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About Laurel

1617 E Passyunk
Philadelphia, PA 19148
View Larger Map

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

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

Laurel Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.7

ambience

4.4

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

85% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (52)
Special Occasion (43)
Romantic (38)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (17)
Hot Spot (11)
Notable Wine List (10)
Tasting Menu (8)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Good for Anniversaries (3)
Local Ingredients (3)
Good for a Date (3)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Healthy (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Cozy (1)
Business Meals (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Seasonal (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Authentic (1)
Fun (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
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384 reviews
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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
ambience5
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
ambience5
service5

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
ambience5
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
ambience5
service5

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
ambience5
service5
value5

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
ambience5
service5
value5

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
ambience5
service5
value5

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
service5
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
ambience5
service5
value4

Great service, wonderful experience!

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 18, 2016

Great service, wonderful experience!

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food5
ambience5
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
ambience2
service4

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.

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food4
ambience1
service3
value3

Eating is believing! The menu dazzles, ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Eating is believing!

The menu dazzles, and the service is superlative. Great tastes, presentation and a wonderful variety of ingredients.

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food5
ambience5
service5

waited quite some time for a reservation ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

waited quite some time for a reservation and was very much looking forward to the meal. although the talent of the chef is apparent, we were not happy with either the pacing or the flow of the meal. The dishes were coming so quickly that I had to ask them to slow it down. As soon as it appeared that we were taking a break, they were ready to take the dish and immediately bring the next. The staff, though polite and pleasant seemed rushed . The food was clearly innovative and very good, but, seemed unnecessarily confused and experimental with each dish standing on it's own as opposed to flowing as part of a complete I'll take Bibou any time. An experience like this should be enjoyed for 3 hours. Instead, it felt that they were doing their best to get to that next seating. Of course their were highlights, but, overall, disappointed.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

Absolutely phenomenal! Fabulous food an ...

vip
 (New Mexico)
·Dined on August 11, 2016

Absolutely phenomenal! Fabulous food and wine! The staff was excellent....a true epicurean experience!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Am I eating at the same restaurant? I ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined on August 11, 2016

Am I eating at the same restaurant? I was disappointed on all levels at Laurel. The front of staff was aloof and hurried. The tasting menu rather the flowing smoothly from one course to the next was an assault of flavors and textures that simply did not work. A few were just unpleasant. The only 2 note worthy courses were the crab/corn soup and the foie gras. We were also really offended to arrive and the first thing offered to us were two $50 upsells to the main menu. With so many other excellent restaurants in Philadelphia I suggest spending your money elsewhere!

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food1
ambience1
service1
value1

Truly The Best Restaurant In Philly. Foo ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

Truly The Best Restaurant In Philly. Food was exceptional. Service impeccable. What a delight. Brings a new meaning to fine food in Philly. Cannot wait to go back!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food and ambiance amazing. The menu is v ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

Food and ambiance amazing. The menu is very thoughtful and everything was flavorful and beautifully presented. We loved our waitress, who was sweet and prompt.

would love to come back.

Irina

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

2 of the 3 waitresses were not friendly. ...

 
 (Pittsburgh)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

2 of the 3 waitresses were not friendly. One of the waitresses talked so quietly as she explained what we were being served that we didn't know what we were eating. When I asked her to say it again because I couldn't hear her she was annoyed. We had to ask 2 times for our wine glasses to be refilled. When you are spending this much money service should be much better than this. The overall experience is ruined by unfriendly waitresses no matter how good the food is.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
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value2

Laurel was pretty amazing - friends gave ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 27, 2016

Laurel was pretty amazing - friends gave us their gift certificate, and we were anxious to try it, having heard so much about Nick Elmi and his fabulous cooking. I have to say though, when we first sat down, I was a bit skeptical - the amuse bouche came, and it was tiny - almost like a joke from Portlandia - however, everything after that was really fabulous - interesting, amazing blends of flavors - caused me to eat things I would never order - razor clams, snails, but all delicious, and beautifully presented in wonderful china pieces that showed off the food to best advantage. They do have a good wine and cocktail list, but also don't charge a corking fee if you want to BYO - it's a real experience - and also quiet and comfortable with great service. go!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Simply amazing!!

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Simply amazing!!

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food5
ambience4
service5

I have been to Laurel before and I prefe ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 22, 2016

I have been to Laurel before and I prefer the former tasting menu where you could choose your dishes. The food is beautiful and creative; however the razor clam dish was too salty. I also would not recommend spending an additional $50 for the gnocchi dish.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
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value3

Easily one of the best, if not the best ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

Easily one of the best, if not the best meal I have had in Philadelphia. Chef Nick is doing some incredible things with Laurel.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value5

Thanks to Open Table, I had $70 Open Tab ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

Thanks to Open Table, I had $70 Open Table gift certificate to spend on a restaurant of my choice. I figured, I would make it worth it by checking out Laurel!

When we walked in, we were very surprised with the ambiance. The lighting was very bright, too bright for a romantic-ish spot. I would expect it to be on the dimmer side. The decor was pretty much non existent besides the cute tufted white chairs. Seemed sparse.

Food wise though... every dish was impeccable with the plating and the interesting flavor combinations. We added the additional $55 wagyu beef. I couldn't decide between the beef or the gnocchi since the gnocchi seemed to be a bit hit with reviewers but the BF chose the beef. What an excellent choice!!! It melts in your mouth. mmMmMMmm.

Each dish was very small but I was so full towards the end of the meal that I was giving my BF half my dishes. He was happy since he has a bigger appetite. He walked out being pleasantly full. It was a total of 10 courses - favorites included the coconut sorbet palette cleanser, wagyu beef, chocolate pudding, crab and corn, foie gras.. and whatever fish they used.

Our waitress was amazing. I wish I had gotten her name! I do agree with other reviewers about other staff members though. When they dropped off our dishes, they were distantly polite - it kind of made the process awkward. No smiles - just gave us our dishes and recited what it was. Some of them spoke very softly so we would just sit there, smile and say thanks with no idea as to what we were about to eat.

Overall, 4 stars because while the food and our waitress were amazing, for the price we paid for the meal, there is room for improvement.

Also, I booked the reservation a month prior for a Wednesday night 9PM spot! I'm glad I was able to try it out. The chef also came around to say hi and see how we were doing.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service4
value3

Laural was everything we hoped it would ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 19, 2016

Laural was everything we hoped it would be and more. We were able to speak to chef Nick on two occasions and he was very gracious. We will be back

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
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value3

We dined at the restaurant to celebrate ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

We dined at the restaurant to celebrate my girlfriends birthday. Normally it is a 7 course tasting menu but due to it being her birthday the chef cooked an extra dish for us. Everything was fantastic. Although it was an add on, our favorite dish was the ricotta gnocci with the fresh shaved black truffle (which the head chef/owner personally shaves tableside) and we recommend that everyone try it when available.

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food5
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Tasting menu was a pleasure, didn't have ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Tasting menu was a pleasure, didn't have to think about ordering. Kitchen was very accommodating about our food allergies/preferences. Dining was leisurely. This restaurant is definitely for foodies or those interested in high quality preparation. Diners should be on the adventurous side and open to trying new things. Our table of three agreed that each of the tasting plates was a little gem, VERY DELICIOUS. Expensive /special occasion.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

After an amazing first time at Laurel we ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

After an amazing first time at Laurel we couldn't wait to come back. Unfortunately, this time around it was a disappointment. The food was good but all the dishes that were supposedly "hot": the fish and the duck, were warm. Presentation was superb but it defeats the point if time is wasted in plating while the food itself is getting cold. The gnocchi were -as before- to die for but not enough to elevate the whole dining experience.

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food3
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Outstanding meal from first to last. Cou ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

Outstanding meal from first to last. Could not fault food or service throughout. The only

flaw concerned glass windows and door at entrance. They were messy with fingerprints a

small detail yet one that the finest restaurants keep track of.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
value4

Our dinner at Laurel was a truly extraor ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

Our dinner at Laurel was a truly extraordinary experience. Everything was fantastic- every dish was wonderful, and the service was exceptional. We had the wine pairing, which was great. The wines were lovely, each paired superbly with each course, and the pours were generous. We splurged on both the Wagyu and gnocchi, and both were excellent (though it really was more food than we needed, one would have been plenty). The Wagyu was out of this world; I'm salivating thinking about it now, three days later.

Hands down, this was one of the finest dining experiences we've ever had.

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food5
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My wife wanted to go to Laurel because i ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

My wife wanted to go to Laurel because it was listed as the number one eating establishment in Philadelphia. My son enjoyed his experience there, but I did not. The duck breast that was served was raw. It colored my entire experience. My wife shared my opinion. We will never return. We are both Sbraga fans, but Laurel came up very short!

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food2
ambience4
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value2

The food was good quality bur everything ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on June 29, 2016

The food was good quality bur everything had too much going on. The taste and textures were

odd and gimmicky. The quality was good if you like the style. The friend I was with loved everything, He will return , I will not

For those I know who care for this type of food preparation I would highly recommend the place, For those who do not I would not recommend same.

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food1
ambience5
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Delicious food; minuscule proportions. ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on June 28, 2016

Delicious food; minuscule proportions. But what will keep me from EVER returning or recommending Laurel to my less-than-wealthy peers is the exorbitant pricing. Just not worth it.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A must Philadelphia experience; the new, ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on June 28, 2016

A must Philadelphia experience; the new, modern Le Bec Fin. Innovative and delicious fine French dining. Top Chef...

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Truely unique food, and exceptional serv ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on June 22, 2016

Truely unique food, and exceptional service. Small space with a lot to enjoy

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food5
ambience5
service5

Normally I'm not a "tasting menu person" ...

vip
 (Jacksonville)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

Normally I'm not a "tasting menu person". I can be picky, allergic to sea food and like to be in charge of what I eat. I didn't have to feel worried at all in Chef Nick's genius hands. I let them know ahead of time about my sea food problems and they were gracious about it. I don't even know what to say about our dinner because my mind is still blown 3 days later. The food was ridiculously amazing, I'm still mentally drooling over the snails especially since I do not get the opportunity to have these prepared properly in my home town very often. I really loved that Chef came out to every table to shave truffles for one dish and to speak with each guest. He came back to my table a second time when I mention to my server that I was about to start making ramen at home. We spoke about how to make a proper dashi and I am so grateful for the advice. I just can't say enough about the whole staff. Love you guys!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

i was excited I finally got a reservatio ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on June 16, 2016

i was excited I finally got a reservation at laurel after months , but i realized this place is a complete fraud! Lackluster interior/ambiance. The web gives the "appearance" that there is a regular menu & a tasting menu. Well your only option is the extremely over-priced weird menu. The 7 course tasting menu, as they call it, is the most ridiculous meal i have EVER experienced. Most of the tiny dishes were approx 2 full bites. LOL One dish, was a crab in broth w/ nettles (greens) & if there was 1 lump of crab meat i'd be surprised & 2 Tbsp of broth. Lamb neck was nothing but fat, which was prob. the largest portion served. Clam app on sea foam?? WTF The most ludicrous menu, i have ever experienced in my life. Well we did get a slice of cheese at the end. Horrible meal. But if you want to spend $50 extra for some gnocchi, then add that to your bill! I called once, after reading that Laurel had opened a bar next door & asked if we could get liquor at the on the night we came. The man did not tell me that the bar was NOT open yet, nor did he tell me that all they offered was hugely over priced bottles of wine. Or glasses of wine averaging $17-25 /glass! I also didn't know they do seatings around 6:00 and 8:15. When we came in at 8:15pm, we had been trying to move up our reservation for an hour, they told us they would not be able to accommodate us any earlier, bc they were booked solid. But yet, when we showed up at 8:15, the restaurant was almost empty. So thats why i realized this place is such a hoax, they create the demand that they are so elite by serving things that no one would ever eat, and making it such a challenge of getting in there by controlling the reservations, that people think that they are getting something. Well if you want $20 worth of food, for $170 and ultimately leave there dropping $300 & still hungry, this is the place for you!I suggest eating at Townsend, couple of doors down. Way better food & a really lovely atmosphere & lovely staff.

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food1
ambience2
service5
value1

It's a tasting menu, but it is the best ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on June 12, 2016

It's a tasting menu, but it is the best food in philadelphia! For the prof you pay, the quality and taste in the food beats other restaurants in Philly. We go once every 6 months in order to allow for the menu to change.

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food5
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A true Chef tasting menu

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined on June 10, 2016

The tasting menu items were great, then add in the gnocci and the Waygu Beef and you are are now eating an over the top amazing dinner. A must for anyone who is into great food. Plus you have the choice of BYOB or wine pairing!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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