My First Food Moment

My earliest recognition of outstandingly hospitable service and culinary excellence dates back to 2008 during my first visit to Lacroix at The Rittenhouse Hotel. Born and raised within Bucks County, Pennsylvania, I spent numerous childhood Sundays with my parents and siblings, Gabriella and Christopher, exploring Philadelphia, primarily comprised of various visits to the city’s vastly evolving restaurant scene. One Sunday afternoon at Lacroix redefined and shaped my perspective on dining out, setting a new array of personal standards and perceptions of a proper dining experience. Upon stepping through Lacroix’s doors at eleven years of age, my senses immediately flooded with the aroma of truffles and elegance, I knew there’d be no better seat in Philadelphia than in Lacroix’s green velvet chairs, situated along its windows lined with shades made of natural wood-pulp fibers that provided textured grace and sophistication. With a perch overlooking Rittenhouse Square, Lacroix is home to a legendary brunch buffet of meticulously innovative bites; one of the many facets of Lacroix’s service that contribute to making it the ultimate special Sunday meal experience. Lacroix’s gracious brunch service can teach anyone to appreciate unusual, intense or maybe familiar flavors presented in a novel manner. Each staff member, from host to server to cook, embeds their own touch of hospitality within every inch of the space, while very mouthful provides a savory and exploratory experience of textures, flavors and aromas

Beyond its phenomenal service experience, Lacroix’s lavish spread of cross-cultural cuisine breaks the boundaries of stuffiness often associated with fine dining establishments, closely exhibited within menu items such as the pillowy Short Rib Bao Buns, the Foie Gras S’mores, or maybe merely the small-diced potatoes, quickly sautéed with sea salt and freshly minced parsley. Regardless of menu item or station; from raw bar, to salads, to breakfast items in the nook near the kitchen, to the hot hors d’oeuvres and carving station, meticulousness exists everywhere. Diners are even invited into the kitchen, where the kitchen staff operates in systematic efficiency and calmness, placing the finishing touches on each dish. Everything about the experience is highly impressive and simply beautifully executed.

From a distance (or from someone who has yet to dine at Lacroix), the restaurant is merely serving an elaborate and overpriced Sunday Brunch. However, Lacroix’s curated service culture and created by its staff sets them apart from their local competitors to provide a memorable, significant and potentially noteworthy experience. Lacroix’s reliable and consistent services has always exceeded my family’s expectations within each visit. The reception of proper service and well-delivered hospitality at a restaurant has the ability to convert a meal into an experience that connects people. Hospitality, defined quite simply as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers,” doesn’t need to be experienced solely at a four-bell rated fine dining establishment, but may also be found within a brief guest interaction, such as a simple smile from the barista delivering your latte. We return to Lacroix with friends or as a family annually for celebratory purposes and to experience the familiar faces amongst the staff year after year that welcome us warmly. Our visits to the establishment serve not only to mark the milestones of our lives, but to reinforce my passion and desire to create memorable experiences within my future career as a Hospitality professional.


Isabella Mauro

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