Laurel
Laurel

Laurel

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.restaurantlaurel.com/
  • Phone: 2152718299x
  • 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: American, French
  • 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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Laurel reviews from OpenTable diners
77 reviews since April 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.8
  • Food4.8
    Service4.8
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (69)special occasion (67)romantic (55)neighborhood gem (39)hot spot (23)great for outdoor dining (2)good for groups (2)great for brunch (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Absolutely Outstanding
    MMLL
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    From beginning to end, this dining experience was nothing short of absolutely wonderful. Beginning with the pleasant and knowledgable staff, to the simple yet mind blowing dishes, along with a subtly simple ambiance, this was a dining experience never to forget. For the first course, the albacore tuna was soft and sweet, with the frozen horseradish that was such a wonderful addition to the dish. It really brought out the chill of the fish in such a thoughtful way. Second, we had the ricotta gnocchi, which was absolutely to die for. Little pillows of heaven, with crispy pancetta and a light yet creamy cheese sauce. My entree choice was the lamb, which was cooked perfectly. The star was the pork, cooked 3 ways, each better than the first.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A must-have experience
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Dined with my good friend and Girlfriend. Everything and I mean everything from the Tuna to the Pork loin was sheer perfection. The Foie Gras course is a must!!! Chef Elmi and his team were spot on!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Everything was perfection from how were treated to the delicious food. Worth the wait for the reservation!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding!
    LuvRedWine
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    The candlelit walls lent a warm, inviting feel to the dining area. We were greeted in an inviting manner and the wait staff continued to be friendly, extremely knowledgable, and were perfectly attending throughout our stay. The July menu was heavily seafood which pleased us. The flounder crudo in green onion potage was a delicious starter - light and refreshing. The smoked cod was delicate and flavorful. The crispy chicken skin was a surprisingly delectable topping to the sea bream with Swiss chard. Dinner ended with three distinctive cheeses accompanied by local honeycomb. The entire experience was note worthy. Chef Nicholas Elmi is outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best food in Philly
    Phoodie
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Course 1: We had the fluke crudo and the scallop. Both good, but the real star was the crudo. It came with this broth that tasted like springtime. This broth started my boyfriend and I making a fake goofy gesture of licking the bowl clean with our hands throughout the remaining courses. Course 2: Gnocchi. We split this course and it was quite good. It tasted like eating buttery melty delicious pillows of joy with bacon in it. Course 3: I had the walu which was cooked perfectly. The lamb was the star however. Lamb belly and loin and a delicious puree with an olive crumble. So good. Course 4: Dessert. I could have drowned in that pudding and died happy. It was so tasty. The texture, the sweetness, the richness. It just all worked.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    our server was attentive without being intrusive and was very knowledgable about the menu. each course was better than the next. the torn scallop with watermelon consomme was a little sweet and perfectly balanced. I just had to order the gnocchi. the pasta was light but the flavor was decadent and rich. I had a hard time choosing my main course but was thrilled with the walu. the fish was cooked perfectly and the mushrooms and peaches were a perfect accompaniment. the lobster emulsion put the dish over the top.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing!
    Ridetoeat
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    How do you explain perfection? Every bite was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Experience ever!
    Suzie
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    I had been waiting patiently for 4 month to get a reservation to Laurel. I was not disappointed. The food was amazing..loved the intimate setting. Owner/chef Top Chef winner, Nicholas Elmi did not disappoint. MUST have his gnocchi dish!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Deserving of its praise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Yes, you should eat here. No, it's not over-rated. I skipped the first courses and got two second courses instead -- the arctic char and the gnocchi. The artic char was good. The gnocchi was very good. (But when is gnocchi not good?) The roasted walu was my favorite dish. It ranks among the top three fish dishes of my life. The accompaniments and fish all went very well together. The taste was phenomenal. It even smelled great. It was $29 well spent. The caramelized white chocolate pudding was a close second to the walu. It was very well worth the $8. Outstanding service: friendly, attentive, w/great pacing I'm looking forward to coming back if I can manage to get a reservation again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the wait!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    I booked our table the minute they opened up on Open Table 90 days earlier and this place does not disappoint! Chef Elmi has created an amazing menu with impressive presentations. Every bite was amazing. The staff is super friendly and knowledgable about the menu. We can't wait to go back and this is def our new special occasion spot plus spot to bring friends we want to impress.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Amazing on all counts! One of the best, if not the best BYOB
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Top chef restaurant that delivers
    Phillyfoodie7
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Everything was absolutely perfect, from the albacore tuna appetizer to the pork three ways entree this place hit it out of the park. Service was 5 stars and nick (the top chef winning chef) came out to speak to each table during dessert. A perfect experience
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous!
    TVaud
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    On this, our second visit to Laurel, the tasting menu was offered and did not disappoint. Each plate held a new and varied taste sensation of multiple flavors and textures. Stand outs were the gnocchi and the duck. The gnocchi is what you want as your last "death row" meal...it's THAT good! Looking forward to our next reservation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous!
    StraightFooda
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    The tasting menu for the night was spectacular. Each dish had a variety of unexpected flavors and were artfully displayed. It was like being on Iron Chef! We both enjoyed each course, but the duck dish was lackluster. The meal had a lot of seafood and every dish was done to perfection. It was definitely an experience we hope to repeat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Phillymkc
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Very unique and technical with slot of molecular gastronomy going on and lots of edible flowers on many courses. Overall liked every course on the tasting menu. We opted to try the special coco dusted foie gras terrine of the night not included in the tasting, we didn't like it at all, it was just bitter on top if bitter with the candied cherry something accompaniment.... I had seen great reviews for it so I wanted to try it.... Not sure if we got a bad batch or what..... Overall everything else we loved and meeting the chef was awesome!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gotta Go At Least Once
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    Expectations were high for the latest Top Chef's restaurant. Overall, it was very good. Famous gnocchi wasn't really that great and didn't go with the other courses. Probably won't be back since there are other much less expensive places we enjoy more.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth the Wait
    siobhanpaijeVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    My best friend and I were so excited to score a reservation and both anticipated it for weeks! The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. The ambiance is soothing and we never felt rushed. Our meal was great and the portion size was beyond what I expected. We had the peekytoe crab, tuna, gnocchi, shrimp, beef and pork. The gnocchi had such a homey taste and the beef reminded me of meals my mother would make. Chef Elmi is doing a great job and I wish him continued success.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Extremely Disappointed
    AverageVIP
    Dined on 5/21/2014
    The best part of my dining experience was the hostess. She was very friendly & sweet. I was treated badly by everyone else. My waitress was the worst...nice pigtails. The food was horrible & no one cared that I was disappointed. I was so upset when I left. If you want great food, go to Fond right down the street. Amazing food, wonderful staff, very pleasant experience. Don't be fooled by Mr. Top Chef.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Incredible!
    TVaud
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    This was one of the best meals we have ever had! Each course was a sensation for the palate. The gnocchi was our favorite dish...so much so that we agreed this would be our "Death Row Last Meal" with the only change being a double or triple portion. Each plate had several flavors and textures that created a new treat for the tongue. We long to return, but reservations are not easy to get. What a privilege it is to have such a gifted chef in our neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Meal Ever!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    there were three of us at dinner at Laurel, and we each had different menu items - we made sure to taste some of everything - each bite was delightful. We are convinced that it was the best meal we've ever had. looking forward to going again!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Wait is Worth the Hype!
    JamesVIP
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Chef Nick Elmi's new South Philadelphia restaurant Laurel is a must visit. Thank you for a great dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing
    Andrew
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Absolutely amazing. Chef has created original, inspired dishes that are both beautiful and delicious. It is very reasonably priced considering the amount of food and different flavors you will experience at Laurel.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic, until....
    phoodie
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    About half way through our dinner, my husband and I were raving about each dish (we were there for the weeknight a la carte menu). The first courses were delicious and beautiful; the second courses were even better; delicious and well balanced both in flavors and textures. Then came the third courses.... my husband's pork was amazing. Mine, however, was disappointing: cod that was way too salty and ramps so stringy it was impossible to cut them in the even with a steak knife. As I struggled with them the cod basically fell apart in the bowl. The fourth course (dessert) was very good. Will we go back? Probably, as we'd like to try to weekend tasting menu and my guess is that the cod was a rare misstep from the kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and presentation!
    TryItOut
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Limited menu, which is fine. We were a party of four, so were able to sample everything on the menu. Exquisite melding of various ingredients. Rhubarb dessert was incredible. Gnocchi was best ever tasted.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Wonderful meal - torn scallops, gnocchi, cod and rhubarb. The torn scallops are velvety in texture with a wonderful yuzu sauce; the gnocchi were ethereal - light, tasty and the crunch of pancetta and sour dough was a great contrast; the fish was very good and the dessert was amazingly light and flavorful. Service is very good - attentive but not intrusive. The room is relaxing - quiet - does not scream at you. Chef came out to say hello which was much appreciated. I booked several future visits!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • CityFoodieVIP
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Quiet sophistication in boisterous neighborhood. Service was unobtrusive and polished, right down to the lovely presentation of desserts with warm wishes from the chef himself. Food was very good, portion sizes generous...did it AMAZE us? Not entirely. Interesting flavor combinations, menu in terms of options was easy to embrace. Think chef/owner needs a space with more presence.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • best food
    none
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    best meal ive had in 10 years of being in philly. After every course I wish I had one more bite left.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Simply Awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    One of the best meals I've had in a while, I highly recommend the chef's tasting menu
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful!
    Brian
    Dined on 5/6/2014
    If you are looking for fabulously put together dishes and beyond exceptional service, look no further! Be sure to book well in advance, about 3 months in advance to guarantee a table! Keep an eye on their twitter feed, as they sometimes have last minute cancellations. I would recommend this place to anyone!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing
    JaneandPete
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    We had a delicious meal at Laurel this weekend. I love Philly restaurants, and this was the best meal I've had in a while! Each dish was well thought out with unexpected elements, and (most importantly) tasted delicious.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding
    nacixemVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Laurel was outstanding at everything they do. Food was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worth the 3 month wait but no Chef
    BaldBabsVIP
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    We had to book our reservation almost three months ago and it was well worth the wait. Everyone had their favorite (usually more than one favorite) course. I LOVED the gnocchi dish and the foie gras terrine (offered as an additional course). The beef course was anti-climatic - really didn't even need it. Dessert was quite unusual - white choc pudding with malt and puffed grains. Not worth the calories to me. Probably should have had the last two course wrapped to go. The other 6 dishes were fantastic! Tuna with horseradish - wonderful. Torn scallops was another big hit at our table. Walu - great! I'd go back during the week so I could order just my favorites and meet Chef Elmi. He wasn't there this time. A bit disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    Best dining experience ever. It was great. I will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Each dish is a conversation piece
    Sunsetplaceoc
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    This is definitely the place to go if you want to savor every bite of your food. Each dish is a conversation piece. The pacing is perfect and the staff is very professional. All the best to Nick and his team!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply stellar!
    CrustyCurmudgeonVIP
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    We finally got a reservation (must have been a cancellation) & flew downtown to make it on time. Despite literally running 5 or 6 blocks from the only parking space we could get, it only took 30 seconds for us to feel calm, relaxed & satisfied - Laurel is everything you've read & more. Fri & Sat it's now a 7 course tasting menu that delights course after course after course. We did think to grab the champagne, which did justice to a fabulous amuse-bouche & the various fish courses after it. The gnocchi were tiny joy-filled nuggets. The beef course was as tender & delicious as any meat we've ever eaten. I'm not a dessert eater in general, but I loved the chocolate-based final course so much I bought another one. Amazing food & people! Go!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow!
    brewerstable1
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    The meal was just spectacular, start to finish. The entire staff clearly love their work and their support of Elmi's vision is evident in the flawless service. We can't come back soon enough.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Marvelous
    Shani
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    The food of course is the main attraction at Laurel, from the truly masterful albacore to the delicate scallop (both 1st course), the perfect ricotta gnocchi (2nd course), and the 3rd course of almost velvety beef (courtesy of a sous-vide bath and a quick sear). And I can't forget the thoughtfully chosen cheeses, or the weird and wonderful caramelized white chocolate pudding.. But the staff are great, too, knowledgeable, sweet and fun, and the space, while very small, is simply, calmly elegant. What a beautiful addition to the Philadelphia dining scene.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unbelievable
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    This restaurant by the Top Chef winner is everything I expected it to be. Refined, delicate,delicious food. And to top it off a BYOB. Service was wonderful, and the servers knew the food perfectly. We went during the week and Nick doesn't offer his tasting menu but when we asked about it there wasn't even a hesitation from the server who informed us that Nick would be happy to offer it to us, and believe me it was a memorable meal. I would suggest this beautiful restaurant to everyone who has a adventurous palate. And yes the gnocchi were as wonderful as Tom Colleccio said.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 39 ratings-only reviews submitted since April 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.9
    • Food4.9
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.7
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 140 reviews are from the Laurel reviews archive.
  • Outstanding Tasting Menu
    DJK1VIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    A BYOB 7 course tasting menu with just 2 people can be tricky, but a full bottle of white (eg White Burgundy or Russian River Sauvignon Blanc) and a half bottle of Central CA or Willamette Pinot Noir will cover it we'll enough. Every course was unique with excellent flavor combinations. The chairs are very comfortable - great for a leisurely meal. Plan ahead because it books up months in advance.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfection!
    scw19145
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    The best dining experience I could have asked for. Great place to celebrate special occasions. There is nothing I would have changed about the food, except I would have done a better job pacing myself so I could have eaten more of the later courses (my companion is rather glad that I didn't pace myself, as he got to eat what I couldn't finish!).
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall