I’ve been in Philadelphia for almost 8 years, but I was raised in the Harrisburg area. Hummelstown, to be exact. In high school my days were split between normal classes in my public school and Capital Area School for the Arts in downtown Harrisburg. At the time, the art community was blossoming. Food-wise however, there wasn’t a lot going on. Since I moved to Philly, quite a bit has changed downtown and it has actually become a bit of a Central PA dining destination.

I visited Rubicon their opening week, and I was pretty blown away, and not just by the gorgeous transformation the interior has undergone since it was Neptune Lounge. Just the small sampling I had of their menu was more than enough for me to want to return as soon as possible. Decadent, French-esque fare and cocktail artistry.

I started off with the Jane Avril at AJ the bartender’s recommendation, although I would have probably decided upon it for myself in the end anyway. Consisting of Bulleit Bourbon, Benedictine, Creme de Casis, ground cayenne pepper and lemon, it was the perfect twist on my usual drink order of bourbon-based, bitter cocktails.

For appetizers we ordered the Charcuterie De Maison Au Garnis and the Tartine Blanc De Blanc “Cojonudo”. I rarely order charcuterie, but this particular night I was sold on the fact that they had blood sausage on the menu, and it did not disappoint. The tartine was also fantastic—very light with playful textures and a delightful pop from the tobiko.

I had known what entree I was going to order before I set food inside Rubicon—the Faux Pho. Bone marrow-stuffed beef shank topped with seared foie gras in a Franco-Vietnamese broth. I don’t think I need to say much else. It was absolutely insane.

I’m not a huge dessert person as a rule, but when I saw Baked Alaska on the menu I absolutely had to try it, and it didn’t disappoint. The presentation alone is worth an order.

The folks behind Mangia Qui and Suba have always impressed me, and Rubicon is no exception. I see many more dinners in downtown Harrisburg in my future.