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“Terribly overrated, pretentious, bland food” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Talula's Garden

Talula's Garden
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Ranked #7 of 4,318 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, After-hours, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 7th between Walnut and Locust
Description: Behind the wrought iron gate, past the herbaceous patio and through the atrium is Talula's Garden, the warm and elegant Washington Square eatery from Aimee Olexy and Starr Restaurants. The modern menu, prepared with carefully-sourced ingredients and a light European touch, changes with the seasons. The artful cuisine, hospitable staff, sustainable spirits, and a focus on cheese make the dining experience here incredibly memorable.
Hamilton, NJ
Level Contributor
547 reviews
329 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 566 helpful votes
“Terribly overrated, pretentious, bland food”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2014

The year is 2014. It is not enough to advertise a restaurant as supporting local farmers; everyone and their mother does it nowadays. It is not enough to place Alice Waters' quotes on the walls. One 'small' detail has to be in place - good food and good service. Talula's Garden lacks both. Chef Jose Garces knows how to do it right. Chef Kevin Sbraga knows how to do it right. Chef Michael Solomonov knows how to do it right. Talula's team does not. It is unjustifiably overpriced. The food is boring, bland, and simply sub-quality. The service is unprofessional if thinly disguised. As one of other reviewers noted, 'Emperor's New Clothes' indeed. Talula's Garden claims to be an haute-cuisine establishment but it is not. One is left with an undeniable feeling of a not-so-cunningly perpetuated scam.
Avoid.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
6 Thank RGSOUNDF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
PA
Level Contributor
235 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“Please do some noise abatement”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2014

We had been here for dinner months ago and had a pretty good experience, so we decided to take our good friends here for brunch. The experience, service wise, was good. Jennifer, the manager was, as always amazing. Please don't let her get away.
Sadly, I have the same comments on the noise level that I did for dinner, but even more so. It is impossible to carry on an intelligent conversation here. There truly needs to be some noise abatement done here. A nice buzz is one thing, but the noise is truly deafening and people of a certain age -- i.e. people with money -- will not frequent a place where the ambient noise precludes hearing one's dining partners. I guess if one is surfing the net, it does not make any difference, but if you're trying to talk -- forget it. We skipped dessert and went home for ice cream because it just got too uncomfortable to try to chat.
What I find interesting is that the research shows that noise is aversive at certain decibels and the food rating goes down accordingly. So why make restaurants so loud?
Our food was not particularly memorable this time, although our dinner several years ago was good. The trout was fresh and the hamburgers were fine. The hollandaise sauce for the eggs was
mediocre and the toast was just OK. I was disappointed in this visit, except for the wonderful Jennifer.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank wandaMPa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
philadelphia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Followers of Aimee since Django Days....”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2014

We have loved all of our experiences at everyone of her restaurants...the creativity i cooking and atmosphere is AMAZING.......
We choose

this restaurant for our celebrations and business engagements..
BUT...this is our second experience with very POOR SERVICE....I was so embarrassed in front of my guests that I actually removed myself during the experience to speak to the manager...
I am assuming she attempted to,intervene...but no change..our waiter was very knowledgable
But very inattentive..The ultimate WAS...he served us a complimentary dessert that then appeared on the check...that was the END..Please have these servers go thru the SStarr training
AGAIN..so the service matches the ambiance and excellent food.

  • Visited August 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank sheriPhiladelphia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Graduation Dinner”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2014

The food was incredible, the ambiance to die for, but the staff made it all worthwhile. I have food allergies and the servers went above and beyond to assure me that my food was nut-free. They also kept congratulating my friend on her graduation and wrote congratulations on her dessert plate! Excellent touch. I was initially sad that we would not be able to enjoy the garden because of the weather, but by the end of the night I had totally forgotten thanks to the incredible staff.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great food and atmosphere”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2014

What an awesome location on Washington Square; the garden was truly a wonderful setting for a great dinner experience. We had the Foie Gras Mousse; Beef Tartare; Veal Agnolotti and a dinner special of PEI Mussels with fresh made pasta in a saffron tomato broth. Really great service and a memorable experience. You'll love it if you're a foodie - great, fresh flavors

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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