Refectory

4.3
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168 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 168 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
81% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ordered the Dry Aged Filet, It was perfectly done to my asking of medium!

The cream sauce that comes with the Asparagus, im not sure what it is made of, but wow! It had a hint of lemon in it and it was amazing!

We are the parents of 2 toddlers, who had a rare night off, so glad we chose to come here! Great new spot, staff was great, we will be back! THANK YOU for a great night!

OT
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great as always. It’s our third time there!

PT
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Cozy atmosphere and one of the few restaurants I’ve been to where multiple items on the menu appealed to me and I had a hard time deciding! The sides( you get one w your entree) are top notch and the dessert menu very impressive. Don’t forget to have a cup of coffee which is from the Parliament Roaster next-door. Very chic setting on the University‘s campus!

LP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience4

OMG
This was our THIRD time at this restaurant....we have returned because the design is beautiful and the location is convenient but the food was bad to worse!
We invited another couple this time and it was so embarrassing!! The noise level was ridiculous, an extremely LOUD table was allowed to take over the entire dining room...we spoke with the manager about it who really should have done something but he was helpless and hopeless.
The Caesar salad with shrimp came with pine nuts on it, it was diner quality (for 30 bucks!)
The sushi was good the first time we went, this time it was ALL rice, practically ZERO fish.
The bread was stale, the other entrees were overcooked...the kitchen is not doing a good job at all!
Our server was good and the blueberry cobbler was great...other than that, an embarrassing choice to take business friends. Never again!

R
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience5

Upscale restaurant setting with a varied menu. The menu at the restaurant however did not match the menu on the web site. Many entrees are priced in the $30-45 range which seemed high to me. Overall experience was good but I would not rush back.

MG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience2

We were seated next ro the bar. Limited menu, appetizer’s too few with poor presentation. Nothing came with bronzino which was mediocre. Sides all ala carte.
No attention to bday for friend though made mention on reservation. Not likely to return.
Open table sent 2 cancellations of reservation??

OT
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Food was cold

OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience5

Had 7:30 Resv. Checked in and asked to be seated at 7:23 . Waited and waited. Told them again we were ready to be seated at 743...said oh, you are late...explained we had checked in at 7:23. Finally got our table at 7:55. Had to ask waitress to take our drink order. Apps were good, entrees were cooked: that is the only nice thing I can say about the food. No flavor. Friend brought a birthday cake and they didn’t offer a knife for us to serve it. Gave us tea cup saucers as cake plates (way too
Small) and we had for ask for forks. Never offered coffee or final drinks. Had to ask. Really crappy overall. Will not go back until wait staff and host know what they are doing.
They get it together.

c
Philadelphia
73 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We’ve waited to try this after seeing inconsistent reviews. I’ll start with the good- the restaurant is beautiful. Our server was helpful and friendly.
Now the things that concerned me: Noise level was pretty high even though the restaurant was not full. Parking could be a concern- there’s no where to drop off diners if needed, you can only park in the parking garage across the street. The menu seemed disjointed to me- there wasn’t a theme or cuisine represented. Heavy appetizers, a few sushi offerings, a few flatbreads, entree size salads, large and traditional entrees. Prices are very high for the Main Line. We tried a few things with mixed thoughts. Raw oysters were excellent. Crab taquito was good though the crabmeat inside was of poor quality and dressed with something excessively creamy. Lump crab with a light spice sauce would have been more appropriate at that price point. Chopped salad was good but expensive for the ingredients in the salad. Pork chop was too fatty. We skipped dessert. Likely won’t be back until we hear more consistent reviews on the food.

e
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience5

I had high hopes for my experience here, since we love Zavino and Enoteca Tredici. However, our experience at the Refectory was disappointing. It is a beautiful restaurant. The server was extremely accommodating and gracious. The disappointment was in the food. The Caesar Salad was generous in size and was tasty. We ordered the Stash Flatbread which was overcooked and inedible...way too chewy! We also had the crab cakes and sides of spinach and mushrooms. The crab cakes were all jumbo lump crab meat, with almost no filler. Unfortunately, they were bland in flavor and tiny. The mushrooms and spinach sides were huge portions and were just okay. The wine is pricey. We will not be rushing back.

PE
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience3

First, note that there is no drop off for elderly so everyone has to walk from the parking garage across the street and to the restaurant. The interior is nice but many of the tables were dark with no candles or overhead lights. We asked to have one of the lamps moved to our table and it worked. Tables along the window had cold drafts so some of us kept our coats on. Request an interior table in the winter. The menu has something for everyone and was good but not exceptional. Service could have been better as we found ourselves waiting to find our waiter for requests and the bill. We are hopeful that management fine tune this restaurants because it has potential to be much better.

J
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Yes! We experienced a wonderful waitress in Rachel. She was honest & gave good recommendations which we appreciated. Our reservation was 6:30 & we were seated next to the bar by the window. Due to the fact that happy hour ended at six there was a big crowd at the bar so the noise level was rather high. Chopped salad was delicious but would have appreciated a little more light at our table as it was hard to see my food.

OT
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Beautiful design and atmosphere was quiet which was good for a weekday lunch. I'm sure must be fun after a game for the older crowd - parents of students etc. Food is expensive. Had the nova salad with shrimp. Very tastey. Expensive. 4 pieces of shrimp. Oh well!

OT
Philadelphia
21 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The refectory is a top notch restaurant. The food and service are excellent. Everyone I have dined with comes back. Its a beautiful well laid out restaurant. Very comfortable and just such great service.

EA
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The Refectory’s small menu is perfect for a quick bite before a basketball game on the Villanova campus, which is why we were there.

On game days, the place is packed and the establishment struggles to keep up with the full house. Service tends to be slow on these dates and when you’re seated at the tables for 2 along the window, it’s crowded as the bar crowd infringes on the space adjacent to the tables. Normally you can sit at the bar and eat but we noticed that bar seating had been removed from the area.

Despite the challenges, we head there to eat and relax a bit before tipoff.

M
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great atmosphere. Convenient location. Lots of variety on the menu. Happy hour has some great deals for drinks as well as food. And be sure to save room for dessert because the chocolate butter cake with nutella gelato is a must-try!

RW
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience3

The food was terrible starting with the bread. Then my drink was terrible (tasted like pure gin- no flavor). The dressing on my salad was tasteless and the chicken was dry as cardboard. My husband had the herb roasted chicken and that was dry also. The only decent thing we had were the Brussels sprouts. We would not go back. The menu did not have great options either. The ambience is nice though.

R
Philadelphia
35 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Decided to visit few days ago for the first time . Wasn’t sure what expect based on reading some reviews . Place was actually pleasant , above average grill place , food was good quality but overall seemed overpriced for local competition.. Maybe they offer better more reasonable pricing for happy hour ?

J
Philadelphia
42 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Enjoyable evening with my husband. The food was tasty, but the portions were small and expensive. The sirloin sandwich was so tiny for $19. My husband was so hungry that dessert was necessary. I would try it again but try something different.

JT
Philadelphia
38 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went here on our way to an event and it was a pleasant surprise!

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience5

The restaurant is beautiful and the atmosphere was great. The food was good, not great. The desserts were outstanding but the quality of the food was not worth the value.

DD
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Long story short, the bartenders don't know how to mix drinks, tell customers they are out of premium booze, and handed my friend his iced tea and vodka in two separate glasses...vodka in one glass and iced tea in the other. Service too very long, and our reservations were at 7:30 but we weren't seated until 8:10pm. It wasn't even packed. We did tell the manager and he did knock a few drinks off of the bill.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved the food and ambiance. Our waiter did not seem to want to be there but besides that everything was great

BT
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

My son and I had a wonderful experience their. My only complaint was the noise I got a reservation 2 weeks ago for us and you sat us right by the bar area which was so noisy I did get a head ache. The food was delicious and the service was exceptional. But for the price I was expecting a quieter evening.

m
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall3food5service5ambience3

Limited and unfamiliar wines by the glass. Very noisy. Food and service were excellent but everything was too rushed. Not the place for a leisurely dinner, especially considering the price of the entrees

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and food in an aesthetically pleasing space...

CT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Made 615 reservations last Friday night almost a week in advance. I wouldn’t expect to have to wait to be seated to which is undoubtedly one of first dinner seatings of the night, but we were forced to wait almost 15 minutes. That already irked me as it shows poor hosting/management. I can understand a wait for a 730/8 even a 9pm reservation, but not 615, or a 1st seating. Then we were shown to a table which was probably the worst table in the restaurant - right across from the front entrance. How on earth can you stick a reservation, one that was made several days in advance, at the worst table?!?! I asked if we could sit at another table and the host said it would be another 15 minutes wait for a different table. I was forced to wear my jacket throughout the meal bc I was so cold. One way to remedy this would be to put up a temporary outer door. We ordered drinks and our waitress made a point to say she’d bring over some bread. The drinks took way too long to arrive, probably 15 minutes, yet still no bread. Once drinks arrived we ordered our food. Bread finally arrived and it was actually laughable how bad it was! Our food was really pretty terrible too. Our appetizers: a pizza and the spinach artichoke dip. The dip was horrendous! Literally was something out of a jar served barely warm with terrible chips. Our entrees: a pork chop, a burger, the tuna poke, and the chicken plus several sides (fries, asparagus, lobster Mac n cheese and Brussels sprouts). Of the 4 entrees only the chicken was pretty good. The sprouts were disgusting. And the side of lobster Mac was $19! Honestly, the Refectory charges way too much for their barely edible food. Being a parent of a student in the area this is a real disappointment as we will never return and will only advise other parents to avoid The Refectory as there are so many other better restaurants with better customer service and management in the area. Save your money for elsewhere!

V
Philadelphia
101 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was great - Angelo
Food was excellent
It was great night

OT
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall2food1service3ambience5

Food is over-priced relative to its quality. Chicken breast was overcooked (previously had a salmon fish that was overcooked). Restaurant no longer offers parking waiver.

K
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The restaurant is hard to get to. The parking is across the street. Too many banquettes. Food mediocre, Three of us ordered chilean sea bass and we all got different sizes. The 'grill' marks on the fish looked like branding and we suspected the fish had been frozen. The salmon was not edible. The only good thing was the onion soup. Sorry. We will not be returning

m
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

food was just OK and oversalted. not going to hurry back.

l
Philadelphia
67 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Service was inconsistent , some items were fair value others outrageously expensive. Some staff very nice while others outright rude. Would not go back.

PG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

The food was good, but there is no intimacy in the dining area. Felt as though we were part of the bar. I would recommend happy hour, or eating at the bar if that interests you.

CR
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very good but baked potato was undercooked & cold. Portion sizes were not adequate. Drinks were good. The waiter Eric was awesome.

LH
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent. Beautiful restaurant with wonderful service by our waiter Eric.

S
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great options for everyone from steak to sushi to the best sweet potato ever. Great looking space. We loved it. Parking is too far though.

d
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience3

the marguerita flatbread was hard as a rock and not very flavorfull.

MM
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Pretty good

BA
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Love the Refectory. Such a great addition to the Villanova campus. Keep up the great job. Great food and service; nice happy hour, good vibe.

C
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

First time there and really enjoyed it. It was a game day so the energy level was high but didn't take away from a great meal and great service.