About Laurel

An intimate French/American BYO restaurant by Chef/Owner Nicholas Elmi.

Laurel only offers a 7 course tasting menu for $85/guest. An optional wine pairing is available at $60/guest. Please note any allergies or dietary restrictions in your reservation allowing us to accommodate.

*Sample Tasting Menu can be viewed on our website
*Menu is subject to change

1617 E Passyunk
Philadelphia, PA 19148
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
French, American

Hours of Operation:
Sunday: CLOSED
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday-Thursday: 5:30PM-10:00PM
Friday-Saturday: 5:30PM-11:00PM

Cross Street:
E. Passyunk & Tasker

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$50 and over

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(215) 271-8299

Website:
http://www.restaurantlaurel.com/

Parking Details:
Valet is available Tuesday-Sunday on East Passyunk Square where the Singing Fountain is located (Passyunk Avenue & Tasker Street).

$12 with validation.

Executive Chef:
Nicholas Elmi

Additional:
BYO Liquor

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Laurel Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.8

ambience

4.3

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

86% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (11)
Fit for Foodies (9)
Tasting Menu (8)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (7)
Special Occasion (6)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Good for a Date (5)
Romantic (4)
Worth the Drive (3)
Notable Wine List (3)
Authentic (3)
Neighborhood Gem (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Cozy (2)
Seasonal (2)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Local Ingredients (1)
Modern Decor (1)
Comfort Food (1)
Fun (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
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415 reviews
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The evening could not have been more per ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined 15 hours ago

The evening could not have been more perfect. Each course was better than the one before. The service was flawless, the room was beautiful, and we left feeling content and happy.

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food5
ambience5
service5

A talented crew with a deep passion for ...

 
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined 3 days ago

A talented crew with a deep passion for their craft took this meal to a whole new level.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Tasting Menu, Cozy, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Extremely original menu. Started with mi ...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 6 days ago

Extremely original menu. Started with milder dishes and finished with robust flavor combinations. Unique inspired menu.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

How fortunate to have Laurel in our city ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 12, 2017

How fortunate to have Laurel in our city😍 My husband & I thoroughly enjoyed every single morsel of the meal...presented beautifully, thoughtfully, artistically & delectable.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Had heard a lot about Laurel from critic ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 12, 2017

Had heard a lot about Laurel from critics and friends. Chose it for a special birthday celebration and am pleased to report that it exceeds its well deserved praise. The tasting menu was extraordinary. The wine was superb. The service was excellent- friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. Add in the overall welcoming atmosphere in a wonderful room and it amounts to a five star experience!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Very enjoyable meal - an event rather th ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 11, 2017

Very enjoyable meal - an event rather than just eating. The scallops were terrific! Would probably choose a bottle of wine from the interesting wine list rather than the wine pairing next time - liked some, others not so memorable. With the wine pairing and the additional optional dishes, it is quite expensive, so we will probably only go here for special occasions.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Molecular Gastronomy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

At first glance, the dining room is clea ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 11, 2017

At first glance, the dining room is clean and on the smaller side, cozy some might say, (i love these types of rooms, i'm not there to be awed by your walls or your expensive paintings, im there to do damage). The service from jump was so warm and helpful, my dining partner and i had some old beautiful wine with us, our host made sure to take her time and to open it properly and helped us ease in to the madness to come. As the wine began to breathe and we settled in to look over the drink menu, we sat back in our extremely comfortable dining chairs (Biig time plus!) and readied ourselves for what was to come...

This is a pre fix menu and you are totally putting yourself in the chef's hands, and honestly i think it's the best way to dine, IF, the chef knows how to pace the meal and IF the chef knows how to not kill you with going overboard. This Chef is a total pros pro, you can see he is someone who truly cares about the customer experience and in every possible way. An amuse arrived first, and then the 8 dishes began to hit the table paced out beautifully, never feeling rushed, never having to wait too long for the next. There were many hit songs played, we had never heard them on the radio anywhere before! The cocoa cured foie, the scallop, the venison (possibly the greatest dish of my life) , gnocchi so small and beautiful with a generous snow shower of fresh black truffles shaved by the Chef himself, (gasp), the wagyu, honestly there were more and i should name them all but i won't. And they will undoubtedly change and wouldn't you want them to, this man and his team, they are artists, their medium is food.

I haven't seen or eaten food this exciting ever. Never in Philly, that's for sure. I'd been wanting to get in here and was not disapointed. Can't wait to go back, tremendous pacing of food, tremendous service i would give this place 6 out of 6 if it was possible, truly outstanding.

Tags: Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We enjoyed our dining experience. The c ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 10, 2017

We enjoyed our dining experience. The chef, Nick Elmi is quite remarkable. It takes an extraordinary level of ability to create such unique and memorable courses. We regularly eat at some of the best restaurants in the world (at least according to Michelin) and Chef Elmi’s creations can hold their own and exceed those of other chef’s. I’m not kidding. Chef Elmi knows what he’s doing!

That being said, the dining room is a somewhat cramped. A different location with a bit more room would be nice. Additionally we were brought our coats (without asking) prior to receiving our check. My wife’s coat was placed on the back of her chair. Honestly, in all the years we have been dining out, this type of behavior never occurred. My wife and I were a bit taken back. At least I had a chance to get a refill on my coffee. This type of “feed em and street em” mentality kind of made us feel like we were being rushed out the door. An inexperienced wait staff can alienate customers this way. We weren’t exactly happy about it. Would you be?

Tags: Fit for Foodies
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience2
service4
value4

The chef had only raised his game to ano ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 31, 2016

The chef had only raised his game to another level, creating a Le Bec Fin level food experience in a more relaxed, but still refined, atmosphere. Huge kudos to the chef for his continued commitment to the City!. His restaurant is a gem of the dining scene.

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food5
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I always considered myself a foodie, but ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 28, 2016

I always considered myself a foodie, but after totally disliking the #1/#2 restaurant in Philly, I'm either not what I thought I was or this was the only off night in Laurel's history! What a disappointment. We were so excited to finally get a reservation; after all it has been ranked #1 or #2 in Philly Mag for a few years now, so we had to try it! 1st course, a freeze dried beet, it was almost inedible. 2nd course foie gras with granola and elderberry. It was better than the beet but not even close to "good". Next came a foam potato, it wasn't bad at all, I was so hungry at this point I almost asked for seconds. A few courses later, and one disappointment after the next, we finally got something that was good, venison. It was the size of my thumbnail (yes, I know that is how it's supposed to be), and the berry that was with it was so bitter it almost ruined the best course we got the whole night. And then came the dessert - dry chocolate cake (a cube, the size of a pencil eraser), whole grain rice crispy treat (the size of a pencil eraser), a marshmallow (yes, a marshmallow). There was a really good creme brulee pudding that was the best part about the meal. We were bummed...broke and bummed!

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food1
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service4
value1

Laurel was amazing the tasting menu was ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 24, 2016

Laurel was amazing the tasting menu was creative and well thought out. I loved the foie gras ice and the paw paw marshmallows! The escargot was incredible! My one friend never had it before and was skeptical about eating snails but this dish showed him just how good they can be! Thanks again for an amazing night!

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food5
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One of the best meals we've ever had. So ...

vip
 (Birmingham)·Dined on December 23, 2016

One of the best meals we've ever had. Sommelier had fantastic recommendations. Each dish was unique, well prepared and incredibly flavorful.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Everything was perfect!!

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 22, 2016

Everything was perfect!!

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food5
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Very diappointed with the lack of creati ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 21, 2016

Very diappointed with the lack of creativity that the restaurant showed when I had requested an all vegetarian 7 course menu, and specifically said on the phone that I was allergic to mushrooms. 3 out of the 7 dishes had some kind of mushroom in it.

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food2
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service3
value2

Over rated. Have had lots better

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 20, 2016

Over rated. Have had lots better

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food3
ambience3
service4

A lovely evening- excellent staff , deli ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 15, 2016

A lovely evening- excellent staff , delicious well presented food.

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food5
ambience4
service5

Overpriced for portions and variety. Not ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 7, 2016

Overpriced for portions and variety. Not sure how they will remain open as I don't see paying $230 for two people without wine but once a year, if that. Portions small and special pasta for $60 overpriced. Nice place but way too expensive for portion sizes that leave you hungry.

Tags: Tasting Menu
1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
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Phenomenal food! An experience to be had ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 27, 2016

Phenomenal food! An experience to be had!

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food5
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service5
value5

The most creative and inspired meal that ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 12, 2016

The most creative and inspired meal that I've ever had in my life. The highest recommendation.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Authentic, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Good for a Date
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food5
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service5
value5

Just fantastic. Service, food, ambiance ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 10, 2016

Just fantastic. Service, food, ambiance - everything really - top notch and enjoyable through the meal. The value for the tasting menu is there is you are into this style of fare. The BYOB optional aspect is extremely nice. I'll definitely be returning

Tags: Special Occasion, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Tasting Menu
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food5
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service5
value5

We thoroughly enjoyed the pre fix menu t ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 4, 2016

We thoroughly enjoyed the pre fix menu that while heavy on seafood included some amazing dishes. Laurel is a foodies delight. The dishes are truly unique. We will definitely return if we are fortunate to get another reservation!

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food5
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The ambiance was quiet and comfortable, ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 2, 2016

The ambiance was quiet and comfortable, and the wait-staff was courteous and extremely knowledgeable. Had those both been terrible, I would; however, STILL highly recommend Laurel as the food was absolutely incredible. Every dish was perfectly prepared, beautifully plated, and ripe with complimenting flavors and contrasting textures. Laurel is a foodie's dream.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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We were very impressed with the creativi ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 13, 2016

We were very impressed with the creativity and attention to detail. Beautifully, artful craft. Allowing BYO in a full service place is additionally thoughtful and kind.

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food5
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service5

We had a great evening celebrating our a ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 4, 2016

We had a great evening celebrating our anniversary. The fois gras was out of this world. Such a creative preparation. Service was extremely friendly and professional. Thank you for the special evening

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food4
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service5

Although there was confusion about our ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 1, 2016

Although there was confusion about our reservation ( it was inadvertently cancelled by the restaurant) the staff accommodated us in the adjoining space and was very apologetic. They were gracious enough to pepper our meal with extras to make up for the confusion and even the owner came out to apologize. Every course was a treat for the palate. One of the finest meals we've had in Philadelphia.

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food5
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Great imaginative menu with excellent se ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 23, 2016

Great imaginative menu with excellent service

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

I had wanted to visit Laurel for a long ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 14, 2016

I had wanted to visit Laurel for a long time and it didn't disappoint. A tasting menu allowed us to experience food we may not normally order on our own. Each course was amazing and explained in great detail. My personal favorites were the foie gras, snails, and swordfish. I can't wait to go back.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
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service5
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Definitely a must eat experience. Everyt ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 8, 2016

Definitely a must eat experience. Everything was perfect from the very start to the dessert.

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food5
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Always a fabulous meal and the service i ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 8, 2016

Always a fabulous meal and the service is professional and everyone is so nice and accommodating.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Everything about Laurel was well done. ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 6, 2016

Everything about Laurel was well done. I consider it the best in Philly.

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food5
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service5
value5

Delicious, creative food and a wonderful ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on September 2, 2016

Delicious, creative food and a wonderful ambience!

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food5
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My husband, son & I had dinner at Laurel ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 30, 2016

My husband, son & I had dinner at Laurel recently. We waited 2 months for a reservation & it was well worth the wait. We did the wine tasting with our meal & would highly recommend it. The wines were well thought out & it was fun tasting wines that we wouldn't normally pick. As for the food, every course was an adventure! Chef Elmi certainly knows what he is doing. Our server, Nicole, was also a pleasure. She was pleasant, had a sense of humor & was well educated in wines. To sum up this review, the three of us did not want to leave the restaurant. We look forward to going back at another time.

Tags: Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Hot Spot, Fun, Cozy, Notable Wine List
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food5
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The meal was spectacular--inventive, bea ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 23, 2016

The meal was spectacular--inventive, beautiful, varied--and felt like an event, well-paced over 2 hours, inviting conversation and reflection. Very very memorable. Thank you.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal
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food5
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OMG I can understand why this restaurant ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 21, 2016

OMG I can understand why this restaurant is voted number one in Philly. We were lucky to get a reservation only a few weeks in advance. Usually, there is a long lead time to snag one. Tasting menu is outstanding. You won't regret it. The Chef Nick Elmi spot serves some of the courses and chats it up. Love that it is BYO although there is a new bar attached so you can enjoy cocktails too.

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food5
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Very expensive price unjustified in ligh ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 20, 2016

Very expensive price unjustified in light of the menial number of courses served. Just not worth it.

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food3
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service3
value1

Food and service were excellent. I love ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 20, 2016

Food and service were excellent. I love a tasting menu as I'll try food I may otherwise not order plus the chef can be creative with what they present, which is definitely the case at Laurel. The restaurant is incredibly small and tight but they make it work. I highly recommend.

Tags: Special Occasion, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
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value4

The meal was spectacular. We splurged an ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 19, 2016

The meal was spectacular. We splurged and got an additional pasta, which we probably didn't need (at a $50 surcharge) but which was wonderful. It is seven courses, but they move rather quickly - maybe a bit too quickly as I would have liked more time savoring a dish before we moved on. All of it was delicious. It is definitely pricey and not some place we would go often, but it was definitely a treat.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value4

Great service, wonderful experience!

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 18, 2016

Great service, wonderful experience!

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food5
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service5

Disappointing, given the hype. More atte ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 17, 2016

Disappointing, given the hype. More attention to being different than good. Substantially over priced for the food experience. Would not go back...

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food3
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the temperature in the restaurant was 84 ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on August 14, 2016

the temperature in the restaurant was 84 degrees at 10pm. as this restaurant is always ranked very highly, we were eager to finally celebrate a special occasion there after placing a reservation over a month ago. unfortunately, halfway through the meal, the heat was so unbearable, we almost left.

i will never eat at laurel again or recommend the restaurant to anyone during the summer months.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
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