Hook and Ladder is a delicious dining experience wrapped in history (and gold)

Hook and Ladder
Hook and Ladder sits in the West & Main Hotel in Conshohocken.
Hook and Ladder

When Hotel West & Main opened just last month, it marked a milestone for the suburb of Conshohocken, which originally was built as one of the factory towns in the Schuylkill Valley. As the area’s first hotel in 22 years, the new venue houses 127 boutique rooms—and two new dining destinations worth making a drive for. 

Both Hook and Ladder and 1874 Social now sit in West & Main. The building’s bones originally acted as a firehouse—for 148 years to be exact—but the overall design now has a modern industrial feel, from the lobby to the restaurants and beyond. 1874 Social is the lobby bar with retractable firehouse doors that open into the yard, and Hook and Ladder—which sits on the second floor of the hotel—is known as the area’s sky bar, and it features both indoor, outdoor and bar seating. 

Hook and Ladder
Hook and Ladder

The menu, with a flavor profile described as serving up cool vibes and bold flavors, pays homage to the history of the building. Hook and Ladder’s offerings span different cocktails with a firehouse theme, including their Slow Burn (a smoky, spiced cocktail with a hint of apple), Engine Co 2 (a gin concoction with a twist) and more. 

The star, however (and the one that you’ll likely pull your phone to take a picture for) is Up in Smoke—a barrel-aged libation that is described as rich and mellow in flavor, with an eye-catching smoky presentation. The drinks however are just the start, and at Hook and Ladder, visitors can find an assortment of offerings spanning seasonal caviar, steakhouse soup, crème brûlée and even a burger wrapped in edible gold. 

The latter, which is one of the most distinctive items on the menu, is officially titled the Fireman Burger—and it’s packing some serious heat in terms of flavorful ingredients. Made with a Wagyu patty wrapped in gold, the burger also features a butter-poached lobster tail, arugula, onion ring, truffle aioli, supersharp three-year aged cheddar, bechamel sauce and fresh shaved truffle. And yes, it looks and tastes as decadent as it sounds. 

Hook and Ladder
The Fireman Burger. Hook and Ladder

Other highlighted main course menu items include king salmon with smoked cream, braised beef rib, a free-range chicken breast, lobster (half or whole with decadent butter sauce), a jumbo lump crab cake with lemon aioli, and much more.  Visitors can start their meal off on the right note however with an assortment of starters, sides and items from the raw bar, all of which are as show-stopping as the main course options. 

For one, the spicy tuna bites are heaven for sushi lovers, but it’s upgraded with the use of seaweed, crispy rice, jalapeno, cilantro and chili-honey aioli. There are also enticing selections up to bat, such as hamachi crudo, uni sushi, oysters and more for those looking to keep it raw. 

Other starters span chips and caviar, bone marrow with uni, a cheese and charcuterie selection, pan-seared foie gras, Oysters Rockefeller and more. Hook and Ladder also has a selection of salads (think Caesar, spinach and others) and soups (boasting lobster, French onion and more), among other selections. Side options also include truffle mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus with herb butter and dessert keeps it sweet with items such as pecan pie and bread pudding being offered.

Hook and Ladder
The spicy tuna bites.Hook and Ladder

The food and drink options are luxurious in the way they look, feel and taste. But the atmosphere overall at Hook and Ladder is cozy, welcoming and an ode to the years held before in its own halls. When you look around the space, you see old pictures of engine companies, there’s still architectural structure that sets this space apart, and even when walking to the bathrooms there is an old firepole laid to rest (with the hole now sealed for safety.) 

It’s an experience of elegance and familiarity wrapped with history, and one fire menu full of hot, cold, and unique options. 

For information on Hook and Ladder (46 Fayette Street, 2nd Floor, Conshohocken), visit hookandladderskybar.com

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