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“Exceeded our High Hopes”
Review of Sbraga

Sbraga
Ranked #186 of 4,388 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
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Exceeded our High Hopes”
Reviewed March 23, 2014

As good as it gets does not describe our dining experience at Sbraga.

So, my husband had made reservations for dinner using OpenTable and they were inadvertently cancelled by the restaurant. So, we called, but realized they weren't opening until 5, so I tweeted them-- the staff called back a few hours later and offered us a seat at the Chef's Counter. We were thrilled and I was impressed with how they reacted to the situation.

We arrived about 5-10 minutes early for our 8pm reservation. They offered us a seat at the bar while we waited for our seats at the Counter (There are only 6!). Our seats were ready with a minimum wait.

Service- AMAZING. Every person we encountered was courteous, well-informed, and offered exemplary service. In fact, sitting at the counter, you can tell dinner service is run like a well-orchestrated machine.

Experience- The Chef's Counter has to be the best seats in the house- I highly recommend everyone sit there if you can. Our end seats were next to the heat lamps so it started off a bit warm, but within 5 minutes I didn't notice it anymore. What I did notice was the detail that goes into each dish. PLUS, added bonus, Chef Kevin was in tonight so we got to see him in action.

Now the food- we had the spring 2014 menu with beverage pairings and were wow'ed. We are self-proclaimed foodies and Top Chef fans so we had high expectations. Sbraga exceeded them.

First course- I had the potato ceviche. It was a light and incredibly impactful in taste course that tasted like the best potato salad you ever had. My husband at the foie gras soup...OMG- it was rich and everything you think it would be, I couldn't get enough of it. There were these little crunchies in there...to die for. Plus it paired perfectly with the Gewurztraminer they paired it with.

Second Course- I had the escargot with gnocchi. The gnocchi was a little too al dente for my liking, but the overall flavor of the dish was good- once again, very rich, but since I only had a bite or two of soup, it was okay. My husband had the octopus- it was spicy with a great char. We both really enjoyed it.

Third Course- A Stand-out! My husband had the NY Strip Steak with Kale and 63 degree egg. The flavors were phenomenal-- The steak was a perfect medium rare, the kale and egg were so complimentary of each other. A true winner of a meal. But, the star was the Rigatoni with Lamb. The lamb was sprinkled over the top, almost like bacon bits, but tasted so great. I could not get enough. I was so full but wanted to finish my dish desperately.

4th Course/Dessert- We had the Coffee Cake (the coffee ice cream was delicious) and the key lime pie (perfectly tart). We didn't finish our desserts. Not because they weren't amazing but because we were so full!

This was an experience and evening fit for foodies and simply amazing. Needless to say we highly recommend Sbraga to everyone out there.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Erin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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224 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    150
    41
    25
    6
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Wonderful meal on Avenue of the Arts”
Reviewed March 22, 2014 via mobile

Sbraga is conveniently located in Philadelphia on South Broad Street, just steps from the Kimmel Center and a few blocks from the Academy of Music. The restaurant has a terrific fixed price menu, offering great options and a very nice list of wine and cocktails.

Every one of our four courses resulted in empty plates, as we thoroughly enjoyed the delicious flavors and ingredients, complemented by excellent service and an energetic atmosphere.

Our only disappointment of the evening came from the manager. When we asked if it would be possible to crank down the air conditioning, we were provided with an aggressive, assertive response. She left a bad taste in our mouths but we didn't let her ruin a nice evening.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank EasyTraveler2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sicklerville, New Jersey, United States
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
138 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Great Food, Great Service - A True 'Top Chef' Experience”
Reviewed March 15, 2014

In looking for a special restaurant to celebrate my spouse’s birthday, I decided to try Sbraga. I thought the menu looked interesting and there were definite dishes that I knew would appeal to us (the foie gras soup, for one example) and so I booked a reservation for the Chef’s Table.
We were seated promptly and Yuli our server was awesome. We sat at the Chef’s Table – or rather marble counter – was and is the best seat in the house; at least for us. We started with some great cocktails and some amazing large popover- gougères was the house bread. for my courses; I had the potato ceviche, clams and bucatini, the NY strip and the caramel coffee cake with coffee ice cream. My spouse had the foie gras soup (AH-MAY-ZING!), the octopus, NY strip and the cheese plate. We finished with sherry, ruby port and coffee. I loved every dish I had and tasted all of the other ones as well – and they were all very good. This is not food for the spice-weak or wary. Great savory, spicy, bold flavors but nothing overpowering that lingered. Great pops of flavor that quickly dissipated to allow you to enjoy the next set of flavors and textures.
Chef Sbraga was to our left all night and very attentive to every dish that went out to every diner. He came over to wish my spouse a happy birthday and we were also given a little birthday goodie bag with a copy of the night’s menu and a handmade treat from Chef Sbraga.
The four course menu for $49 is definitely reasonable for the food that you get, although my spouse felt the $15 extra upcharge for the NY Strip should have equated to a larger portion, but we didn’t leave hungry.
I would definitely recommend Sbraga and I can definitely say that we will be returning to try all of Chef Sbraga’s dishes. A Philadelphia gem and a true ‘Top Chef’.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Patrick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“One of the best meals I have ever had”
Reviewed March 5, 2014

Sbraga is one of those restaurants that you can go back to again and again and never repeat a dish, and enjoy every minute. The service was wonderful (the servers were very knowledgable about all the dishes) and the meal was one of the best I have ever had.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Linda O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dresher, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“great place for dinner”
Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

We went to Sbraga prior to a concert and were very happy with the timing, service and the food presented. The selections for us were excellent and I had the octopus with harissa which was excellent, I had a Temparanillo which to me goes with any dish, and to me complemented the flavors and spice of the octopus. My wife and I were impressed with all the dishes we had. Service was excellent and timely, not too fast, but just right to make it to the concert on time. I admit we like to eat European style where it can take at least 2 hours to eat a 3 course meal. For dessert we both ordered the key lime pie. I am not big on desserts, but this was exceptional and I would recommend it even if you are not usually a key lime pie fan.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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