Refectory

4.4
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102 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Refectory is the newest concept in the Zavino Hospitality Group profile. We are focused on a New American cuisine, featuring our raw bar and osaka style sushi. Come and try some of our favorites : baked brie, spinach and artichoke dip, and grilled branzino. Our wine program is a mix from around the world. Our six cruvinet options allows us to pour some higher end wines by the glass.
What 102 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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VF
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience4

I have been to The Refectory quite a few times.
I go with a group of friends before Villanova basketball games at The Pavilion. The service and atmosphere are great. The food is adequate.

G
Philadelphia
26 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It was our first experience at the Refectory and we were very pleased with our meal. We had the French Onion soup first, Brussels sprouts and the fried chicken sandwich with fries, Caesar salad with chicken and the Asian salad for our entrees.
The service was good and the restaurant is very comfortable. The decor is tasteful. We will go back to sample the other choices on the menu.

JC
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We had a good time and the food was pretty good
They didn’t have two of our choices though

H
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Too loud. Food good but too salty. Our Server forgot special dessert I dropped off as surprise.

V
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Unfortunately our salads preceded our appetizers followed by the bread so our table was stuffed with everything but our entrees simultaneously - some coordination between the servers and the kitchen would improve the diners experience and serving the diners in a timely yet not rushed manner would be wonderful.
We’ve been there many times and intend to return.

B
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great meal (Sea Bass & Salmon) plus veggies for each. Those plus Asian salad (split between two diners) were all excellent. Super fresh and all very bright. Each item prepared perfectly. Started with Artichoke and Spinach Dip which was good but not amazing for flavor. Ended with Vanilla Gelato which had quirky flavor - sort of “birthday cake”. We didn’t love it but liked it enough to enjoy half a serving of it.

Service was excellent especially for that venue. Absolutely the best experience of a team concept wait staff that I ever seen. They seemed to be able to read each other’s minds.

We’ll be back

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

Average food

SK
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Good place to eat if you want a burger. I would not recommend the dinner entrees.

F
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Where do I begin? Decor was wonderful and great ambiance. We had a fabulous server who knew the menu inside and out. We ordered a variety of items from amazing PEI oysters to baked brie, and amazing poke. Wonderful menu variety plus a happy hour menu. Will be back ASAP! So glad to FINALLY have a great restaurant on the main line. Way to go VU!

DD
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Great place to go for a drink or snack after a Villanova game!

VF
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food2service4ambience3

The food isn’t hot. It’s more like warm.
The flatbread pizza is not flatbread and not very good.

J
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Nice location. Nice space. Nice service. Food just not great and prices are Expensive for so so food

Only went once maybe it was an off night for kitchen.

CH
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great new place. Food was excellent and staff was very friendly. Prices were reasonable and menu had great variety.

T
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall2food1service5ambience5

Food is not good

L
Philadelphia
68 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience4

Had been there before for a girls lunch and was much better.
We arrived in time for happy hour so the apps were $5... that’s k goodness because $14 for 4 shrimp and the same for warmed (previously frozen) sushi would have been a crime. The rolls for the chicken sandwich had been previously frozen as well therefore are described as “toasted” but u can still tell they are from frozen.
What a shame as the place is beautiful and our server Natalie was awesome!!! The manager did remove the charge for the sandwiches, but still as a fellow Villanovian I was disappointed that others may have a bad impression of what could be a really cool place to eat.

GG
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

After running into friends who were finishing up, we had a very nice dinner, choosing some of their recommendations. In particular, the oysters were some of the best we’ve had in recent memory. Excellent mignonette. We also thought the branzino was cooked perfectly, and the creamed spinach we got for the table was hit with everyone. There was a slight ordering mix up but the happy accident left us with a giant cheesy potato cake that everyone enjoyed. Wait and service staff were highly skilled and the kitchen was humming, providing us with a good “show”. Overall we had a very good experience. And we look forward to returning again.

M
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I was so pleasantly surprised by this wonderful restaurant tucked into Villanova’s campus! Loved everything about it.

KA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience3

Terrible service!

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OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Impossible to find the front for of this restaurant- we walked up and down campus asked kids couldn’t t find it. Needs better signage.

VP
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Nicely tucked away; could use a bit more signage, but per management that’s being addressed.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Holiday with friends!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thw food was delicious and the servicw was great!

f
Philadelphia
25 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Holiday dinner with friends visiting from out of town. First the restaurant is difficult to find and long walk once we did figure out where is was. Signage was nonexistent driving from the East. Took forever to get served and appetizers and entrees were underwhelming. Will not return.

V
Philadelphia
99 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The only issue you may have is from the time you order a drink at a table it take too much time to receive it . Sometimes as much as 15 min. I would suggest you fix it

OT
Philadelphia
63 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

I’ve been to The Refectory about 5 times now. I find the service uneven. The staff is not knowledgeable about the menu, especially when there are changes. The food is OK but overpriced. It can be over salted. The actual restaurant is a very nice space.

The biggest issue that I have found is that there is no accommodations for handicapped diners. One person in my group uses a walker. We were told to park in the loading dock. Issue is that there are stairs that must be climbed. Then you maneuver through a very unsafe storage area which is not meant for the public. How did the Radnor Township and Villanova University allow this?

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really great new restaurant!

FP
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Nice setting that looks fresh. Delicious food. Waitress was so friendly. Highly recommend. We will be back!

h
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cozy atmosphere with excellent , attentive service and delicious food w fair prices. The whole grilled branzino was excellent- simply prepared w salt/pepper and a little lemon juice . Baked Brie appetizer w truffle honey was spectacular .

f
Philadelphia
32 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I brought a group to Refectory for a celebration. The food was very good. I had sea bass that was nicely seasoned and cooked well, with a side of sauteed spinach. The fish sat on a plate with a few microgreens, seemed very lonely. The prime rib sandwich was well prepared, and the accompanying sweet potato fries were not greasy. The tres leches cake was nice, and the restaurant makes its own ice creams that were enjoyed. The service was a bit mixed. At times it was very good (gang of servers and bus people attacked the table with limited disruption of our conversation), but there were times when the servers disappeared. Also, I would have appreciated a few starters that could have been shared by the table.

O
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Pleasant atmosphere & we were seated right away.
Definitely will return.

RD
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great lunch. The fried chicken sandwich and the turkey club were exceptional.

NV
London
4 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic burger and great service!

HS
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We have been very happy with our food choices but the salmon entree portion is very disappointing. It’s meant to top a salad. Management needs to purchase fresh and entree sized portions. The difference between the branzino and salmon is significant - branzino is delicious and plentiful.

OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another wonderful meal with outstanding service. Sunny does a great job, introduces himself and has a genuinely easy smile. Thanks again....see you all soon.. jsg

OT
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We were 3 people and all of us were very happy with our food. Our waitress was wonderful and this certainly will not be a one-time occasion. Parking was easy in a garage across the street and our tickets were validated by The Refectory.

EA
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

This is a very convenient location for catching a quick dinner before a Villanova basketball game. The menu is somewhat limited but has a number of good choices that satisfy a variety of palettes.

Happy hour here is good with $5 cocktail specials and several small plates at bargain pricing.

Service could be more attentive than it is. We have dined here three times since the Refectory opened in September and service is definitely the least developed aspect of the dining experience. Waitstaff are pleasant but could be more attentive to diners.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent menu choices and excellent service.
One BIG problem is that your website does not tell you where to park. Also restaurant for first timers is difficult to find as the sign is not very visible and blends in with the building.

b
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful family meal ! Maurice was a spectacular server!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

My husband and I have never been treated so poorly at a restaurant by a bartender or manager. My husband questioned a pour on a drink (which we were validated by his question by a woman sitting next to me) and the bartender called him rude, cursed in front of me and took our menus away. At which point, I was in shock and giggled and he said “do you think that’s funny?” — threatening words if you ask me. The manager then proceeded to not apologize AND to lie to our face about what had happened. Terrible customer service and not the way any paying customer should be treated. We wanted to give the bartender benefit of the doubt in maybe there was a miscommunication but then the way the manager handled the situation was beyond absurd. We will never dine here again and will be telling our friends and family this story as well.

LL
Philadelphia
29 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We were a party of four and this was our second visit (a Friday evening - first time on a Sunday afternoon). Large space with a warm, contemporary motif and a classy addition to the Villanova campus . The restaurant/bar was at crowd-capacity (older college-age +) and the patron and music noise level was so extremely energetic that audible table conversation was exceptionally difficult. The menu is predominantly bar/snack food offerings. Pricey - e.g. $12 for a mixed drink. Very friendly service, but they seemed to be over-matched. Best-suited as an informal gathering spot or for a quick bite before or after a campus athletic/theatre event. Definitely wouldn't it recommend for a relaxed evening dinner.