First Look: Coeur

By Caroline Russock  |  September 24, 2015

Brendan Hartranft, Leigh Maida and Brendan Kelly (the team behind Memphis Taproom, Strangelove’s and Local 44) have perfected the formula for making great Philly beer bars, but their latest, a sweet spot in Bella Vista, is offering something a bit more refined. While the concept might have been inspired by a trip to Montreal, the menu is much more than just poutine. Here’s what you need to know about Coeur.

French-Canadian cuisine might have been the jumping off idea for this new spot, but more in concept than menu. There are nods to Quebecois classics, like the poutine burger topped with gravy and cheese curds and a smoked brisket sandwich on rye that might have begun it’s life with a trip to Schwartz’s Deli, but more than anything Coeur is going for a convivial, sharable dining experience with a menu that has broad appeal. That means that you can stop in seven days a week for oysters, charcuterie or a cheese plate, something quick like the ZLT (fried slices of smoked zucchini with romaine and tomato, pictured below) or sit down to a multi-course meal with a half rotisserie chicken, duxelles-stuffed vegan Wellington or grilled bavette steak with hen of the woods mushrooms.

The team behind Coeur is looking to be a place where cracking open a few bottles is welcome and they’ve assembled a solid list of draft wines, plus a French-leaning list with prices hovering in the ‘Sure, let’s get another one’ $40–$50 price point. And while their beer list might not be as lengthy as their other locations, there are plenty of gems like a collaboration cider brewed with Williamsport, PA’s Bullfrog Brewery, made by adding cabernet and merlot skins to the juice while it’s fermenting.

Best of all, the kitchen is open from 11:30 AM–midnight on weekdays and 11 AM–midnight on the weekends, making this a very welcome addition to the city’s late night dining scene.

824 S. Eighth St.; 215-922-6387