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Hot List 2008

Rae, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Address: 30th and Arch Streets

Tel: 215-922-3839

The lobby of the gleaming Cesar Pelli–designed Cira Centre is bright, airy, and a tad austere, but one corner is conspicuously livened up by Daniel Stern's second venture, Rae (the first is his wine bar, Gayle). He wants its flavors to be strong, adventurous even—how else to explain smoked rabbit nachos for lunch? The weekday atmosphere is buttoned-down bonhomie, especially at the row of microbrew taps at the bar, but by evening the lights soften and the regulars move in. The flavors remain intense throughout, whether in the skate with fettuccine and clams or in the riff on the beloved Philly cheese steak, made here with venison and truffles. The wine list has nearly two dozen by-the-glass selections. White chocolate mousse with cinnamon and hazelnut is a decadent rush (entrées, $22–$45).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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