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  • Laurel

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Laurel Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.restaurantlaurel.com/
  • Email: info@restaurantlaurel.com
  • Phone: (215) 271-8299
  • Hours of Operation: Sunday: CLOSED
    Monday: CLOSED
    Tuesday-Thursday: 5:30PM-10:00PM
    Friday-Saturday: 5:30PM-11:00PM
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French, American
  • Executive Chef: Nicholas Elmi
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: No
  • Additional Details: BYO Liquor

Getting there

  • Cross Street: E. Passyunk & Tasker
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet available Friday and Saturday on East Passyunk Square where the Singing Fountain is located.

    $8 with validation.
A word from Laurel
An intimate French/American restaurant by Chef/Owner Nicholas Elmi.

Laurel will only be offering a 7 course tasting menu for $75/guest on the weekends (Fridays & Saturdays). Please note any allergies or dietary restrictions in your reservation allowing us to accommodate.

*Sample Tasting Menu can be viewed on our website
*Menu is subject to change to do availability and seasonal produce

The a la carte menu is still available during the week.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "We were a party of two, my daughter and I. We loved the quiet, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere of the dining room. We had the shredded scallops in an absolutely delicious and refreshing dressing. The gnocci with pancetta was amazing. Incredibly soft and light in what tasted like a very light buttery cheese sauce with crispy pancetta. I chose the walu and, my daughter, the pork. Great flavors and we didn't leave a morsel! The service was attentive and friendly. Chef Elmi brought out our desserts, the white chocolate pudding. The pudding was creamy and delicious. Chef Elmi is very personable. We had a delicious meal and already have reservations for a return visit, in July. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "fabulous experience. food and service were great, appreciate that chef Elmi ventures out into the dining room to meet guests, BYOB aspect really increases the quality to cost ratio. my wife raved about the roasted shrimp broth. my favorite dish was the foie gras terrine."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • ".the food met the (high) expectations. It was wonderfully spacious and they paid attention to noise levels (including ceiling dampers), so we could actually hear each other. The chef came out to mingle at the end, which I always think is awesome. The servers were knowledgeable and helpful. Of the dishes I would say the gnudi and the mackeral were off the hook. The cheeseplate at the end was unusally good as well. the only flaw was the service, which was slower than "relaxed pace." We had several long, dry, foodless waits, and a few times ended up pouring our own wine more to kill time than anything else. On the other hand, if thats what it takes to get high quality food by a high quality chef at a neighborhood style restaurant...I'm in."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "We enjoyed everything about our evening at Laurel. Every course was beautifully plated and equally delicious. Get the gnocchi, maybe get 2. The cheeses on the cheese plate dessert were well paired and I loved the citrus "curd" dessert. It was a very nice touch that Chef brought dessert to our table and asked how we enjoyed our meal. Our server was knowledgable, unobtrusive and incredible y polite and professional. I would eat there every week if I could get a reservation"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "I was very excited to taste what I've heard all about. I started with Foie Gras and Cocoa Terrine, Blood Orange, Candied Celery Root. For me it was a little too bitter with the cocoa, it overpowered the foie. But I ate it all. Wife had Albacore Tuna, Horseradish, Shallot, Asian Pear, Yogurt, AMAZING dish. wow,wow, wow. Next we both had Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi, Pancetta, Sourdough, Garlic. Fantastic dish. Entree, Berkshire Pork, White Asparagus, Hickory Nut Pesto, Citrus, Pumpernickel, another WOW!!. The other entree Niman Ranch Beef, Onions, Woodland Jewel Mushrooms, Merlot , WOW again. I only hope I can get a table for the tasting menu. The Service was great as well"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Excellent...would definitely recommend and go again."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "I treated myself to the best gift I have ever had. Each course was totally as sensational as the preceding course and I was in my glory. I started off with the Foie Gras and it was simply amazing. My 2nd course was the gnocchi and I swear it melted in my mouth even before it touched my lips - so light, so tasty, and so wonderful. And the sauce it was served with was just as sensational. The next dish I had was the beef entry and OMG was it good. I finished off my dining experience with the White Chocolate pudding and another OMG experience. . During my eating of this dish I was surprised to look up and see the Chef standing at my table. I found him both intense and humble. I should also mention that the service was impeccable."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Was it worth the 95-mile drive from Baltimore? Yes! Was it worthy of a birthday celebration and the start of a new decade? Without a doubt! To Chef Elmi and the staff at Laurel (which, coincidentally, happens to be the name of our only granddaughter), I join with my husband in expressing our deep gratitude and appreciation of a sublime dining experience. Between us, we ordered 8 different dishes, and each was not only a beautiful and creative presentation, but a delightful revelation of flavors and textures. This is exactly what cooking (and dining) should be about--an experience that goes so far beyond "just tasting good." I feel deeply privileged to have had this experience. What a wonderful birthday gift!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Best food in the city right now, hands down. Too bad it's so hard to get a reservation"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "By far the best food I have ever tasted! Nicholas Elmi has done something great with this small, intimate, yet welcoming environment."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "My Wife and I were really looking forward to eating at Laurel, the expectations were high, and Laurel delivered in all aspects of the night!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "My wife and I had a fantastic meal with excellent friendly service. My tuna tartare was the best tuna dish I have ever tasted and my wife's pate' which I shared as good as it gets.The gnocchi the best I have ever had! My wife's pork was presented three ways- belly, loin, and pulled. I sampled all and found all delicious. My beef was perfectly cooked&presented. We sampled two deserts and a cheese plate. All terrific. The cheese plate was as good as can be expected -a nice US Brie and Gruyere. The orange curd was creamy smooth citrus and cream. A superb meal prepared by a gifted chef, served by a friendly and energetic staff, in a very pleasant space. Definitely the best BYOB in town, probably in Pa and maybe the best restaurant value. Bravo!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "Laurel was great, as expected. The food was truly outstanding (for those who are unaware, Nicholas Elmi was this year's Top Chef winner), and the service was wonderful. It's definitely on the pricier side, so just be prepared - I'd make this a special occasion meal. But we felt it was well worth it."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "The gnocchi lived up to its Top Chef billing, pillowy, soft and delicious!"
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "Our party of 4 arrived early and were able to be seated immediately. We had the weekend tasting and we all had several proteins for the first time. The presentations were excellent and the food tasted great. Highlights, I think, were the poached albacore and foie gras but all the dishes were excellent. They served a dogfish, which was very different, more meaty than fishy, I think. We all liked it very much. Service was attentive but not intrusive."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Our experience at Laurel was flawless. From the service right down to the food was simply amazing. We had the tasting menu and every dish that evening was exceptional, the attention to detail and the execution were perfect. I really loved the personal touch when the chef coming out at the end of the meal and thanking us for coming. The restaurant is a little far to be a regular spot for us, but we will be coming back for special occasions."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Nick Elmi's Passyunk Ave. eatery is a delight, and worth the wait. It's comfortable and casual, and the staff make you feel right at home. Best part is having the tasting menu a "surprise" until a day or so before your reservation, and to be absolutely delighted with the inventiveness of the courses. Laurel delivers on the experience. If you want your palate to be totally entertained, visit Laurel, and visit often. A great place for date night. Book NOW."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We went on a Friday night and had the tasting menu. This was, hands down, the best meal we have ever had. The service was impeccable. Our waitress was able to describe each dish with enough detail to make our mouths water without giving away too much or telling us the dish's life story. Our water glasses were never empty and she poured the wine to pace us throughout the meal so as to have some with each course. Very polite, welcoming, and professional. The food was unbelievable but a description will not do it justice so I won't try. Everything we were given was the best version we have ever experienced and will be back as soon as we are able to. Nick Elmi (chef/owner) brought out and described our dessert which was a nice finishing touch."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Chef Elmi has created an amazing dining experience. From the food, to the staff, to the atmosphere, and the food again :) No detail is overlooked in each meal presentation. He manages to create the fine dining experience while making you feel like you're in his home kitchen. Highlights are the gnocchi and foie, and the pork was fantastic. Add the fact that this is a BYOB, this is a must visit if you are in Philadelphia, or worth the trip if you're not!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "This is a great little (22 seats) BYOB restaurant. The highlights of the meal that I shared with my wife were the foie gras and cocoa terrine (a mini meal in itself), the Spanish mackerel with jalapeno (the best mackerel dish I've ever had), the otherworldly gnocchi with crispy pancetta (prying from my sweeties hands was a challenge ;-) and the Niman Ranch beef (tender, barely medium rare goodness.) I'll be returning soon for my birthday, to have the other half of the menu, and can not wait. This place is a gem."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Amazing food. I will dream about the first two courses I had. The entrees left a bit to be desired; but the white chocolate pudding dessert will take your breath away. The service was great but felt a little rushed (we brought 2 bottles of wine and champagne; thus looking for a relaxed time). This is a must go to spot. Can't wait to be back!"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Food was creative and beautifully presented. The lightly cooked mackerel in a pungent mustard sauce was sublime. I never had mackerel quite like that -- made it a little less fishy. The meat was beautiful (a little potato with it would have been nice) - I think it was cooked for 24 hours at 140 degrees -- melted in ones mouth. My wife's pork dish looked succulent -- it was too good to share, and the cheese course was very nice. Two artisan cheeses from Vermont. We will be back."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "The food was out of this world. I have no words to express how beautiful the four courses were to taste and experience along with a bottle of merlot my friend brought. I went with two foodie friends of mine. We split every dish so we could taste everything. Although I must admit we only got one dessert b/c we all were full by the 4th course; the dessert was heavenly. Nicholas Elmi personally serving dessert to every table was the best touch I've ever seen during my dining tenure. He took the time out to ask us about our experience, how we liked the food, what food we didn't like (only one dish, but it was termed by my friend as "healthy" tasting hence why we didn't like it as much; we like rich flavors). A must for all foodies out there!"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We were looking forward to our dining experience at laurel, and it was worth the wait. The fish was cooked impeccably. It was handcrafted with other complimentary flavors. We did not like the deserts. There is room for improvement."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Laurel lived up to and far exceeded the lofty expectations my girlfriend and I had. The menu only had 11 choices between 4 courses, yet we somehow had a very difficult time making just two choices (to share). We went with the Foie Gras and the Scallops for a first course. Both dishes were unique and fantastic. We chose the Gnocchi as a second course, which did not disappoint. The 3rd course was the toughest decision, but we chose the Beef and the Walu. I'd never had Walu, but I highly recommend it. Overall, this was probably the best meal I've ever had. In addition, Nick came out to greet us at our table, along with the others. The server was very knowledgeable and made great recs. We immediately made their next available reservation."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Absolutely sensational! The albacore is tremendous and the pancetta gnocchi will leave you wanting more. I especially suggest going on Friday or Saturday for the tasting menu. Chef Elmi made sure to visit each table during our meal. Not only do I highly recommend it, I can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "What a wonderful BYOB Gem ! From the moment we walked in & greeted.. we knew we were about to experience a fabulous experience! The wait staff presented the menu and served the food very professionally. Every item on the diverse menu was spectacular~ Scallops, Foie gras terrine,tuna, gnocchi were all stand outs! Everything was delicious and beautifully presented! Cannot wait to return !!!"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Words can barely describe the level of excellence that was reached in all manners at Laurel Restaurant. Chef Nick Elmi and his team have perfected numerous dishes that make you crave another one of their meals before you have even left the building. Seeing Chef Nick's transformation over the years in the kitchen has made this journey all the more special for he has grown into one of the most innovative and precisely well-executed chefs in our area. Highly recommend the spanish mackerel, gnocchi, and...well who am I kidding I recommend everything on the menu! His heart and dedication to detail is seen through each of his dishes."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "We didn't have to wait three months for our table, but it would have been worth it. The tuna, foie gras, gnocchi and striped bass were outstanding. Make sure to bring a wine to go with both the foie gras and the wonderful lemon curd dessert!"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Having enjoyed his turn at Rittenhouse Tavern, I was delighted to celebrate Nick Elmi's Top Chef win and my birthday with 3 friends on Tuesday night. The wait staff recommends three courses plus dessert -- which seemed like too much food to me -- but hey, when in South Philly… Albacore Tuna followed by Charred Spanish Mackerel (which I liked as much as my friend's Ricotta Gnocchi), and Roasted Walu. Devine! Of course we made room for dessert (shared) and what a treat! Caramelized White Chocolate Pudding, Red Wine Currant, and Cocoa Nib served on the side (due to my chocolate allergy). I would go back for the dessert alone. This lovely dining experience was everything I could have hoped for and more -- long may Laurel wave!"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Everything about my Laurel experience was right on point. Inventive, delicious food, friendly and attentive staff, and a personal appearance from the chef. I'm incredibly thankful I went with my instincts and booked a reservation before the finale of Top Chef, and will definitely be back when reservations are once again available! It was worth every penny spent and then some. Do, do, DO check out this restaurant, folks!"
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "So this is the first review I've written on OpenTable. The reason is that Laurel is superb... waited a few months after making reservations, and was not disappointed. Was with two other people, and our overall impression was that not one dish disappointed--they all excelled in taste and presentation. Since we had four courses each (all different) that is really unusual. And while many fine restaurants don't excel in desserts, the white chocolate pudding at Laurel was amazing. What a great dinner--wish there weren't a three month wait until the next one!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "delicious food & wonderful presentation; personable staff...wish the size of the restaurant was a bit larger to accomodate additional guests...otherwise delightful experience"
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "Laurel is a must for all foodies. Beautiful small plates, elegantly done with with great care. Especially loved the tuna appetizer and fois gras, actually more a pate. The gnocchi is delicious, although almost too light. Shrimp broth with mushrooms, very good. As for main entrees, we had the walu and poulet. My dining companion said it was the best piece of fish he ever had. My only complaint, it felt a little rushed. Dishes come out fast, which I understand. It's very small, and quick turnovers are needed. Also, fairly noisy. But, if you're in Philly, and can score a reservation, GO!"
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "The decor is fantastic and very lovely. The menu is elegant and beautifully plated. The foie gras was a little heavy and did not have much refinement. The tuna was excellent and an instant favorite. The pork was moist and tender, but did not have a lot of depth of flavor. I thought it was good, but saw such the high ratings on Yelp and Open Table and expected the place to be amazing. Unfortunately, it did not blow my mind, but maybe I hyped it up so much. Still very good restaurant and great for the price! I do recommend it."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Laurel moves immediately into the Top 5 restaurants in Philly. We had the 7 course tasting menu which included a good amount of the items you read so much about (gnocchi, tuna, foie gras, trout, etc) and a special wagyu beef entree that was out of this world. The desserts were unique so I can see why some may not have enjoyed as much. That said it is hard for me to praise the chef for 6 courses of amazing food, and then bash him because my stupid palate would have really enjoyed a slice of cheesecake to top it all off. I would recommend everyone go as soon as possible but the fact is you can't. They are already booked until June, so I'll tell you to stalk their twitter feed @LaurelEPX instead in hopes of a cancellation. Good Luck!"
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "We had one of the most amazing meals ever and we go to fantastic places in Philly and NYC. Laurel was as beautiful inside as the presentation was on the plate. Service was top notch and every wait staff was professional and friendly. I had the Berkshire Pork. It was the best pork dish I have ever eaten. The riciotta gnocchi were fabulous and melted in your mouth. Cheese plate was wonderful for dessert."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Food was phenomenal! Only the tasting menu was offered and the staff perfectly made accommodations in regard to me not being a meat eater!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "My wife and I ate at Laurel last night (3/1/14) and had been anticipating this meal since hearing about Laurel a few months ago. We are both avid Top Chef fans and were cheering Chef Nicholas on along the way. We both had a 7-course chef's tasting menu that was a true culinary experience from start to finish. Highlights of the menu were the tuna and scallop appetizers, the gnocchi that melted in our mouths and the walu with black garlic and escargots. The desserts were outstanding as well, different than any we had ever experienced before. Overall, this was far and away the most incredible meal that either of us has ever had, and we have both dined at some of Philly's finest restaurants. Hats off to Laurel--will be back in the future!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "our meal and service was outstanding. The gnocchi was divine. It was by far, the best pasta dish I have ever eaten. looking forward to our June reservation."
    Dined on 2/26/2014