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“Going back in time!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of City Tavern

City Tavern
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Ranked #13 of 4,318 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $30
Cuisines: Soups, American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Kids, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Families with children, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: City Center East
Cross street: 2 nd & Walnut Streets
Transit: The Market-Frankford "El" has a stop at 2nd and Market Streets as well as the 21 & 42 bus lines drops at our door
Description: Once called "the most genteel tavern in America" by John Adams and the first unofficial "White House," Chef Walter Staib's City Tavern has boasted the finest celebrations since 1773. With over 230 years of hospitality, City Tavern has been the centerpiece of affairs now immortalized in history. An evening at City Tavern is certain to be remembered. Just imagine sampling specialties, such as pepperpot soup, colonial turkey pot pie, roast duckling, Thomas Jefferson's sweet potato biscuits paired with ales the ales of the revolution made from George Washington & Benjamin Franklin's recipes -- all served by costumed wait staff. Watch an episode of A Taste of History on PBS, our Chef Proprietor Walter Staib will give you glimpse of what we do here at City Tavern.
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Going back in time!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2014

We were here for a birthday celebration. We had a party of 19. Our server, Dejuan, was amazing. He handled himself professionally and couldn't have been more attentive to us. The majority of the meals were delicious - I had the salmon which came with the best mashed potatoes and sauteed squash I've had in a long time! My daughter had the pepper pot soup to start and the turkey pot pie - she raved about both! We liked the fact that they didn't limit us to only a few choices with such a large party. We will definitely go back. It is a lovely restaurant, and everyone was so pleasant. It was a "walk back in time" for sure!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Cheryl K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Date | Rating
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English first
PORT ALLEGANY
Level Contributor
449 reviews
234 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“Not merely ambience, but great food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2014

Located in Old City, reminiscent of Williamsburg, with plank floors, pewter goblets, and costumed staff, we were surprised to discover the food surpassed even the décor. The chef has a PBS show and has appeared on Top Chef. Debating between roast duck, salmon, pork or beef pie, the waiter recommended the duck, which was wonderful - two legs and thighs, crispy yet tender with a fruit glaze, accompanied by savory mashed potatoes and a summer squash mélange herbed with basil. My husband enjoyed the most massive pork chop we have ever seen in all our 60 years, which was akin to a smoked ham, An assortment of Anadama and Sally Lunn breads and sweet potato biscuits arrived before the meal. We noticed other diners enjoying a four beer flight from Yards, inspired by colonial recipes.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank ANNAMARGARET B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manasquan, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great historical experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2014 via mobile

The service was great and the turkey pot pie was amazing. The Tavern warmer is a great starter drink and the molasses bread goes well with the drink. Highly recommend a trip.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank PJ G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Airy
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“historical excellence”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2014

I'm an avid viewer of taste of history and being at chef Staib's restaurant was wonderful. I highly recommend the lamb and Martha Washington's chocolate cake!

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Ed K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chestertown, Maryland
Level Contributor
62 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“An historic experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2014

We dined at City Tavern on Valentine's Day, 2014. First off, we were graciously greeted by each staff person encountered on our way into the dining room. Our dinner server was Jessie - who was happy to share many details of the Tavern's history with the confidence of a trained historian.
Our meal began with Jessie's recommendations for drinks and appetizers. All were exactly right for the occasion. We enjoyed the tasting sampler of historic ales produced from carefully researched old recipes, as well as a warming cider concoction with rum and brandy. We even enjoyed the water served in reproduction pewter goblets.
Appetizers were generously proportioned and a meal in themselves - fried oysters with remoulade, a platter of smoked trout and salmon with pumpernickle and condiments, and a hearty soup with barley. The soup was perfectly seasoned. I would return just for the smoked trout, even if the rest of our meal hadn't been superb.
Jessie suggested the Lobster Pot Pie as being among the most delicious and authentic of the menu's varied suggestions. She wasn't wrong. It had an abundance of lobster meat and shrimp and juicy mushrooms in a velvety sauce under a crisp cap of puff pastry. A side of asparagus complemented the pie perfectly. Jessie's promise that we'd find it a "generous portion" proved to be an understatement.
My companion's whole roasted duckling was crisp and shiny on the outside but moist and meaty within. It was served with a fruit chutney which was not only historically accurate, but also spot on as a couterpoint to te rick meat. The vegetable accompaniment was also done with a deft hand - potatoes plus a squash medley that was tender crisp and nicely seasoned with herbs.
The amiable mastermind behind City Tavern, Chef Walter Staib, visited the dining room as we were enjoying desserts that included creme brulee and a hot apple/cranberry crisp. Chef Staib has lived up to the trust placed in him by the National Park Service to run City Tavern as both a fine dining establishment and an authentic tribute to a site significant in America's early history. Attention to detail and historic accuracy is evident in the decor, the menu, the food itself, the servers' attire, and even the tableware.
After dining, you may also wish to purchase one of Chef Staib's cookbooks for sale on site. Back at home, I really enjoyed re-living the meal and the experience by reading about the recipes I'd just enjoyed and learning even more details about the Tavern's early days, its re-birth, and its place in our nation's history - all described in Chef Staib's book.
We will be returning to City Tavern not only to replay Revolutionary America, but also for a top notch dining experience that satisfies on every level.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelingDiner1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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