of Russian River Temptation. Their prices are a bit high but I still highly recommend this place.
11-26-2008 07:38:41 |
More by corby112
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5
So I walk down 18th st and look and look and look for TRIA. It's on the corner of 18th and whatever two blocks down from Market where the train dumps me off. (Sentence ending on a preposition.) Two entrances can confuse. Alas, I choose the one on the right that gets me wrapped up in a big brown curtain. Anyway, so the CLEAN floors and CLEAN bar to the left are CLEAN. The atmosphere is CLEAN and laid back!!! Relax! Have a brew! (Papazzian) The candles get busted out when the sunset hits. (au romaunt.)
My 'tender named Ben was a super cool beer geek employed here since TRIA's opening night. KOOL. He even inspects each glass prior to filling like a y'know, real wine bar except TRIA serves (brace yourself) good beer too. Oh, this joint is a bar and restaurant. I was hesitant to hit it because I thought that unless you were ordering a boatload of wine and cheese, hoof it! Which leads me to the rest of my review. Super CLEAN, padded stools fitting the bar well.
*** NO SMOKING *** NO SMOKING *** NO SMOKING **** Good or bad.
Jazzy tunes comforted the ambiance. The tender could not have been better!
The selection is tight but nice. Taps: Allagash White, DFH 90, Monk's Sour/ Vic'ry Dark Lager, Three Philosophers, Heavyweight Lunacy, Troeganator, Yards ESA. The bottle selection is varied with: All sorts from Vic'ry Storm King, J.W. Lees '99, Rochefort 8, De Dolle, Oude Gueze...yeah!
Food review? Read another website for that...Heer 4 beer...
Last call: Could ya take Mom here? Sheesh...Mom, G'ma & Great G'ma would be comfy here. This is the joint to take a date to be impressed. By the way, this joint is NOT overpriced. Well worth the cost! Otherwise, get your shoes wet with piss at some scrod joint. Rated under Monks for beer...but above Monks for a date.
03-16-2005 08:54:33 |
More by blitheringidiot
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Tria Cafe - Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, PA