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“Stick to the cheese, cocktails, and dessert...Skip the rest.”
4 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: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Brunch, Late Night, 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.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Stick to the cheese, cocktails, and dessert...Skip the rest.”
Reviewed June 22, 2013

My wife and I tried Talulas for the first time tonight, after much anticipation. While the cheese, cocktails, and dessert were all superb (as well as the gorgeous outdoor space), we felt our appetizers and entrees left a lot to be desired. Especially given the price tag.

Lets start with the good. This place is gorgeous. On a mild summer evening, the garden seating on the edge of Washington Square cant be beat. The cheese is also notably awesome. We ordered the "World Traveler" and I had a hard time choosing favorites among the variety of stellar selections (all of which was made even better by the overview provided by our very knowledgeable server). Also awesome: the drinks. I had the "Treehugger", essentially a maple manhattan. I was afraid the maple was going to be too overpowering, but it was actually quite subtle and a nice complement to the booze. My wife had the "Painter" and the "Wanderer" and was wowed by them both. We both also loved our desserts: the "Best Bowl of Ice Cream Ever" and the ricotta doughnuts.

But all was not superb. While our appetizers (chicken liver parfait, watercress pesto) and entrees (crispy lamb shoulder confit, gnocchetti) were enjoyable, we felt as though all lacked proper seasoning. There was just something missing. I understand farm to table is all abut letting the fresh ingredients shine, but even the freshest of ingredients could benefit from a little zing in the seasoning department. If the bold, unique flavors of a restaurant like Zahav is what really gets you going, you may find Talulas appetizer and main offerings to be a bit too pedestrian.

To get the best from this place, try to steal a seat at the outside bar, order some drinks and cheese and enjoy the outdoor space. Don't bother dropping cash on anything else.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank JandC531
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Vineland, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not worth the hype.”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

The whole concept of farm to table is awesome, and maybe if I wasn't with such a large group my experience would have been better, but... Really, all that was excellent about this place was the atmosphere. The atmosphere is amazing and it is definately worth just going and having a cocktail; but the food portions are extremely tiny and the food itself is okay. It's not big city quality in my opinion, but the location is what will keep people coming back. We ordered the large cheese plate, and just beware, it is not that large (not a good group app in our opinion).

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Corrine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
104 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Excellent dining experience”
Reviewed June 12, 2013

We had early five o'clock rservations Sunday evening prior to the theater, thus, had the added pleasure of outdoor, garden seating! Service excellent by all staff members. Cheese board explained in detail! All four in our party positively satisfied with our meals, My friend whom ordered the Cod said it was the best fish dinner he had ever eaten! Three of us ordered the “Garden Bouillabaisse” with Roasted Scallops and Prawns, Shelled Mussels, Fresh Fish, Saffron-Citrus Broth, Pickled Okra, and Cherry Tomatoes! Great choice and taste! Marinated cucumber salad as small dish vegetable again outstanding as we ordered two to be shared by the four of us. And, save room for, or, at least share, dessert(s)!! Butterscotch puddling "out of this world."

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Nelson193
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
60 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Farm to table”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

A great spot for seasonal entrees. Food is really fresh and inventive. On a nice day great outside seating too.

Visited April 2013
Thank dubbs605
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
126 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Nice ambience below average food”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

Talula's is set in a lovely location in the square and boasts an outdoor area that looks stunning at night (when the fairy lights are on) and an interior with huge space that is accentuated by the ceiling height. The menu is intriguing and my expectations were high, so I ordered the pan roasted calamari as a starter and the lamb confit as a main. Boy was I disappointed. The calamari was limp and overwhelmed by a huge pile of soggy new potatoes. It was bland and inedible. The lamb was shredded and served on polenta mash struggling for air above a layer of melted lamb fat. The service was perfunctory and although they were very busy, there is never any excuse for staff who make you feel that they are doing you a favor by bringing your meal. In all it was a very disappointing experience. I don't recommend Talulas Garden. I am quite mystified at its rating and the positive comments I have read. Perhaps this was just one of those nights, but based on my experience I wouldn't eat here again.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Chris D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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