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The Restaurant School
The Restaurant School

The Restaurant School Details

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.walnuthillcollege.edu/restaurants.asp
  • Phone: (215) 222-4200
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French, Continental, Italian
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: We have several dining rooms that can provide private dining. Our Italian Trattoria can seat up to 24. Our Great Chefs restaurant can seat up to 34 in 2 adjoining dining rooms. Our Menus are individually created to our guest's specification. An example of one of our popular menus is our exciting "Menu Degustation" which is our Chef de Cuisine special tasting menu consisting of 7 courses. All the courses can also be paired with their appropriate wines.
  • Private Party Contact: Banquets (267) 295-2324
  • Special Events & Promotions: The Restaurant will be closed from April 17 to 23, 2012 while our students celebrate their Spring Break. We will also be closed for the months of July and August while our students enjoy their Summer Break. We will be accepting reservations during that time for the fall. Enjoy!

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 42nd Street
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Free, attended parking adjacent to our restaurants.
A word from The Restaurant School
"You'll never find a restaurant complex like this at any other school in the U.S. The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College - a dynamic place to make your career come to life." For over 37 years, The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College has received national acclaim for its innovative approach to education. We offer a real life, interactive educational experience in a bustling restaurant environment in the heart of University City, Philadelphia - home to one of the largest student populations. Please note that the Restaurants will be closed for Spring Break April 17 to 23, 2012. We will also be closed for the months of July and August while our students enjoy thier Summer Break. Be sure to check the Community Education section on our website for some special Wine Challenge Dinners for March, April and May. When you are finished your meal, stop in the Pastry Shop for a selection of cakes, pastries and tortes. We look forward to serving you soon. Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFrench
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "I notice that the entree is always cold when brought out"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The students are so nervous and sweet, but they are learning so cut the kids some slack. The food is good and the drink and wine list is extensive and inexpensive. Went with my husband, got the 3 course prix fixe menu for $21 a person and a bottle of wine. Appetizers and desserts are where they shine. Entree's were good but not memorable. Decor is nice. I especially liked the women's bathroom with the Parisian boudoir theme. Will return to this location for a decadent yet inexpensive dinning experience."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "I recently took a course at the Restaurant School and wandered into the restaurant one night when I was early for class. I didn't know it existed. I decided that it would be a great place to take my wife for her birthday. The atmosphere was European sidewalk café and the service and food were top notch. The students were eager to please and although there were some rough edges as you would expect from students, the service experience was very acceptable. When I say the food was good, I mean really good. The meal included an appetizer, entrée and dessert that were all created by the students. These kids cook every day and are seriously devoted to their craft . . . and it showed. What a great value. We will be back!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "My family and I enjoyed very much our dining experience we were there for a graduation dinner. The food was expectional will definitely be retrurning"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "Service is great, students are wonderful. The location is great--near u. City attractions."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "The food was great and the service was even ourstanding...I will be dining at the restaurant school again very soon "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Food was terrific. Ambience was wonderful. Service was great. Staff was friendly without being over bearing. You could sense the effort that everyone was putting into their work and the pride they were taking. I'm looking forward to going back"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We had a lovely dinner. Food and service were great, food was also interesting and innovative. We will be back"
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Although very good (we had the tasting menu), the food's a small part of a meal at the Restaurant School. You can't talk about a "dining experience" until you have one like this. Staffed by students from Walnut Hill College, it's where the journey starts for those aspiring to a career in the culinary arts & restaurant or hotel management. Overseen by seasoned professionals like Eric Simonis (GM and sommelier at Lacroix for a decade), the stars are the student staff members. Of course, their skills and level of confidence vary. But they all share a palpable love of the life they've chosen that makes you proud & happy to help them achieve it. You get fine food & wine in a gorgeous setting at many places. Here you're also assuring its future."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We were there for the Italian dinner celebrating our friends and family we had a private room and it was fabulous!!! We had the Italian night which was five different types of pasta. A appetizer and a salad was also included and it was plenty of food. I special ordered a chocolate buttercream cake and we had that for dessert which was incredible!!!! I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone the price great, service was incredible and the whole night was of success!!!"
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "We celebrated my daughters 27th birthday and it was great. We special ordered a cake ahead of time and it was fabulous!!!! I definitely would recommend this restaurant to anyone. The presentation was exceptional!!! Overall it was a wonderful experience!!!!!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "The food was superb,service impeccable - was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. This was our first time for just dinner, we have attended several wine tasting events in the past. We will definitely be seeing you more ofter for "just dinner"."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "For the money, you really can't beat this place. These young men and women aren't working a job, they're preparing for a career. So, you don't have to worry about whether the chef is having a bad day or doesn't really like their job. A 3 course meal for $21 isn't like what you would find in the chains. I had steamed clams in a nice white wine and garlic broth (was a little salty, but very good), Monkfish was nicely cooked, and the desert was just decent. I look forward to going back. It's a small, quiet place with good service, and I would absolutely give the clams another shot. I also love the fact that they don't expect tips, but that just made me more inclined to tip (that money goes into a group account and is use for group activities)."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We had not seen our friends for too long. I set up the reservation easily, and then there we were again, chatting and catching up at The Restaurant School on Walnut St. in West Philadelphia. It was wonderful to be together and to be served by caring, thoughtful young people in the middle of their training. The food was varied - fish, vegetables, osso bucco. Yum! But best of all the four friends simply chatted the evening away. No hurry. No loud music or burdensome laughter. Just good friends with fine food, relaxing together. We heartily recommend The Restaurant School to anyone who is up for a relaxing time, especially if you're with old friends!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The evening was wonderful!! The staff made us feel right at home from the minute minute we walked in the door. The food was as if we had been transportedy to italy. The staff goes above and beyond. It made the difference between a mediocre night and a memorable one. we will be frequent fliers for sure! Kudos to all!!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "This restaurant had all the charm and class of four different restaurants; the photographs we took there were really something. My friend and I were college students that rarely got the chance to experience fine dining, but given that the servers were also students we felt comfortable making mistakes together - and the amount of attention we got was unparalleled, with the bread basket swinging by every few minutes and a plate of rose-shaped butter for ten people. The courteousness of the manager in charge was also really appreciated, as he graciously showed us the bakery after hours and personally took our order."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "My parents and I were finally able to get reservations after about 10 different attempts over the last few years, and it was well worth the wait. The rooms were beautifully decorated, the staff was gracious and accommodating, and the food was wonderful. I had garlic soup for the first time in my life, and it was fantastic. I'd like to make it at home now! My parents were visiting from out of town and staying next door at the homewood suites, so it was very easy and convenient for them to get to the restaurant school. They were so pleased with the experience that they want me to make reservations for their next trip to town!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "My dining companions and I enjoyed wonderful meals from the International menu. The choices were flavorful and unique with samplings from various cuisines. There is also a good selection of wines to go with your meal. The servers worked hard to make our dining evening a delight. We couldn't believe it all came with a great pre-fix total."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Perhaps the fact that I am in education influences my judgement, but the Restaurant School is a delight. The students are involved in all phases of the dining experience from a greeting at the door, to service, busing, cooking and baking. and do a great job in all areas. It is a treat to see the commitment and the energy into making the evening enjoyable."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "What a great experience the food was great service was also great. Such a neat place to go"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "As always the restaurant school is a great place to dine!! I have highly recommended the school to my professional colleagues and friends looking for a dining experience. Great student staff who should do well in the private sector upon graduation!!"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "There is something pleasing about helping future chefs and restaurant management people learn by doing. You need to remember this restaurant is "class" and these students are earning their grades. You simply can't beat the price (it was $21 for 3 courses--and I had an excellent filet mignon!). The menu is small and changing, but always has selections for every dining request. And the accompanying wines or spirits you order are reasonably priced too. The atmosphere in the wide open dining space is beautiful. And the servers truly aim to please--all the tips go into a class pot, so the goal is to perform flawlessly as a team, not individuals. And the former La Croix sommelier is the overlooking "professor"--he knows the craft. Worth a visit!"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "The recent Ellis Island menu had some tasty international dishes, and I went back for seconds a few days later. My large group was impressed with all but one dish. Portions vary in size, and the larger ones are impossible to finish in one sitting. Interior patio is beautiful and elegant. Service is amateurish, but the student waitstaff is so charmingly nervous and cute that you won't mind. Bring someone you want to impress."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Everyone was friendly and the food was super delicious!"
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We took our parents who both turned 81. They really don't need gifts so this was a fun alternative and a great time for us all!!! They were so pleased with the evening, food, atmosphere, and the entire experience. This was our second visit. We had dinner in September, the night before our son's wedding. Again, the experience was wonderful. I have told many friends about the restaurant."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "I gave my partner a gift card for classes at the Restaurant School, and I thought treating him to dinner at the restaurant would get him psyched to begin. The service (Emily & Rita stand out) was super friendly and conscientious. The chef even came out to ask how we enjoyed the meal. I was expecting the Italian Menu listed on the website (different kinds of pastas for $18), so was surprised (slightly bummed) that there were four entrees (not pastas) to choose from for $25. I had invited my in-laws and felt badly that dinner was pricier than I had anticipated. But all in all, it was a very enjoyable dinner, and felt like a treat. The drinks--a dry vodka martini, an old fashioned, and a manhattan were all well mixed. Parking = easy."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Great service & their menu accommodated our vegetarians and gluten free. I appreciated the off street parking"
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "I returned to the Restaurant School with two friends after a 30-year hiatus. I remembered fondly the former establishment on 20-something and Walnut. The current facility is beautiful and one thing that hasn't changed is how much they care about the food and service. I found a perfect wine on the wine list, something unexpected and wonderful. The food was very good with the exception of a scalloped potato side to the filet mignon that was undercooked. The gluten-free German chocolate cake was notably dense and delicious. I can't wait to get into the new Chef's Room where a 6 or 7-course menu is promised. It is stunning. I would ask for slower service next time and I would probably be a bit more adventurous about my own menu choices."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "We had a lovely time at the Restaruant School. We will visit again."
    Dined on 12/20/2013
  • "From the brownstone days in late 70's through today, the school is my favorite restaurant. The service is always pleasant and efficient,. The meal and wine is very good at a very fair price. The bakery cafe bakes some of the best bread and cakes in the city. For all of you that have never been, you are missing one of Philly's gems."
    Dined on 12/19/2013
  • "We were looking forward to visiting the restaurant school for months. However, it was not clear on the Opentable reservation website that the only menu available was a buffet. At $35 per person not inclusive of tip, the menu was overpriced. The appetizers were great but many of the entrees were sitting around and were not hot or overdone. The 3 course regular menu is probably a much better experience and value."
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "The fixed price, three courses for $21 and good wine for $6, is one of the best meal bargains around. The choices for each course were interesting and reasonably complex, presented well with good service follow-up. The students are reasonably skilled and are certainly interested in what they are doing. The restaurant is worth a visit a couple times a year."
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "We booked a reservation on Tuesday evening to celebrate son's 18th birthday and were surprised that they weren't more crowded. We were warmly greeted and had numerous attentive servers offering us rolls, replenishing our water glasses and checking on the status of our meals. Our menu offered some interesting selections that were all quite good. I ordered the mussels in a coconut milk infused broth, sea bass wrapped in banana leaves and a chocolate tart with ice cream. Each dish was artfully plated -- particularly the dessert dishes. My son's dessert arrived with "Happy Birthday" written with chocolate sauce on the plate rim -- it looked beautiful and he said it was delicious. Kudos to the cooks in training! Great value!"
    Dined on 11/19/2013
  • "This was our third time here, and we enjoyed the experience. Our food was tasty, my sea bass juicy and well prepared. My wife's pork loin, was a bit over cooked......but still quite good. Since this is a school restaurant, the service was very good, but delivered with a bit of apprehension, since each server knew they were being graded. But overall, the service was better than what you will experience in most restaurants......they are being taught to do it the right way."
    Dined on 11/7/2013
  • "Despite some issues with the food preparation, this is one of the best deals in town. $21 for a substantial three course meal in a stunning atmosphere cannot be beat."
    Dined on 11/1/2013
  • "Superb all around. New menu every 10 weeks. The students are really on their toes as their faculty supervise in an unobtrusive manner. Free secure parking on site. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 10/15/2013
  • "This was a very enjoyable experience! The food was great and the service extremely attentive. The only criticism I have is that the server, who was very pleasant and attentive, could have been more knowledgible about the menu. She immediately went to find the answers to any question she couldn't answer herself, but perhaps could have been better trained about the menu items beforehand. Since this is actually a training program she may not have been working very long.The others on the floor were quick to fill water glasses, remove emply dishes or get anything we asked for when out server was not nearby. All in all, I will recommend this to anyone."
    Dined on 10/10/2013
  • "I've always liked the Restaurant School. It's a great learning opportunity for students to learn their craft in a live situation. You feel well attended by staff. It's important to remember that it is a school therefore patrons should understand the importance of being patient with staff. The restaurant is a good value for the money and the restaurant decorations are adorable. I always rate a restaurant based on their ability to offer menu variety for special dietary needs such as vegetarianism. That would me. Thumbs up to the chef. I found something in the menu for a non meat eater. Our server was very accomodating and great to work with. Sean, thanks and good luck."
    Dined on 9/28/2013
  • "Been here a few times, food and service are great. Setting is beautiful. Can't believe it's student run dinning place."
    Dined on 9/27/2013
  • "Dining at the Restaurant School is always a fun evening. The staff/students are always pleasant, friendly, and eager to please. The food is really tasty and sometimes interesting and the price can't be beat. $21 for a delicious 3 course meal is the best bargain in town. The desserts this time were outstanding!"
    Dined on 9/21/2013