Photos courtesy of Tulip

The One Who Keeps the BookPhiladelphia

How to Get Into Tulip Pasta & Wine Bar


If you haven’t already, say hello to Tulip, your favorite new pasta place and wine spot in Fishtown. And in the possible scenario that you’ve tried to say hello but couldn’t get a table, allow us to introduce you to its GM, Andrew Boerckel. He’s been working in the industry in Philadelphia since the late 90s and has been at Tulip since its opening in September 2022. Boerckle also helped open sister restaurant Messina Social Club and is responsible for all things front-of-house at both restaurants. We sat down with him to learn how to get you into Tulip. Right this way.

Resy: How many seats are there at Tulip?

Currently 36, which includes a four-person counter.

When do reservations drop on Resy?

9:00 a.m., 30 days in advance.

How quickly do seats get booked out?

Right now, pretty much right away. We’re a newer restaurant and a smaller space in Fishtown — people jump on them pretty quickly.

Are any of the seats in the restaurant held for walk-ins?

The four seats at the counter are held for walk-ins every night. I don’t release every table online — I don’t make every table reservable. I want to be able to accommodate last-minute birthday requests, anniversaries, friends, those kinds of things.

What time would you recommend stopping by to snag one of the walk-in seats?

Right when we open — 5 p.m.

During peak time, what is the typical wait time for a walk-in?

It can be significant. During peak times, it can be an excess of an hour.

Photo courtesy of Tulip
Photo courtesy of Tulip

When are your busiest nights?

Friday and Saturday — pretty standard.

How many covers do you do on your busiest night?

Right around 100.

How long is your Notify list on average?

Fridays and Saturday nights — I’ve seen something like 200 parties. Through the week, maybe 50.

If someone were to set a Notify for Tulip on Resy, is there a certain day or time they’d be most likely to get a reservation?

Anytime outside of primetime hours. Everyone seems to want to eat between 6 p.m.-8 p.m. So if you’re willing to come in at 5 p.m. or after 8 p.m., those are probably your best options.

The restaurant is buzzing. The space is full. We’ll probably be operating an hour-long waitlist at that point. It’s rocking and rolling. — Andrew Boerckel on primetime at Tulip

Of all the places to sit in the restaurant, what do you think is the best seat in the house?

For me personally, I really love the walk-in seats we reserve at chef’s counter. I like seeing the action — looking at things come in that I didn’t order. Just being in the action. For those looking for a quieter evening, perhaps the back dining room. There’s a little less hustle and bustle.

It’s Friday night at 7 p.m. Can you set the scene for us?

The restaurant is buzzing. The space is full. We’ll probably be operating an hour-long waitlist at that point. It’s rocking and rolling. Food is coming off the pass. Tables are filled with plates of stracciatella and housemade focaccia and charcoal beet ravioli. Wines are being poured. Guests are enjoying conversation.

Speaking of music, what kind is played inside the restaurant?

We play a loose mix of rock and some 90s hip hop.

For someone going to Tulip for the first time, what should they order?

I don’t think they should miss the cacio e pepperoncini — it’s a smart play on cacio e pepe. We use a ton of chile peppers in ours and it adds a nice heat. Right now, our tuna tagliatelle is beautiful — it’s a tuna tartare done with tagliatelle pasta, Meyer lemon puree and an Italian pistachio pesto. I think the dry Riesling from Wayvine Vineyards is a remarkable pairing for everything on the menu. For dessert — the ricotta fritters served with creme anglaise for dipping or the chocolate polenta cake that we frost with cannoli filling.

Omar Mamoon is a San Francisco-based writer & cookie dough professional. Find him at @ommmar.