Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar

4.5
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145 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Ad Lib
Craft Kitchen and Bar
A comfortable gathering place where people come together to celebrate, debate politics or simply spend time with friends and family, Ad Lib is a “new take” on a traditional American Tavern.
Food and Drink offerings are old favorites “turned on their side” and full of surprises. Our food and beverage chefs combine classic preparations with contemporary creativity. Ad lib specials, the “Ad Lib Lunch” and Ad lib social hours celebrate spontaneity. This is a place to share food and share stories. There’s no script, just a stage set for you to wing it!
This is food that is fun to cook, fun to eat, fun to share. And, you can try many dishes in one visit with the large offering of small plate options. Guests can choose from over 40 small plates, over 30 wines by the glass, over 60 selections of beer and an ever changing list of craft, barrel aged and edible cocktails.
What 145 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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K
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We found Ad Lib by doing a restaurant search in the area. We were on our way back home and wanted to find a place for a quick, light dinner that was not fast food. We found it at this hotel restaurant! The restaurant was not very busy, but everything was great! The server was friendly and made some great suggestions. We ordered wedge salad, roasted cauliflower, the small spaghetti squash (they offer 2 preparations) and the lamb shepherds pie. All were served quickly and tasted great.

r
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

Our group had six people total. The server was curt, almost to the point of rude. She took our menus away before we were finished ordering. Sorry that we were ordering slow. We had trouble getting a server to continue to take our orders. We were planning on spending at least another $100 on entrees, but it appeared staff would have rather have us spend our money somewhere else. Which, we did.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Serving staff were very attentive and couldn’t be more helpful.

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on August 12, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to review us!

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G
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Very nice décor. Quality of food and presentation is very nice. Entrees seem a little overpriced but small bites and handhelds give you plenty of options. The flat bread special of the evening was outstanding. Would definitely recommend trying this place. No need to worry about parking as valet is complimentary if you dine with them.

OT
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

The food and ambiance at ad lib was exceptional. I absolutely loved my meatloaf eggs benedict for brunch. I loved that there was live music and that it wasn’t too loud to drown out conversation. The only reason this wasn’t a five star experience is because of the service. I don’t know if she was new but she wasn’t warm or helpful and it made for an awkward time whenever she was around. Overall would definitely recommend!

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on August 12, 2019

Thank you for your feedback!

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NT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I loved everything except the limited menu. They should add more options. Otherwise, it was perfect.

SR
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good
I thought a little overpriced

BS
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food and soothing music. Portions could be bigger.

DB
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The chefs tasting is awesome!!! We took my dad here for Father’s Day .

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on July 19, 2019

Thank you, Diona! The tasting brunch is available every Saturday and Sunday - it's an amazing brunch experience, isn't it?

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great dinner! Our server was fantastic. I think the food runner may have been confused because our food came out at different times and I had to wait to eat until my BF got his food. Was delicious though and will definitely go back.

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on July 19, 2019

Thank you for dining at Ad Lib and taking the time to review us. Ad Lib is an open flow kitchen so food is served as soon as it is prepared. We do this so that guests may order multiple items to share and are not served everything at once. If you would prefer your dishes to be served together, simply let the server know and we will make a note of it. Once again, thank you for choosing Ad Lib!

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

My wife and I went out for date nite and were treated fantastically. The food was exceptional, we tried 7 menu items which we ranked, but between each other because they were all fantastic anyhow.

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on June 17, 2019

Thank you for your review. We are excited to hear you enjoyed the open flow dining style and tried so many menu items!

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SS
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Ad Lib is a very nice restaurant. The three of us shared a series of small plates. The food varied from good to very good. Nothing spectacular but good solid food. Nothing bad. Deviled eggs were outstanding. The mac and cheese was just OK. Not enough cheese or flavor; kind of bland for restaurant mac and cheese. Pork rinds were good. The Burrata was OK. Some of us liked it more than others. The Pork Cheek Sliders were excellent. The only complaint is the rolls kind of fell apart while trying to eat the sliders. But the rolls were excellent tasting and a very different texture than other breads. The peppers were good. We loved the small petite deserts. So often we skip desert because we are full from dinner. They were just the perfect size to get a sweet ending to the night without overstuffing ourselves.

The cocktail and wine selection were very good. The Ipad type device is a nice touch to show color photographs of the food and a great description of the wines and cocktails. Nice ambiance. A little loud even though it was not a full house on a Friday evening. The table we sat at in front of the Kitchen window was really too large for three people. We were just too far away from each other for it to be a comfortable distance. It was more like a table for 6-8.

The cost came out to about $35 each for three adults. A very reasonable amount for the food quality and service.

The best part of the night was Amanda, our server. She was outstanding. Friendly and efficient. Always had a smile on her face. Food was delivered at the right pace. Amanda checked in to make sure everything was OK several times throughout the meal and refreshed drinks and made sure the food was good. She got a big tip. One of the better servers I have had at a restaurant. Great job Amanda!

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on June 17, 2019

Thank you so much! Amanda says that this made her day!

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MN
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Delicious, creative food will bring us back for Sunday brunch, though portion sizes and amount of duck in the duck salad should be larger.

LM
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our party had the best time at Ad Lib! The scallop dish was amazing, as was the guacamole. The octopus was really good too. Presentation was beautiful. The mac and cheese was reportedly good but could maybe use a larger plate, I'm told. The beef tartare was beautiful, delicious, and fun, though on the garlicky side. Kind service.

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on May 20, 2019

Thank you for your review!

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C
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

The clam chowder and Caesar salad were great. The NY strip steak was the worst I’ve ever eaten — tough and virtually flavorless.

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on May 14, 2019

Hi Cody, we'd like to look into this for you. Please message us with your contact info.

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S
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was good... music was too loud

Could not speak or hear people at table

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on May 14, 2019

Hello, thank you for your review! We will be addressing the volume of the music.

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F
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service and beautiful ambiance. Great for brunch!

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on May 14, 2019

Thank you very much!

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JG
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was wonderful!

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on May 14, 2019

Thank you!

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c
Nashville
1 review
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Nice restaurant for a first date. Food was great. Oysters we also very good.

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on May 14, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to review us!

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L
Philadelphia
30 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Ad Lib did not live up to its reputation on my first visit. Our food was fine but not fabulous. Save room for dessert which was the highlight. I recommend the chocolate truffles.

LD
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service. Our waiter was super fun. The atmosphere was excellent and the food was delicious. Highly recommended.

LS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love the Express Lunch -- a little bit of everything!

Ad Lib Craft Kitchen and Bar
Responded on March 11, 2019

Thank you for your review, Lisa!

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KT
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

I was very disappointed with the food, very mediocre for such a seemingly upscale restaurant. The mac n cheese dish on the menu tasted like they used some cheap imitation cheese. The only reason i didn't walk out was because the waitress was very nice.

S
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

This was our second time here and this dining experience was quite the opposite of the initial pleasant experience. The food was lukewarm at best. Our server was all over the place and consistently forgot items ordered. Sadly we have no plans to return in the near future.

AG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

Got a reservation via OpenTable and on the day of, the restaurant called us to confirm.

Yet upon arrival, it took 4 different people 10 minutes to find our reservation.. "who called you, what time did we call you, are you sure you have a reservation..." - all this while there were several vacant tables. It felt as if we were crashing a high profile event. Eventually frustrated, we asked for the manager, who miraculously found our reservation and seated us just as we were ready to leave.

The cocktails were good. 4/5
The food, while unique, was ok. 3/5... Their take on simple items like margherita flatbread spoiled it while new items (fennel flower) were better.

Likely not going there again.

WB
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Service was excellent. Food was beautifully presented, unique in many ways and delicious. Due to a large crowd of people lingering in bar area before going upstairs for a gala event, it was quite noisy for the first half hour or more. The scallops were the best! we also loved the spaghetti squash.
Would love to go back to try other dishes.

S
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good dining experience. Food and service were perfect. Thank you

OT
Pittsburgh
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

My girlfriend and I went for our anniversary. We were sat within minutes of our reservation time. We were able to order drinks relatively quick. It was a slower night, multiple tables open, open seats at the bar, etc. However, it took around 15 minutes to get our beverages. Within the 15 minutes that we were waiting, it was like our server disappeared. We actually debated leaving it took so long. Just as we were about to, our drinks arrived so we decided to stay and finish them along with some small plates. The food and drinks were pretty good but unfortunately we didn’t stay to try any entrees as the service was so bad we didn’t want it to ruin our night. Interestingly enough, there were managers and other servers being super attentive to near by tables. The table behind arrived after us and got served drinks and food before we could even order appetizers.

OT
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Ad Lib. Great Sunday Brunch w/ music @ The right volume level! Specialty cocktails are fabulous.

OT
Philadelphia
30 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

25$ for chef's tasting menu for breakfast/brunch is the BEST price in Harrisburg and probably the best price for brunch I've ever had. Enough leftovers for at least a day or two. Excellent flavors and a large variety of plates. Would definitely do again

GD
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Najib and the staff over at Ad Lib and 1700 do a great job! Another really good meal with friends on a great environment with great food and drinks!!!

W
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Everything was overall great. But my wife and I were seated in a booth and it was rather uncomfortable. Neither of us is over weight by any stretch of the imagination. I couldn’t imagine an overweight or just a big person being seated there could turn into a awkward situation. My opinion.

n
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Always can count on a good meal and pleasant and helpful staff.

B
Baltimore
40 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

I have been frequenting Ad Lib for lunch and dinner and have always been satisfied. Lunch yesterday ,12/18, was disappointing. They were ruuning a buffet so that may have affected the a la carte menu. The Reuben stromboli was lacking a decent amount of pastrami and saukraut which made the swiss cheese look like the only filling. The cauliflower app was very good. I will probably give the restaurant a second chance, but realistically Harrisburg has plenty of top notch restaurants.

OT
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Waiter was wonderful!! Restaurant was gorgeous but food and drinks were horrible. Food was so salty !! Drinks were novice .

O
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My type of restaurant. Nice modern atmosphere, friendly service, good food.

BM
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We really enjoyed our meal at Ad-Lib. The food was delicious, the atmosphere quite lively and our service was terrific. Would definitely recommend.

AV
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great dining experience! Waiter was extremely helpful and took time to recommend yummy options from the menu.

p
Philadelphia
773 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Located in the Hilton in downtown Harrisburg. After reviewing the happy hour menu (daily 4-7) they had me at their unique Brussels Sprouts! Discounted food and daily drink specials including a managers wine special. The red was a very nice Pinot Noir. Enjoyed $1 oysters and their stripe bass tacos. The best was there brussel sprouts made with cranberries, sticky buns, and maple vinaigrette! I'm big fan of Brussel sprouts and these are one of the best! Service is great and so glad I decided to stay in the hotel to eat tonight!

OT
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

Our server was great. Very attentive and pleasant. The atmosphere just feels cold and impersonal, just not my personal taste. The food was just okay, nothing special and very disappointing considering the prices.

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