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
OMG I can understand why this restaurant ...
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.
The meal was spectacular. We splurged an ...
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.
the temperature in the restaurant was 84 ...
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.
waited quite some time for a reservation ...
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.
Am I eating at the same restaurant? I ...
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!
2 of the 3 waitresses were not friendly. ...
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.
Laurel was pretty amazing - friends gave ...
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!
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.
My wife and I went on Thursday night for ...
My wife and I went on Thursday night for our anniversary. We weren't overly impressed by the food. We are usually adventurous eaters and consider ourselves recreational foodies but only really enjoyed the main course, dessert and the little extra pot of chocolate mousse they brought at the end. I know the menu varies so might be worth another try at some point. They did decorate the dessert plate for our anniversary which was a nice touch.
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!!)
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