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
Hours of Operation:
E. Passyunk & Tasker
$50 and over
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
Valet is available Tuesday-Sunday on East Passyunk Square where the Singing Fountain is located (Passyunk Avenue & Tasker Street).
$12 with validation.
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Laurel Ratings and Reviews
I have been to Laurel before and I prefe ...
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.
Thanks to Open Table, I had $70 Open Tab ...
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.
We dined at the restaurant to celebrate ...
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.
Tasting menu was a pleasure, didn't have ...
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.
After an amazing first time at Laurel we ...
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.
Outstanding meal from first to last. Cou ...
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.
Our dinner at Laurel was a truly extraor ...
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.
My wife wanted to go to Laurel because i ...
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!
The food was good quality bur everything ...
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.
Normally I'm not a "tasting menu person" ...
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!
i was excited I finally got a reservatio ...
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.
It's a tasting menu, but it is the best ...
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.
I was disappointed in the food. I had on ...
I was disappointed in the food. I had only heard good things and was let down by almost all of the overpriced small seven tasting dishes. Even with a gift certificate and it being a byob the evening was over $80 a person. In addition we had to book three months in advance. Frankly, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.
The most amazing delicious food I've eve ...
The most amazing delicious food I've ever had and the smallest portions I've ever had. When they say a tasting menu they really mean it - you get only a taste. The 7 courses together did not make a meal. Do not go there hungry.
A Long time coming
I got reservations back in February for June 1st. I think that was a bit on the far side, most people say two months is the most you need to plan for. I knew it was worth literally saving up for, and all the people who told me it was ended up being right. The "Value" rating is a bit misleading; dinner for two, one optional extra course (huge, they recommend one to split, so we did), two espressos to cap it off, and a decent (20% ish) tip came out to every bit of 300$. I don't regret a dime, though. The service was amazing, each course presented and gently, thoroughly explained. Wine (BYOB, though there is apparently an optional wine tasting menu) was presented, my glass was ever empty (though, I suppose I was drinking slow). If you're planning something special, this is the place. If you wanna have the best, most creative meal in philly, this is the place. Looking forward to an excuse to go back (hopefully celebrating a raise!!)
Air conditioners was broken or not funct ...
Air conditioners was broken or not functioning well. Our table and the table around us both complained and were sweating throughout the meal. At an establishment like this, they should have called their customers and canceled the service or brought in a portable air conditioner (which was brought out when we got dessert).
Unique and Flavorful
Wow. My meal at Laurel was one of a kind. Chef Elmi's use of gastronomy was not oppressive and in every instance served to further the dish. He utilized local, seasonal fresh ingredients and maximized flavor. I have never been to a restaurant with NO MENU but this was not concerning to me. They asked if there were any allergies and then the flavorful and inventive dishes flowed from the kitchen. This is a MUST for anyone within driving distance. Look out for tweets for day-of cancellations.
From the moment we found a parking space ...
From the moment we found a parking space as soon as we turned onto E Passyunk, this boded well for the rest of the evening. I cannot praise this restaurant too highly. Every serving person was wonderful. Each course brought an amazing surprise. It wasn't just the melange of ingredients in each dish that was so wonderfully creative, but the visual, the texture, the different sensations in one's mouth were all total perfection. Even the plates and bowls in which the food was served, of all shapes and sizes, added to the whole dining experience. A wonderful birthday dinner and hopefully an experience to repeat next year.
It was hard to read all the reviews and ...
It was hard to read all the reviews and not get hyped up. Laurel really delivered from the moment we walked in to the moment we floated out. The menu was a variety of fantastic journeys. If you are a wine drinker , I would recommend taking a bottle of red and white to accommodate. A definite new favorite and so close to home to boot.
Excellent experience and friendly service.
We enjoyed the flow of dinner and the cozy environment. All staff was very friendly and attentive. The food was delicious and creative. Having Chef Nick bringing some of the entrees was fantastic and totally unexpected surprise!
Amazing, well prepared, delicious food ...
Amazing, well prepared, delicious food was complimented by outstanding service in a warm environment. It took some time to obtain a dinner reservation at Laurel and the wait was worthwhile. Our high expectations were exceeded.
Great experience, just couple of disappo ...
Great experience, just couple of disappointments: Have been to so many restaurants and their tasting menus are usually a lot and very filling but this one was not. Food was very good though, every dish tasted great. Wine pairing was okay
One of the best dinners I have ever had ...
One of the best dinners I have ever had in my life. Every course was a masterpiece of art and flavor. The waitress was lovely, everything about the experience was incredible. So many combinations I had never tasted before, and special touches like shaved iced buttermilk on a gazpacho type cold soup sprinkled with foraged greens, looked like a miniature gnome could live in this small terrarium, so beautiful and delicious!! I also really appreciated the special detail to cutlery and dishes, for the fish an antique bent knife, for the lamb's neck an orange/white resin knife, the potato foam soup in a grey/white hand thrown artisan bowl, really just everything was so well thought out. Nick the chef/owner even came out and visited the tables, we really appreciated that, it showed his dedication and pride. Highly recommend, this was a lovely evening!
Perhaps like many first timers to Laurel ...
Perhaps like many first timers to Laurel, we had found out about it when watching "King George's": the movie about Le Bec Fin. We were really excited to see what Nick Elmi had done on his own, and we were not disappointed. It was simply one of best meals we've had in over 15 years' of weekly date-nights. Each course was a pleasant culinary surprise and it was so much fun to experience great food presented in innovative ways. It was nice to have the chance to chat briefly with Chef on one of his several visits to the dining area during our time there. We will definitely be back - when an opening comes up!
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