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Our Guide To The 2012 Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, Taking Over Six Blocks Of Walnut Street This Saturday, May 19 With Fashion, Music And 40 Top Restaurants Serving Delicious Food

Posted by Allison Stadd

Filed in:Dining Events

rittenhouse row spring festival philadelphia 2012 comp1 680uw East Coast Wine Event

The annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival attracts thousands of people from across the region, with a festival filled to the brim with delicious food, great drinks, live music, fashion, shopping and much more. (Credits: bottom right photo by J. Smith for GPTMC, all other photos by E. Mencher for GPTMC)

One of the entire year’s most anticipated festivals, the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival, is back this Saturday, May 19, with brand new restaurants, celebrity meet-and-greets, a live Starr chef cook-off, fashion, dessert tent, music on two stages and more.

As all-around awesome as it is, the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is just one of a solid 10+ major spring events happening this weekend, so you’ll want to refer to our guide to the fest, below, to make sure you’ll be able to fit it all in!

The Layout

The festival closes down Walnut Street from Broad to 19th, packing the sidewalks with food vendors, boutique booths, stages and more. There’s something to do every inch of the way.

And back by popular demand will be the 18th Street “outdoor cafe” featuring extra tables and chairs set up outside Rouge, Devon and Parc on 18th between Locust and Walnut Streets. So you can grab a bite and drink and take a load off while you people-watch and enjoy the great spring weather.

Check out a block-by-block rundown of which vendors will be situated where, at the bottom of this post.

The Food

A solid 40 restaurants in the Rittenhouse Square area will be setting up along Walnut dishing up samples for a song. The Starr restaurant enclave is on the 18th Street block of Walnut, with eight restos representing plus a new dessert tent.

Insider tip: get to the fest early; many (read: most) of the restaurant booths are so popular, they’ve been know to run out of their dishes by 3 p.m.

A few food highlights to look out for:

Oyster House: $15 lobster rolls (normally $26 at the restaurant, and they will be the same portion size!)
Square 1682: Braised Pressed Pork Confit in Steamed Bao Buns, with Vietnamese Caramel and Spicy Pickled Vegetables
Shake Shack: unfortunately no Shackburgers yet, but you can cool down with fresh frozen custard
Smith & Wollensky: wash down your filet platter with free Cintron
Di Bruno Bros.: Cherry Pepper Poppers, Mini Muffaletta Sliders, three types of Grilled Cheese and Risotto Rice Pudding with First of the Season Strawberry Compote

Much more, below.

Starr Restaurants:

Alma de Cuba: pulled pork sandwich, mojitos, sangria
Barclay Prime: Kobe beef sliders, watermelon juleps
Butcher and Singer: crab cake sandwich, peach bourbon iced tea, beer
The Dandelion: roast beef slider, cranberry soda, lemonade soda
El Rey: chicken or pork tacos, Mexican coke & apple soda, watermelon agua fresca
Continental: cheesesteak egg rolls, three types of popsicles
Parc: hot dogs, French hoagies, Orangina, beer, Kir Royale
Il Pittore: Sicilian meatballs
Starr Dessert Tent: Alma de Cuba guava bars and Mexican chocolate brownies; Butcher and Singer peanut butter cookies; The Dandelion Chocolate Bouchons; Parc macarons; Il Pittore Pine Nut Brittle and Sambuca Pine Nut Biscotti; and Wild Blueberry, Georgia Peach and Lemon Snow Cones.

The Drinks

Some of the booths, as detailed above, sell drinks, but there are also tasting areas for Peroni wines and Captain Morgan black spiced rum.

The Entertainment

Enjoy all-day live music from Norma Michaels Entertainment as you shop the spring fashion booths from Rittenhouse Row’s most chic boutiques. There will be great sales in honor of the festival, like Joan Shepp’s John Wind “Charm Bar,” 10% of sales of which will benefit Linda Creed Breast Cancer.

Plus, stop by the Infiniti Lounge to engage with a luxurious lineup of cars and with one of Philadelphia’s most popular chefs, Kevin Sbraga, former Top Chef contestant and Executive Chef/Owner of Sbraga, who will be available for a meet & greet.

And there will be culinary demonstrations by Starr Restaurant chefs, a cook-off judged by Foobooz editors and mini-workshops by mixologists on how to make Starr’s most delicious cocktails.

Finally, the Center City District children’s area will feature free family activities including face-painting and balloon giveaways.

It’s an absolutely knockout festival for one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods, with throngs of festival-goers taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a great spring day in Rittenhouse Square. Be there.

Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
When: Saturday, May 19, noon-5 p.m.
Where: Along Walnut Street between 19th and Broad Streets
Cost: Free
More info: www.rittenhouserow.org

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