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“Worst Service Experience Ever”
Review of Fountain Restaurant - CLOSED

Fountain Restaurant
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions, Scenic view, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Benjamin Franklin Parkway & 18th
Description: Fountain Restaurant has earned national acclaim as Philadelphia's most renowned restaurants. Imaginative and impeccable cuisine is served in a warm atmosphere that features a view of the stunning Swann Memorial Fountain in the Parkway Museums District. Breakfast and lunch are served daily. Fountain Restaurant is widely considered one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia, having been rated the number one restaurant in Philadelphia by Zagat Survey, and receiving top honours from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine and Bon Appetit.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Worst Service Experience Ever”
Reviewed March 9, 2014

I had previously been very impressed with the food and overall experience at the Fountain. I had gone several times for dinner with my company, and we really considered it a special place. I was very excited to bring my fiancee for a special dinner. Unfortunately, it did not go well.

We first arrived at the Swan Lounge to get a cocktail before dinner. We looked around for a table to sit at. A server approached us and asked if we were looking for seats and said, "you can sit at one of the DIRTY TABLES," and he would clean it off for us. ... we are not snobs by any means, but it did not really sing 4-star restaurant to us.

In any event, we went to dinner and were seated in what appeared to be a comfy corner booth. A comfy corner booth with STAINED cushions. Gross. Okay.

Our server offered us water and handed us dinner menus. We ordered food, and my fiancee asked to see a drink menu. Sure, no problem. Server disappears. Our appetizers arrived, but no one asks if we would like to order a drink. Servers are standing around at the desk, not really doing much. We wait. 20 minutes go by. Finally, my fiancee flags down our server and asks him if we could order drinks.

Our server walks by several times, looks at our table, but he does not clear our plates. Understandably, it is probably not his job to do that. But, he did not check in with us either!

Empty unused wine glasses are left on our table until another server notices them and removes them somewhere in the middle of our meal.

We were not offered a second drink.

It does not feel like a special place when people who are serving the lounge are constantly streaming through the dining room. It is like a thoroughfare for the bar. No intimacy.

Truthfully, the beef tenderloin we ordered was incredibly delicious and cooked exactly how we ordered it. BUT, the service was so bad, it tainted the special night for us.

I saw a 49% discount on TravelZoo for the Fountain Restaurant, and I did wonder about that. Maybe they are not doing so well anymore. Could it be because of the bad service?

Bottom line is, I would never spend $220 here. You did not feel like you were at a 4-star restaurant and the special Four Seasons. You could have been at any crappy hotel bar and received better service.

And, hit those cushions with a steam cleaner.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank rachelinaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

184 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Heidelberg, Germany
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Don't Touch the Wine List”
Reviewed February 15, 2014

Booked a Valentine's Day lunch table at the Fountain restaurant after learning the Philadelphia restaurant critic from the Inquirer gave it 4 stars. The staff at the Four Seasons was extremely polite and helpful upon entering the hotel. The restaurant was full and we had a table on the window overlooking Logan Square. The wait staff wears something akin to brown pajamas which was a bit distracting. The lunch menu is limited but we expected it would not be as varied as the dinner menu. We made our food selection and the waiter asked if we wanted the wine list. He brought an iPad that had a screen covered in the grease and hand prints of the previous 100 diners. In case the management has not been advised, touch screen devices are dirtier than public toilets. It may look cool but it is definitely a disincentive to eat. We ordered generic wine by the glass rather than swipe our way through the wine list. My sword fish was over-cooked (dry and tough) but otherwise the salad and dessert were good. Not worth the money but we have yet to find a restaurant in the US that is.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank DLbovinecity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
78 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“New year's package an enormous disappointment!”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Based on a previous "over the top" dining experience at this restaurant we were thrilled to book the Four Seasons New Years' package which included accomodations,dinner and entertainment.

Our expectations upon booking this evening were based upon the lovely intimacy, stellar food and service offered by the Fountain Room in the past. What a disappointment to find that exceptional standards were replaced by mediocre food and service.

The menu was a 5 course tasting that appeared to be creative and seemed appetizing but only the first course was satisfactory -the subsequent dishes ranged from mediocre to inedible. To make matters worse, the time between courses was interminable..we waited at least 30 minutes after each "tasting" plate was cleared to receive the next plate. I enjoy leisurely dining but timing is everything- having to wait so long for each round of food was tiresome, particularly since we did not enjoy the few bites that were being offered.

It is rather disconcerting to watch numerous servers coming and going from the kitchen at the same time with huge trays laden with numerous plates and rushing to drop them off at every table.
It was as bad as a " rubber chicken " meal served at a banquet fundraiser in a lesser quality hotel and it appeared that a "drop and run strategy" was employed by the waitstaff who failed to ask about the food or comment about plates that were barely touched.

At evenings' end we were presented with a check for $500 for the dinner portion (without wine) and an automatic gratuity of 20% on the total of 625.00. We were aware that our "package " included the dinner but were blown away by the dinner assessment at $500.00, and in our case, $625.00 because of an average bottle of wine we consumed over the 3 hour dinner.

In short, the evening was a HUGE disappointment....we felt as if we could have dined anywhere and had a much more enjoyable evening. The Four Seasons cannot possibly believe that a mass-produced banquet is reflective of their brand and then insult their customer with a $500 valuation for its product.

We commented at check-out the next morning about our dissatisfaction and followed up with an email to management but have heard nothing from anyone. Disappointing!!!!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank colgalEnglewoodCo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
1,930 reviews
704 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2,268 helpful votes
“Years ago it was five points...”
Reviewed January 25, 2014

For our family it was always a legendary fine quality place to dine. We had a few dinners here, many brunches and always enjoyed the superb quality of service and food itself. It is still good but not as high quality, only prices did not go down. Service is average and the food good. Maybe I would judge it differently if not for the awareness of their prior quality and the amount of money they make you pay at the conclusion of this experience.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank podrozniczka60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere and mediocre food.”
Reviewed January 6, 2014

A breakfast get together with an out of town friend for the Holidays was a bit embarrassing. The restaurant did not reflect the prestigious Fountain Restaurant of years of reliability and excellence. The food was mediocre, the service was forced but the prices still reflective of a fine dining experience. Not worth the visit.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Deby R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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