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French, American, Contemporary
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Reviews (143)
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Traveler rating
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All reviews course tasting menu caviar salmon own wine dish cuisine
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

First off, the picture here of Laurel is an old pic of the dining room. The dining room has been transformed into a dining space you really don't want to leave. They did a magnificent job, not that the old space was bad. THIS is...more. It seems that any establishment associated with Chef Nick Elmi must have the nicest and most informed waitstaff around. The staff is there when you want them and not there when you don't. I think they have special radar. Anyway, not our first rodeo here and certainly not the last. Love the seasonal changes to the menu drive by local availability. Whether it's drinks and small plates or small plates and entrees, everything that comes out of the kitchen is beautifully presented and delicious. For this visit, we rolled the dice and did not make reservations. We actually wanted to sit in the bar area and wound up sitting at the window (Perfect). On this night, a Chef's Tasting Menu was offered and that's what we decided to do. Again on this night, we loved everything, every course. Can't wait to return. Love to gather up 6-8 people in order to reserve the Garden Table out back of the kitchen in season. It is quiet and beautiful.More

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This was our first time at Laurel. It was an amazing experience. Service was friendly, attentive but not intrusive. And the food! Chef does something special with every dish but his treatment of vegetables was exceptional. I would gladly eat the orange salad and his...roasted oyster mushrooms every meal! But really, everything was terrific including the apple butter and vanilla ice cream dessert - salty, sweet, warm, cold...yum.More

Date of visit: April 2024
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Reviewed March 7, 2024

First of all the picture here on the TripAdvisor page of the restaurant is dated. It is how the dining room looked before it was completely renovated last year. It was nice before, but now, you just don't want to leave. You can make reservations...for Laurel's Dining Room or walk-in for bar and high top window seating. Either way, you'll be happy. On this visit for Valentine's Day, it was last minute and we were fortunate in sitting at the front window, watching as folks rolled into Laurel via Uber. On this night, a tasting menu was offered and we decided to go for it, leaving it to the discretion of the Chef. Everything was wonderful that came out of the kitchen. Each course better than the previous one. On this rare night I enjoyed 5 drinks. I don't usually do that, but the cocktail I first had ("BACK IN MY DAY") was so good I had two more. A glass of red with the courses, finishing up with a dessert cocktail. When tasting menus are not offered, there is plenty at Laurel from which to choose. There are small plate offerings a a small number of larger entrees. Either way it works. What I love here is the professionalism and genuine warmth exhibited by the staff. They are a well oiled machine. They offer attentive service without encroaching upon your "dance space". Laurel is a neighborhood gem where you could just pop in for a couple of drinks or glasses of wine with some small plates and be happy as a clam. Enjoy.More

Date of visit: February 2024
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Reviewed March 3, 2024

We tried about 12 things on the menu, plus dessert. Dessert wasn't anything special but everything else was delicious. Carabiner, scallops, wagyu beef, and boquerones were my favorites.

Date of visit: March 2024
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Reviewed January 26, 2024 via mobile

The ambiance was pleasant, though the music didn't feel appropriate to it. Servers and staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and timely. We felt welcome, and were not rushed. The menu/ food was mixed in my opinion. Some things were quite tasty; some just seemed over-wrought. Maybe...there's a reason you've never heard of certain ingredients together. The whole experience of shared plates and various tastes was fun. However, I feel it was over-priced. Glad for the experience but not likely to repeat it any time soon.More

Date of visit: January 2024
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Reviewed December 30, 2023 via mobile

Delicious! Dishes are intended to be shared and we enjoyed Gnocchi, Wagyu Beef, Tuna, Celery Salad, Eggplant, Duck, and Boquerones — each excellent. Duck and Beef both very tender.

Date of visit: December 2023
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Reviewed November 4, 2023

First of all, do not pay attention to the picture displayed here of the old dining room arrangement. The dining room looks nothing this, having undergone a fairly recent metamorphosis. Now, it borders on spectacular. Enhancements have also been made at Chef Elmi's space next...door, formerly called ITV Bistro & Wine Bar. It remains accessible via a pass through door from the dining room. It now serves as an extension of the Laurel dining experience, welcoming a faithful walk-in trade. I made reservations on Resy, which you can make for the dining room. You can also add a note requesting seating in the bar, banquette area, or window high top seating. Now the food; Laurel used to be all Chef's Tasting Menu but now you have ala carte choices which include small plate offerings as well. From being warmly welcomed into Laurel, throughout service, the people just can't do enough for you, but they are not in your face. They just know when to approach the table and when not to. There is nothing pretentious about Laurel. It is simply exquisitely prepared food, with a great amount of attention to detail. It took me awhile to even look at the menu, as I could not believe the transformation that happened with the dining room from how it looked prior, to what it has become now. Amazing and eye candy fit the description. Our food choices last night ranged from fresh oysters on the half shell, to a beautiful Hamachi Crudo, to Parisian Gnocchi, to something I thought rather bizarre, a Celery Salad. It sort of looked like section of celery stalk, but they had an appearance of having been marinated. The celery was served with hazelnuts, dates, and topped with a generous amount of ricotta salata. It was magnificent!!! We followed with a special entree of the night, which was a slightly peppercorned breast of duck, sliced and dressed with a beautiful plum sauce glaze. My wife and I finished our meal with two the three in-house made desserts and they were to die for. I did enjoy a glass of a French Pinot Noir which paired perfectly with the duck. Laurel offers a wonderful variety of cocktails, wines, and beer. There's something for everybody at Laurel and it starts with the staff, the ambience and the talents in the kitchen. Thank you Laurel, for such a great experience. Oh Yea; in season and nice nights they offer a Chef's Table in the little garden out back of the kitchen. Sweet it is. Cheers!!!!More

Date of visit: November 2023
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Reviewed October 7, 2023 via mobile

Food was phenomenal and service matched! Best scallop dish in Philadelphia and gnocchi better than Fiorella or Vetri.

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed August 3, 2023

I dined with friends at Laurel in Aug 2023. It was the most wonderful and unique experience I've had. The food was delicious, the service was excellent and the ambience was inviting. It was the perfect dining experience and I highly recommend Laurel to Philly...natives and well as visitors.More

Date of visit: August 2023
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Reviewed August 3, 2023

We had a fabulous dinner tonight at Laurel. I Love the new decor and the private garden out back is perfect for a small group. Highly recommend this restaurant. You simply "Must" try this place.

Date of visit: August 2023
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Reviewed December 11, 2022 via mobile

Amazing tasting menu. Outstanding service. Diligently accommodated food restrictions. They provided a special complimentary additional dessert for birthday celebration. We brought our wine. They charge a $25 corkage fee. Very fair. Great experience. See tasting menu and our wine selection attached.

Date of visit: December 2022
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Reviewed March 20, 2022 via mobile

We went here for a 70th birthday celebration. We were 10 adults and did the 6 course tasting menu. Everything was superb from the sous vide salmon to the home made ice cream dessert dish. A special shout out to the caviar dish, the pheasant...sausage dish, and the lamb. We did bring our own wine. This is a small restaurant but the 10 of us fit comfortably at the back of the inviting dining area. Service was cheerful and efficient. Not an inexpensive evening but well worth it.More

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed March 5, 2022 via mobile

10/5 review. Absolutely mind blowing. An absolute must, Kate is extremely professional and knowledgeable. Unlike any cuisine we’ve had before, we love tastings. Y’all gotta try it.

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed December 5, 2021

We wanted to love Laurel. We really did. And we aren’t all that picky and we’re easy guests. The service was lovely; there is nothing at all to fault the staff for - and the cocktails were excellent. But for the price, the prix fixe...menu, even with the added wagyu beef (which was really fatty and weirdly not delicious), was simply awkward. The most interesting item may have been the first one - caviar with brioche, but these were tiny portions… the salmon and monkfish were ok - but not anything one couldn’t get for much less elsewhere. (My partner dislikes salmon, so the “mystery” of the menu turned out to mean that he didn’t eat one of the more substantial components of the meal. It would have been nice to know that was part of the menu.) Small courses are fine and understood, but these were two bites, maximum, in huge bowls that just emphasized that, yes, this is a tiny amount of food. The dessert was also kind of ok - basically a chocolate pudding with a little bit of ice cream on it. But taken together, the courses might make nice Instagram photos, but if we’re honest, they weren’t remarkable separately, and nor was there any coherence between them. At the end, we weren’t even sure what the meal was meant to be. (For a comparison of a high end prix fixe that works beautifully, see the remarkable Hiroki.) I don’t ordinarily write negative reviews, but in this case I feel the restaurant may be losing what obviously made it special - and at this price level, a place has to be special to survive in the long-term. And for my birthday dinner, in the end, though we’d looked forward to this, it just didn’t deliver. That said - if there’s a menu that makes more sense and some items that actually satisfy and anchor the string of dishes, the service is good enough that it might be worth another try.More

Date of visit: December 2021
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Reviewed November 23, 2021 via mobile

Laurel has been on my bucket list for years. I was so excited to finally snag a rezzie for my birthday dinner. Unfortunately…the meal was just average. The wine pairings were just meh. In fact, the cider was so not my taste, I had one...sip and didn’t drink the rest. The server just responded saying “that’s the best part about a tasting, it’s on the smaller side”. The egg cup caviar dish was AMAZING. And the veal was to die for. But everything else (including the truffle gnocchi) was just average. And the flaming bird nest served with the chicken sausage filled the restaurant with so much smoke that it actually hurt my eyes. I’m glad I tried it so I can check it off my list, but I’m in no hurry to go back.More

Date of visit: November 2021
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Laurel, Philadelphia - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Laurel

Laurel is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5