Stateside recently was awarded the number one spot in Philadelphia Magazine's Top 50 Restaurants ranking, and we made reservations over a month in advance to see what the buzz was about. All I can tell you is what a complete and total disappointment. Out of curiosity, I had gone on their website the day of our reservation which was 3/16/13, to look over the menu. It looked promising. They made themselves out to be a whisky bar with an impressive selection of bourbon and rye, which they have. The first disappointment came when I asked the bartender for a recommendation, and he told me he had only had first hand knowledge of a few of what they carried. He did make a recommendation, and it was good, but one would expect a little more expertise in the area they are touting. When the rest of our party showed up, we sat down, and were given a 4" x 10" single sheet of paper with a total of maybe 8 items on it. We asked where was the menu we saw online, and were told that the chef had left, and they had a new chef, and this was his menu. We were also told that they were tapas sized to be shared. We placed a drink order, and since had a party of 5 we ordered everything on the menu except for the soup. We even doubled up on the duck, and oysters. What was sent out was the most ludicrously tiny portions I had ever seen. The aforementioned duck ($15.00) was approximately one quarter of one half of a duck breast, for a total of three minuscule slices. The beet dish was even more laughable at $9.00. It was literally one half of a radish sized beet in an oversized bowl. After 20 minuets and no drinks, I looked over and saw that the bar had exactly 3 people sitting there and two bartenders. We grabbed our waitress, and asked about our drinks, and her reply was that it was up to the bartenders. No apology, no "let me check on that" just some smug comment that set me on edge. The food, what little of it there was, was good, but what a complete and total rip off. Between our bar tab and food we were over $320.00 into this meal and all felt robbed. When asked, some of our table neighbors shared the same opinion. One even said this place sucks. I walked over to our waitress and asked if an owner or manager was in. She said no owner, but the manager was there. I asked to speak with him, and she just stared at me with a deer in the headlights look, and then stated, without even checking, that he was busy. I asked "too busy to speak with a customer" and was told yes. I walked back to my table really pissed off, when all of the sudden one of the bartenders appears and claims to be the manager. When we told him about our experience, he said there was nothing he could do since we had already paid. He just threw his business card on the table and said to call him next time we come in. What a fool. Did he really think there would ever be a next time?
We were all still so hungry that we walked down the street to Birra, and had an order of mussels, and two pizzas. Our bill there was $50.00 with drinks. The owner sat and talked with us, and what a difference. He was a guy that cared about his customers, and what they thought!
I am not one to complain, but I feel it is my responsibility to let others know what is going on at Stateside. Avoid it!!!