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“Excellence in Food and Wine”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Talula's Garden

Talula's Garden
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Ranked #7 of 4,339 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Brunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
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.
Cheltenham, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
39 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Excellence in Food and Wine”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 2, 2013 via mobile

Talula's Garden is one of the best restaurants I have ever experienced. The food is exceptional as is the service. Working on the road means dining out alone a lot and that can mean intermittent service. Talula's Garden always treats me like I am the most important diner in the restaurant. The food is so outstanding that I treat myself every time I am in Philadelphia. This is a must for any foodie! Wine pairing recommendations are flawless and a small dessert at the end is always perfect.

Helpful?
Thank Kathy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,042 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
91 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Upscale food with rustic decor.”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank StoneSouped
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“We enjoyed it Not the run of the mill. Would like to return”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jpsalci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
68 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Superb (as always!)”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JAFPhiladelphia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
131 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Extraordinary”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Groveland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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