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“A Superb Italian/Meditteranean Restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Branzino Italian Ristorante

Branzino Italian Ristorante
261 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (City Center West)
(215) 790-0103
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Ranked #916 of 3,786 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: City Center West
Cross street: Between Locust & Spruce
Alexandria, Virginia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A Superb Italian/Meditteranean Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Branzino is a a super restaurant where we enjoyed an exceptional meal & quick service. Its a very popular spot so reservations are a must. Saturday night the line out the door testifies to its popularity. Their menu is varied and reflects an eclectic choice of offerings from meat to fresh fish. You won't find the usual Veal Parmigian or spaghetti which was a refreshing difference.

The four of us thoroughly enjoyed all our selections. BYOB is in effect and surprisingly, they did not levy a corkage fee which was a real bonus compared to many other area restaurants at this level. We would return again without hesitation.

Visited January 2013
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85 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Chester, Pennsylvania
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Good food; excellent service; great BYOB”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

We recently ate at Branzino for our third time - 6 of us celebrating a birthday. Service was great - very personal, efficient and attentive without being pushy or intrusive. Everyone enjoyed their meals - although I had the winner of the evening with an incredibly delicious venison dish - perfectly done and tender; with a superb port reduction. Prices are reasonable; we've been seated in the front, side, and back rooms. Side and back would be our choices.

  • Visited January 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Extremely Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We decided to take our family out for dinner on Christmas Eve and then go to late services. We chose Branzino due to the location and some good reviews. It was awful. While the food was good, it was delivered to the table piecemeal, so that some had their dinner in front of them and others didn't. Our waiter was so inept that we spoke to the manager about him. They ended up adjusting the bill, we left almost no tip and will never go again. Christmas Eve ruined.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Philadelphia, Pa
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Love! Our fav byob to go to!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

My husband and I LOVE going out to eat, especially in Philly. Branzino is a fantastic Byob restaurant in Rittenhouse Square. It's not your typical byob...it's got a HUGE menu and it's very roomy inside. They have a number of seating rooms. We like the back room. Spacious. If you want a really romantic dinner with less noise, get a seat in the front room, near the windows to look out onto Rittenhouse.

Been there maybe six times, and we've never been disappointed. Great prices, thanks to being a byob, I'm sure! They do validate parking at the close Patriot Parking lot. You should spend about $10 on parking on a weekend night! Great for the city.

Can't really go wrong with what you order. Appetizers we love: Buffalo Mozzarella & Tomato, Mussels, Calamari, Crab Cakes, and ANY salad but especially the Arugula salda
Pasta: "Tagliatelle Nero" squid ink tagliatelle sauteed with shrimp, sea scallops, roasted peppers in a garlic, light spicy marinara sauce is TO DIE FOR. Love. "Farfalle E Scampi" bow tie pasta sauteed in extra virgin olive oil with shrimp crab meat in a light brandy cream sauce with a touch of tomato is another favorite.
The Veal dishes are fantastic. My husband's favorite is the "Scaloppine Sorrento" tender veal topped with eggplant, imported prosciutto, fontina cheese in white wine and fresh herbs. Seafood: my favorite dish is the "Gamberoni Alla Spiedo" grilled jumbo shrimp and scallops on a bed of arugula with chopped tomatoes and mushrooms and a lemon drizzle.
Desserts! Oh boy. Tiramisu! Flan. Ricotta Cheesecake. YUM.
Overall, it's a must try in Philly!

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Dependable, Reasonable, Interesting”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

We try to get to Branzino a few times during the year. There have been some positive changes made. The space is larger, the menu smaller and in this case smaller is better.
The online menu is not correct, it is the old menu.
In reading the new menu I thought there must be a new chef, but no, same chef but his food made more interesting, more modern.
Seven of us dined on Christmas Eve and each dish from appetizer to entree to desert was delicious.
I had a refreshing and healthy lentil salad with red onions and beets, simple but good followed by a lamb shank which was rich and decadent on a bed of creamy polenta.
Others in the party had Veal, Lamb tongue, Gnocchi, Seafood Pasta, and an assortment of appetizers. All of this received mmmm...this is good have a taste type reactions.
Everything I tasted was delicious.
The service by Kayla was excepttional and I noticed there were some other staff who were making sure water was filled, plates cleared, etc. all of the service was helpful and not imposing.

The rooms have moderate noise. We found it easy to talk, laugh and have fun. It is byob and Kayla made sure our glasses were always just where we wanted them, filled.

This is a grown up restaurant and probably would not be appreciated by children although more sophisticated teens might enjoy the experience.

Large groups can be made welcome as well as a romantic couple.

For the seven of us with three courses including tip was about $310.

Every restaurant has ups and downs,sure,some nights just don't work, but I am pretty sure you can depend on having a very good experience at Branzino. I am looking forward to trying more foods on the new menu.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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