The anticipated French-influenced New American spot from chef Sylva Senat has finally arrived on 13th Street. Here’s what you need to know before you go.
Inside Maison 208. Courtesy of Maria Young
It’s been a long time coming
The project to raze and replace the shuttered Letto Deli at 208 South 13th Street (at the corner of Chancellor Street) began about three years ago, but hit a significant setback in 2015. A three-alarm fire set by an arsonist at the construction site ruined most of the property, so the Maison 208 team had to start over.
Magret duck breast with foie gras and millet. Photo courtesy of Maria Young
Chef Sylva Senat has a varied background, including a stint on Bravo’s Top Chef
Haitian-born, French-speaking Senat has worked at a number of notable restaurants, including Jean-Georges, Aquavit and Buddakan in New York. Most recently he helmed (the now-shuttered) spot Tashan and Dos Tacos in Philadelphia, and competed on season 14 of Bravo's Top Chef.
Angeau lamb loins with Okinowa potatoes. Photo courtesy of Maria Young
The menu is New American with French influences
In the ground-floor dining room starters include Haitian-inspired Kobe beef lollipops and a chilled tomato soup with melon, cucumber and edible flowers. Senat’s fine-dining background is evident in entrees like the whole pan-fried French dorade set atop vegetables and consommé, and an elegantly presented eggplant ratatouille terrine. There’s also a Berkshire pork shank, filet mignon with morel mushroom ragout, and — on the casual side — a burger and frites. The second-floor lounge menu features elevated bar bites such as a truffle and fontina pizza, spicy tuna tacos and Kobe beef sliders.
"Red Poll" cocktail with Ao vodka, charcoal, black tea and cherry. Photo courtesy of Maria Young
Bar program includes showy cocktail presentations and natural wines
Director of operations Stephen Yaeger oversees the beverages. The more than 90 bottles of wine are all natural, and the beer and cider selections are locally focused. The cocktail list definitely has a flair for the dramatic. Ingredients for the "gin & terrarium” are presented under a glass dome for two to four guests to assemble DIY-style at the table. The “R.R. cigar,” a scotch-based drink with smoked vermouth and tobacco bitters, comes in a cigar box with a free cigar from Cappelli Brothers Cigar Company across the street.
Mural by James Burns. Photo courtesy of Maria Young
The no-reservations upstairs lounge has a retractable roof and Mural Arts mural
The stylish 42-seat downstairs restaurant has a zinc bar and semi-open kitchen. On the second floor, called the Social, there’s room for 75, with two separate bars and plenty of sofas. The focal point is the hand-painted mural by Mural Arts artist James Burns that covers the wall. The roof is retractable, giving the lounge a breezy rooftop vibe on nice weather days. Unlike the restaurant downstairs, the lounge does not take reservations, but it can be reserved for private parties.
208 S. 13th St.; 215-999-1020