Wilder has quickly become a Philadelphia favorite in its first year. The Rittenhouse-area venue opened last March, with much anticipation, and comes from chef-restaurateur Brett Naylor, along with his wife and partner Nicole Barrick.
The concept was originally supposed to open in 2020, but the pandemic had other plans. Nonetheless, the bar/restaurant will be celebrating its first anniversary with a “Spring Fling” celebration on March 21—aka Naylor and Barrick want to show their gratitude for the past year of support by donating a portion of their sales from their Spring Fling to help feed Philadelphians through the Share Food Program. The nonprofit distributes millions of pounds of food to hundreds of thousands of neighbors in need, making them the leading hunger organization in the region.
“We have felt so welcomed by Philadelphia this past year and wanted to celebrate in a Wilder-type way,” said Naylor in a statement. “We opened on the first day of spring, so a spring fling is perfect for this occasion where we will highlight all of the best that Wilder has to offer.”
The venue sits in the previous home of the Philadelphia Academy of Social Dance—but it received a full-scale renovation, combining an original carriage house and townhome into one sprawling 4500-square-foot dining establishment. The space is divided into three floors, with the first two containing a dining room and bar, and the third offering a private event space for intimate lunch or dinner parties.
There’s obviously plenty of space for hungry Philadelphians and tourists alike to try out the food and drinks from this establishment, and it’s worth it to plan to sit at a table and fully indulge. However, the bar on the first floor sets a tone for its own kind of experience with one of the most intently funky-focused designs in the city.
But it’s the menu that really keeps the pace of this one-of-a-kind spot, and it wows just as much as the atmosphere. As the opening release stated, Naylor and Barrick chose the name Wilder to signify the fresh bounty of ingredients they like to source, cook and eat, a name that also aptly describes their vision for the space – one that naturally evolves as you move through, a meaningful progression that is also free and unrestrained.
For this specific activation however, Wilder is offering a three-course menu from Executive Chef Bob Truitt, which costs $78 per person, and it will be served family style beginning at 5 p.m.
The menu consists of a Raw Bar Sampler (consisting of oysters, crab, smoked fish dip and tuna crudo); Wilder Antipasti; and Spicy Tuna and Lardo Toast. Main courses include Spring Fever Pizza with asparagus, lemon, and hon shimeji; Spaghetti Pesto Genovese; Calabrian Hot Chicken; and Roasted Fennel. For dessert, guests will be treated to a Sorbet Sundae with pineapple, orange, rhubarb, granita, and meringue, along with a Wilder Birthday Cake, according to the release.
“We’re excited to welcome the neighborhood in and enjoy some birthday cake with our beloved guests,” Barrick added in a statement. “This is a Happy Birthday to us, but also a thank you to everyone who has supported the restaurant.”
Reservations are strongly encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome in the bar and lounge area. In addition to the Spring Fling menu, the full dinner menu will also be available to all guests. The menu has a few different focuses: A raw bar, a variety of starters, salads, pizzas, hand-made pastas, desserts and a wide variety of main dishes.
Reservations can be made at exploretock.com/wilderphilly. And to find out more information on Wilder Philly (2009 Sansom St.,) visit their website at wilderphilly.com