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“Upscale food with rustic decor.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Talula's Garden

Talula's Garden
210 West Washington Square, Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 592-7787
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Ranked #6 of 3,780 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 7th between Walnut and Locust
Description: Behind the wrought iron gate, past the herbaceous patio and through the atrium is Talula's Garden, the warm and elegant Washington Square eatery from Aimee Olexy and Starr Restaurants. The modern menu, prepared with carefully-sourced ingredients and a light European touch, changes with the seasons. The artful cuisine, hospitable staff, sustainable spirits, and a focus on cheese make the dining experience here incredibly memorable.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Upscale food with rustic decor.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

My wife and I ate at Talula's this past weekend. The restaurant is tucked into a little corner off of 7th street just South of Chestnut St. across from Washington Square Park. It's not a high pedestrian traffic spot, so you might not even realise that its there, but it's worth looking for.

We each had a cocktail at the bar while we waited for our table. My wife had "The Lover" A Grey goose Martini with a Bleu Cheese Stuffed Olive that she was moaning how good it was. I had the "Treehugger" A maple and Black Walnut infused Manhattan. Tasty, but a little weak.

We started with a selection of cheeses from around the world, all of which were delicious. I am not a cheese lover, I tend to shy away from really strong cheeses, and all of these were unique, creamy, crumbly, buttery, milky masterpieces. Each was paired up with dried fruits, or jams and a basket of breads and crackers. We cleaned the board of all remnants of goodness.

For appetizers, my wife had the Pear salad. It came with 2 types of pears and some of the best Bleu Cheese I've ever tasted. Yum. I had the Torchon of Foie Gras. We are huge Top Chef fans and Josh had just made this dish 2 weeks ago on the show. I couldn't pass it up. Both were superb. But the Torchon was a bit skimpy even for an appetizer.

For Main course, she had the Farro Risotto with an assortment of squash, walnuts and Escarole. It was OK. The Farro was really just Farro, I don't know what made it a Risotto. It wasn't creamy and didn't pool nicely the way a real Risotto should. I had the Duck Breast and Chick Pea Crepe. There was Delicious crispy skin duck breast, and a stellar confit wrapped in the crepe. Pure heaven.

For dessert we split the Ricotta Doughnuts and the Chocolate parade. The doughnuts alone were worth the whole trip. Light, just the right amount of sugar, deep fried perfection served with huckleberry jam to drag them through. The Chocolate parade was delicious but, not unlike any assortment of fine chocolates and nothing overtly memorable jumps out half a week later as I write this.

The atmosphere and decor are lovely, and quirky. I kind of felt like I was in Uncle Owen and Aunt Berus house back on Tattooine. Whitewashed walls and exposed wooden plank ceilings, mixed in with a bunch of farm/garden bricabrac. But it worked. Kind of a modern meets rustic thing.

The service was fantastic from both the bar staff and the waiter.

My only gripe is the same one I have about every Steven Starr restaurant. The place is just too noisy. I love all of them for different reasons but he really needs to address the acoustics in these places. The Continental is loud. Buddakan is louder. El Vez is Fiesta level loud, but you can get into one of those big round booths and shut some of it out. Talula's is obnoxiously loud. We sat in the last row of seats before the elevated dining area, we were sitting maybe 3 feet away from each other and we had to struggle to talk to each other. Not very romantic. My throat was actually sore from shouting, and my ears were mildly ringing when I got home.

Great Meal, but I don't know if I'd go back.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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507 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“We enjoyed it Not the run of the mill. Would like to return”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Four of us went Jan 4 2013 . We wanted a fine dining experience. Most of the fine restaurants are closed this week in the area, but we searched ratings and tried Talula's. Nice place, kind of eclectic.
Small bar area. Dining area was nice, and seemed roomy. Food is local and emphasis on organic. Plenty of choices.
They havea really nice garden area that would be very nice to sit in the nicer weather

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Superb (as always!)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

My third dinner here, and it was superb! Extra nice because we got a great table, just as I had requested in my phone reservation. The interior space is really lovely and if you have a view of the beautiful garden, all the better. They took great care to ensuring my vegan meal was pleasing. From the bread basket, through the amazing beet soup, farro risotto and sorbet finish, it was all just delicious. My dining partner is also a foodie who enjoys some of the best restaurants in town and on the Main Line; she loved her appetizer (kale cavatelli), brisket entree, and goat cheesecake dessert. Our server was attentive and friendly, and all the staff ensured we received prompt, courteous service yet never rushed. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Definitely! Support area farmers in the process, a good thing.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Extraordinary”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

A real destination/celebration restaurant. The service was outstanding...our server very knowledgeable about both food and drink. My wife had a luscious brisket that fell apart at the touch of the fork, done in an exquisite wine sauce. I had an appetizer size scallop dish with buttery noodles accompanied by two sides-brussels sprouts and an unbelievable dish of roasted mushrooms (four kinds). The bread was equally good. Finally, the Parade of Chocolate was wonderful (four different little concoctions we shared-our deference to moderation), made even better due to the complementary lemon petit fours. It was not inexpensive, but it was one of those places that you remark that the food at least was equal to the price. I should add that the setting is quite elegant too. Finally if the reader has not been to a sister place, Talulah's Table in Kennett Square Pa. that's a treat also. We've only been for lunch...a sort of fantastic deli experience, selecting and grazing on a variety of prepared foods...hard to describe but very good...make a day of it at Longwood Gardens, Talulah's at lunch then Catherine's Restaurant for dinner in Unionville Pa, a few miles away...all the places less than a ten minute drive from one another. Final little note underlining how good the "Table" is...they also have one seating a night for a meal that costs $125 per person for which reservations are only available one year to the day in advance and there is only one party of eight-twelve seated each night. We've not been but I suspect it is pretty incredible.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Unhurried (a tad too unhurried) service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

The quality of ingredients used is superlative. The breads with the garlicy butter was out of this world. Very few choices for vegetarians, we ended up ordering the sides for the two vegetarians in our group.

The lamb was awesome, but the portion was just too small.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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