River Twice is a modern American BYOB dedicated to sustainably sharing the richness of our region’s bounty.
Our goal is to encourage a sincere connection to the Delaware River Valley and mid-Atlantic region through the ingredients we select and the dishes we serve. A close relationship with local purveyors allows us to develop an evolving menu with seasonal harvests, making every visit a unique experience.
James Beard-nominated Chef Randy Rucker’s culinary style has been defined by an ethos of using ingredients of the highest quality possible to create focused cuisine that highlight the natural flavors of the region. Amanda Rucker’s focus on sustainable design and working with local artisans is the guiding force behind the interiors of River Twice. After living and working across the country, they are proud to have found a home on Passyunk Ave.
Raised in Tomball, Texas, Randy Rucker’s culinary career began early on in his mother’s kitchen. Chef Rucker credits his mother Bootsie for his passion for food and for inspiring him to pursue the culinary arts as a career. Rucker’s professional career began in Rhode Island where he attended Johnson & Wales University before migrating west to California in 2000. There he developed a passion for raw ingredients while working with products like artichokes, sea urchins and wild mushrooms, which were delivered to the back door of the restaurants by the farmer or the forager. He then returned to Houston and worked for many of Houston’s most respected chefs. In 2005 Rucker opened laidback manor with his mother Bootsie. At laidback manor, Rucker received numerous awards and accolades from national press; including Food Arts Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.
Never one to limit his projects, Rucker also operated an underground supper club called Tenacity and that led to the head chef position at The Rainbow Lodge where he drew inspiration from the onsite gardens and citrus groves. There his efforts were rewarded with four stars from Modern Luxury—not to mention a very rare four-star review (first in almost nine years) from Alison Cook at The Houston Chronicle. Rucker then returned to his hometown of Tomball to open Bootsie’s & was named a rising star from Starchefs.com & nominated for two James Beard awards. He then went on to open Restaurant Bramble in the Tanglewood neighborhood of Houston where the restaurant focused on Third Coast cuisine. The restaurant’s ever-changing menu showcased local farms & ranches as well as wild & indigenous food Rucker & his staff forage for daily.
In the fall of 2016 Rucker returned to the East Coast, serving as Culinary Director of two well respected restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard and as Executive Chef for a Relis & Chateaux property in Mystic, CT. It was during this time that Rucker developed a passion for New England’s natural resources. While developing relationships with local fisherman on the island he was exposed to various species of shellfish, fish, and seaweeds that continue to inspire and cultivate his cooking style today.
In 2019 Rucker and his wife, a Philadelphia native, left New England for Philadelphia. Rucker plans to share with Philadelphians how a passion for thoughtfully sourced ingredients can transform one’s dining experience. This objective drives the concept behind their new restaurant, River Twice. Above all, they aim to create an atmosphere that promotes a deep connection not simply to one’s food, but also to the natural world around us.