PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Philadelphia restaurant and bar scene is home to arguably some of the most talked about culinary creations, with block after block adorned with another establishment that'll amaze you.
But what about the spots that aren't on everyone's radar? The ones that put your investigative skills to the test? Well, I found those too.
Chances are you won't find the Ranstead Room the first time you try. It's attached to the back of the Stephen Starr Mexican joint El Rey, but you can't get there by going through it.
You'll make your way down the back alley behind, which is Ranstead Street, and once you find the El Rey dumpsters, you know that you're close. The space is dark and sexy, and they take a very serious, artful approach to classic cocktails with house made syrups, liquors, bitters, and fancy garnishes.
The Ranstead Old Fashioned is their most popular, but it's a tad different from the others you have had with a four bitters blend and a touch of vanilla.
The Pera Tiki Smash is not only gorgeous, but an absolutely delicious blend of Aperol, pineapple, lemon, mint, gin, and a variation of crushed ice.
They also make what they say is the best daiquiri in all of Philadelphia, and after tasting, it's safe to say that I agree. The Cosmonaut is simple and sweet with a raspberry jam and lemon shaken up nicely with the gin.
Have you ever wanted to get a quick haircut before your cocktail? Now you can at Blind Barber.
From the front, it's an unassuming but functioning barbershop in Center City's Midtown Village, but a few steps through the shop will bring you to an unmarked door, and behind that door is two floors with a dimly lit bar and small kitchen with a speakeasy vibe. It's a perfect escape from the bustling city outside, and the cocktails are creative and cold.
The Batman is like a tart gin lemonade. I sipped on Penny's Green Door, a bourbon cocktail that this non bourbon drinker enjoyed. The vodka based Strawberry Fields was perfectly sweet, but not too sweet, and ended up being my favorite. Don't get me wrong, the drinks here are top notch, but chef surprised me with a grilled cheese that I will for sure talk about until my last days. It's double cream brie, Genoa salami, apricot jam, and smoked maldon salt and black pepper toasted into a buttery bread that's baked right here in East Falls.
This next spot is such a secret that I can't tell you where it is, and I can't tell you what it's called because it's not named yet. It was even hard for me to find once I accessed the inside from the random side street door. The space was built into an old bank and still has the old vault attached!
You still have some time to figure out who you have to know to get a membership, because that's the only way you're allowed in. I sipped on a smoked Manhattan, one of the cocktails they are working on for the up and coming, lavish drink menu. This brand new establishment opens up in August, so you still have time to find it!