PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia’s newest restaurant is just about ready to open its doors, as Alexandra Holt is set to open her Roxanne BYOB at 912 Christian Street. In addition to operating for dinner service, Roxanne will be open sporadically during the day for pastry service.
The 872-square-foot restaurant, formerly housed Sabrina’s Cafe, features 26 seats, including two at a chef’s counter. Holt, who began working on the restaurant’s interior in March, designed much of the restaurant herself, constructing all the chairs and completing all the painting and interior finishes.
Holt’s resume is impressive, having trained at Michelin Star restaurants in Stuttgart, Germany, Iceland, and other European countries, while also staging and spending time in kitchens in Chicago, Philadelphia, and beyond. A 2013 Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate, Holt, also known as @PastrySlut on Instagram, doesn’t plan on having a set menu at Roxanne, as the cuisine will be freeform, flowing, and non-categorized.
While there is no set menu, Holt said that dinner would begin with five small bites, one being a togarashi cannelé with pimento cheese. In the fall, beef tongue with grilled cabbage will be featured on the menu, as will a raclette ice cream cake with caviar. The opening menu will feature a vanilla bean croissant grilled over charcoal with Portuguese egg tart filling and Lacto-fermented stone fruit. A course of five different bites of potatoes done with different techniques will also be featured on the tasting menu, as Holt said potatoes are her favorite food.
“I’m going to make whatever I feel like making every week,” said Holt. “There is no specific focus or cuisine, and the menu will change regularly. Dinner will feature a tasting menu of eight courses, and I plan on making the menu very approachable and affordable.”
Holt says she plans to have Roxanne open for dinner Monday to Wednesday beginning at 5:30 p.m., with reservations only to start, but days of operation will change over time as the restaurant opens. While last seating will be around 8:30 p.m., Holt said she might stay open late on various nights for guests. As for the pastry program, hours will run from noon until sellout on various weekdays. With no set schedule, customers can keep an eye on Instagram for when Roxanne is open during the daytime.
Roxanne, named after Holt’s mother, will feature pastries such as cannelé, donuts, “weird” croissants, mille-feuille, and other baked goods, including political satire-themed pastries.