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November 28, 2018

Esquire names Center City's The Love one of 20 best new restaurants in the U.S.

The still-new Rittenhouse spot from Aimee Olexy and Stephen Starr gets national props

Food & Drink Restaurants
The Love Starr Restaurants/for PhillyVoice

The Love

Aimee Olexy and Stephen Starr opened The Love in Rittenhouse Square just over a year ago, but the New American spot is already feeling — wait for it — the love from big-time outlets.

Esquire’s rundown of the 20 best new restaurants in the country slotted the 18th Street eatery at No. 14 on its list, one of three non-New York (that dumb city doesn’t count) spots from the Northeast.

Here’s what Esquire had to say about The Love:

“By now, the phrase “farm to table” may make you sigh, but Aimee Olexy reminds us that the concept is simply about coming back to the life force of fresh ingredients. 
"The crudités at the Love have such a Marvel Comics splash of color that I almost checked to see whether the plate had tiny stage lights; the Caesar salad, in which chef Charles Parker dresses ribs of romaine and fronds of dandelion in a vinaigrette that makes a briny-sweet coupling of anchovies and figs, is so freshly bouncy with firmness that I wondered whether Olexy and business partner Stephen Starr had planted a farm a few steps away in Rittenhouse Square. 
"Don’t sleep on the fried chicken, embroidered with tawny gnarls of crust. Two bites and I knew why they call it the Lovebird.”

The Inquirer’s Craig LaBan wasn’t as effusive in his praise this past January, when he doled out a two-bell review. LaBan cited some startlingly high prices and a few dishes that left something to be desired, but acknowledged the spot’s “great potential.”

If you’ve been looking for a way to freshen up your eating-out habit after countless (understandable) visits to Parc, you ought to give one of the best new restaurants in the country a shot.

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