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“Sbraga takes pretentiousness to a new level”
Review of Sbraga

Sbraga
Ranked #226 of 4,506 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Pine Street
Reviewed November 27, 2012

The positives: the food was very tasty, the decor was warm and comfortable, the service was good. The negatives: over-priced (i.e., while not outrageously expensive, much of your dollar isn't making it to your plate and is probably being absorbed by overhead), and although the decor appears warm, the vibe is pretentious. The single highlight of the meal was the foie gras soup. It's one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. Beyond that, the other courses were not memorable. If someone else is picking up the tab, it's definitely worth a visit, if for nothing else than to sample that foie gras soup. If you don't mind spending your own funds to explore the latest trendy restaurants, then more power to ya'. Otherwise, there are many other places in Philly to dine that provide better value for your dollar and a more pleasurable dining experience.

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Thank George P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 - 201 of 224 reviews

Reviewed November 19, 2012

Went to Sbraga with another couple. We had a great evening. This is a fixed price 4-course menu; the options were diverse and all so flavorful. There were about 6 choices in each course, some with extra cost. It was hard to make a decision on what to order since each was so unique and flavorful. The dishes were beautifully presented; one of our group thought the servings were small, but none of us left hungry. My favorite plate was the pork belly 1st course; my least favorite was the apple crumble dessert (still good though). Parking is easily available in the area. Drinks and wine were expensive.

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Thank 1son2dogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Went to Sbraga while in Philly for a business trip. I heard about the restaurant via an article in Esquire Magazine, and had to see what the buzz was about. At $49 the set menu was fantastic (plenty of options, unique, flavorful). Everything I had was top notch from a food and service perspective, but I was caught off guard by the $16 mid grade bourbon charge.

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Thank moultonmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

This is the place to go if you are a foodie and don't mind dropping $100/person on dinner. The way to go is get the 4-course dinner with wine pairings, about $90/person. There are multiple choices for each course and try to get different things. The food is very inventive with a slant toward asian spicing. Very unique combinations. Portions are smallish but adequate. If you are a mangia type of eater you may be disappointed. Service is friendly, knowlegable, and professional. I thought the courses came out a bit too quickly so probably better to go on an off night where they aren't trying to flip tables so quickly. The setting is modern and noisy-their website should be checked before going-it is good and informative. This is a place for food-not a quiet romantic dinner.

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Thank sancarlosdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

We had been doing the Restaurant Week road show for the past couple of weeks and decided to try one off that route – perhaps a special place that might otherwise be hard to get into on a Friday night. We had just read that Sbraga was named by Esquire magazine as one of the best new restaurants in the country, so, we decided to give it a shot.

Overall, it did not disappoint. The food was very good, especially for the value at $49 per person. We asked our waiter what the signature dishes were from each part of the menu: we tried all three – fois gras soup, a blue fish dish with bok choy and apple and meatloaf in a hazelnut crust. The fois gras was soup was very tasty and not too rich (as we were worried it might be). The meatloaf was a big surprise; the flavors exploded in your mouth. The blue fish was good but the lesser of the three.

We ordered three other dishes: a shrimp bisque that had a crunchy popcorn added to it (butternut and tapioca), a pumpkin tortellini and a lamb dish with brussels sprouts and peanuts. The first two were the highlights. We opted not to do the wine pairing and opened with a nice but very light rose from Italy and finished with a firm red from the Cotes du Roussillon. This wine was a wonderful blend of Syrah and Grenache and may have had a bit of Carignan added. It was perfect with the meatloaf and the lamb – and was very nice with the tortellini as well.

For dessert, we had the rum raisin rice pudding and the birthday cake crumbs. We shared a glass of Rivesaltes – firm Grenache after dinner drink that was recommended to have with the pudding but went particularly well with the chocolate that was part of the birthday cake crumbs.

We were very pleased with the food experience and felt this was the best meal we had over the past two weeks (we’ve been to six different restaurants). But the service was a little spotty. Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the food and the recent changes to the menu. And he described the different wines we asked about perfectly. But there was a slowness in service that was surprising for a restaurant of this stature. Once we received our menus and a description of the different dishes, it took about 15 minutes for our waiter to return to take our order. It felt like nearly 30 minutes went by before we had the delicious bread delivered to our table. Getting our check took some extra effort as well.

Fix the service flaws and this is indeed a top newcomer. It’s worth a visit with even the service missteps we mention. But if they iron those out, this place is a real keeper for years to come.

Now, to the title of this review for a moment - David Bouley, like Ken Sbarga, is an American-born chef. Both prepare dishes that are breathtakingly beautiful when they arrive at the table. Both have that real sense of texture and and don't bombard you with too many flavors on the plate. And they don't try to trick you by serving appetizers, for example, that look like dessert. Bouley is more French inspired. Sbarga is more American cuisine (how many higher-end restaurants do you recall that serve meatloaf?) What brings them both together is their inventive approach to food that mixed complimentary tastes so well.

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Thank Ricky R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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