What happened to this place? Have my tastes changed or has it gone really downhill? 8:30 reservation on a Saturday night, we were squeezed in the very front, practically on top of the ppl next to us, on a very wobbly table, in front of the very drafty window/door on a cold night. Not off to a great start...
For apps we got calamari and the pita/hummus/veggie plate. I've had their calamari before and I remember it being good, but on this night the breading was soggy and the calamari was chewy. The pita was warm and fluffy, but the hummus was watery and bland, along with the peppers. The zucchini, eggplant and asparagus were on point though.
I was hoping for some decent wine for the meal. Nope. Run of the mill wine list, even for a novice. They are definitely catering to the lowest common denominator. Italian Pinot Grigio (cougar juice), your typical oaky CA Chardonnay, a very fruity Malbec, Chenin Blanc (to be fair, that's more of a personal taste, but one of my least favorite varietals). We ordered a Sauv Blanc (from New Zealand, typical), to go with dinner, but it was super grassy and overpowering.
The entree list was uninspiring. Chicken, boring. Burger, no thanks. Pasta, pass. Ooh, Paella?? Oh, that feeds 3-4 ppl. Might want to just note that on the menu guys. I got the scallops despite not really in the mood for them. They were good I will say. All 3 of them. They had a nice sear and were cooked to perfection. The mashed potato/crab/mushroom asparagus combo was kind of odd but fine. Our waiter didn’t even ask if we wanted dessert, but, no need to spend any more hard earned money here. Considering how expensive it was and how disappointing most of the meal was, the value here is dismal.
It's a shame because this place is less than 2 blocks away from me, so I thought it could be a good back-up (reservations are easy to get, I see why — overbooking and poor quality). But even with its extremely convenient location, sorry to say I won't ever be returning.
We were quite happy with our choice of Valanni for a birthday celebration. Overall the food was good and reasonably priced. We were able to converse but did have to raise our voices. The service was a little rushed and delayed at times, but it was a busy Saturday night.
Valanni was my worst dining experience to date in Philadelphia. While the front of the restaurant looks modern and nice, we were seated in the back room of the restaurant, which I can only describe as a tacky strip-club-esque feel. The room was incredibly tightly packed, to the point were we accidentally knocked over our waters in the first 5 mins trying to avoid bumping into the patrons next to us. You could not get up to use the rest room without bumping into every single guest on your way there. Should have known at that point that this restaurant was not worth our time or money. Dirty seats, lots of food on the carpeted floor, sticky tables. It did not end there. The first major strike was the dirty wine class I was served. The second strike was the used silverware covered in food that we were given. And the last strike was the glass of water that had an incredible amount of flakes and debris of god knows what. It was not lemon water. The entire table behind us were also sending back their waters as we were leaving. All I can say is thank god our wine bottle came corked, because that was the only thing that we were able to enjoy at Valanni. Our meal came to almost $120, and that was with splitting an entree. Overpriced in general, but especially considering that lack of cleanliness and subpar service. Will not be coming back and would never recommend this establishment to anyone.
Enjoyed everything about ourm
The mediterranean menu has been replaced by a generic american one, with a few exceptions.
The service was exceptional. I had the special Maple Walnut encrusted duck breast over sweet potato and green beans and it was out of this world!!! Every time we come to this restaurant the food is mouth watering perfection! I can not recommend Valanni enough!
Me and my GF came for valentines day, our experience wasn’t to good, the server wasn’t really to helpful, I asked for a wine and he pointed me out to this drink and it was really strong and not so tasty, so i ended up not drinking all & he didn’t show us other menu, but the valentines day menu which was a $65 per person, we thought that was the only menu for the day, so we went with it, we didn’t know what to expect. Most of the thing we got we ain’t like them, the lobster oil was not that good, the only thing we was satisfied with is the shrimp pasta that was really good, we could of got that only if we knew and not waste money on the whole four course meal. Other than that place is really nice very modern looking noise is good and good location.
Went on Valentine’s Day with my girlfriend. The service was nice, but the kitchen served my 3rd course after the 1st course just came out. The second course was completely missed and manager never acknowledged this.
Went in Valentine’s Day and had the preset meal. Usually, when I pay a good amount for a shrimp dinner I don’t expect to be served small shrimp that had been frozen. Tasted rubbery. Thought the meal was overpriced for what I was served.
Great atmosphere upon arrival. Went for the Valentine's day fixed menu. I was very disappointed in the first two courses as they were very small. The main course steak I received had fat all around the outside. My girlfriend's steak was much better and cooked to the correct temperature while mine was not. Again the dessert was extremely small portion. Absolutely not worth the price.
Valentine's Day dinner. crowded / tight tables. but good service, good taste/portions... particularly for prix fixe. cool vibe overall. tasty but pricey drinks. likely to return.
Food was very good, service was excellent. Some tables are a little small for large groups, but we made it work. Had reservations, had to wait about 1/2 hour past our time for a table, but enjoyed a drink at the bar.
We opted for small plates rather than a full dinner. Four were enough for the 2 of us and boy were they delicious. We recommend the brussel sprouts, calamari, flatbread, and empanadas.
Food & service were excellent. Although the noise level in general was high, our table (for a party of 2) was strategically located so as to not be unduly affected by noise level. (This was the second time we have been to Valanni & we found similar placement of our table on the first visit to also be strategically located to curb the general noise level of the restaurant.)
We stayed at the Marriott Fairfield (next door) and chose Valanni because it was close and because of the menu. We were very pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food and the attentiveness of the servers. Dining partner has multiple food allergies and the server did not mind checking with the chef when asked a question about ingredients. The octopus appetizer with sundried tomatoes and capers in olive oil was fantastic! Octopus was tender and flavorful. Dining partner had scallops with asparagus. Scallops were perfectly seared, tender and fresh tasting. My salmon with haricot verts was perfectly seared (skin side down) and the flesh was tender and moist. Veggies on both plates were al dente. Starch of the night for the plates was garlic mashed potatoes which were excellent. I was going to get the paella but the server said that the paella could easily feed two or more people. Wine list was excellent. Noise level was acceptable even with a full house.
Excellent food. We had the pre-theater menu and enjoyed it thoroughly.
We were the only table there on a Wednesday night. It was really strange. Food was uneven - some amazingly good some kind of bland.
My wife ordered the scallops. She thought they were good, but $36 is excessive for 3 scallops. I ordered seafood paella. Serving size was good for the $39 price tag. In comparison to other paella I have had, it was pretty bad. Basically flavorless and very disappointing.
Not worth the cost. Not going back.
The noise level changes depending on when you dine. Friday evenings it can get loud. The music, the conversations going on, it will either be annoying, or make you feel young and alive.
Fantastic spot ! Went with my girlfriends for an early dinner before our monthly night out and this was a good find. Not stuffy but still upscale and trendy for gals our age. Love the martinis on their cocktail menu, great selection. Had a bunch of small bites we all shared, I think we tried almost everything on the menu. Cheesesteak sliders and Octopus were to die for. Also loved the vegetable and hummus. The staff was so nice especially Michael, I believe the manager who came over to check on us and gave us some great recommendations. He sent us out a complimentary dish, the chicken empanadas since we had never been there before, I thought that was so nice.
Paella really lacked any flavor resembling that of this classic Spanish dish. Our server was great.
Fun and Reliable Happy Hour. I had a Fallen Gimlet which was delicious. The Brussel sprouts are always great. I think the trio of spreads shrank and used to include a few fresh veggies. Server was good and responsive.
Food was ber
Love this place
our restaurant week experience at Valanni was sub par. one of the worst dining experiences we've had. loud, slow, mediocre food, overworked staff. if it had been our first time there we'd never come back. luckily we love Valanni and will go back often. never again during restaurant week.
Restaurant week. Had a blast!
This place is for a cute girls night or a date environment. The ambiance is amazing.
Not family friendly and the food is just ok. Nothing fancy but it isn’t terrible either and Jas the bartender is the best !! The drinks are a little over priced and taste more like juice, not a good choice if you’re a drinker.
You get what you pay for because it’s in center city! Also turns into a club after 10 pm!!! So dress accordingly .
Paella was terrible, the service was excellent
Oreo beignet desert was awesome. I didn’t drink however my sister said they were excellent..... 21st century and red sangria.
Up until this visit Valanni was one of my favorite restaurants in Philly. In fact, I was there only days before and had enjoyed myself. We got there at 5:45 and our food came pretty quickly. Because of the wait staff rushing us we were done and the bill was paid a little before 7:30. My sister was going to order food to go for her husband until we were asked to leave because they were "overbooked." I always recommend this place to people because it had been one of my favorites, but never again. I wouldn't even feel comfortable going back there.
The two young ladies, who were the hostess's were really nice great people. We arrived and were seated right at the door on one of the , COLDEST nights in Philadelphia, we were forced to keep this seat due to reservations, not happy but we dealt with it. We were a party of three and we waited for our 3 person to show up and one of us went to the bar and had a drink while we waited, the manager did not like that, he got on the hostess and my party was informed she had to stay at the bar until she finished the drink, because happy hour is only at the bar. Mind you we waited probably a half hour or longer for our 3rd party to arrive and the fact that we had to seat by the door and feel the COLD air every single time the door opened. We ordered three additional drinks once we had our meal. I think the manger could have been more accommodating. The mussels and the dessert were great, the seafood paella was just ok for me. I will give them another try with another entree.
Great experience at Valanni ! Came for restaurant week , disappointed the full menu wasn't available as i had chosen some items from the website i wanted to order but nonetheless the restaurant week menu rocked ! We had the salmon and the crab mac & cheese , both were fantastic ! Some really fun and innovative drinks on their cocktail list. Service was very friendly and accommodating, We felt very welcomed from the host, the manager and the serving team ! GIve this place a try if you haven't been yet. It's really cute inside, definitely a hidden gem !
-The Food was subpar, appetizers was good and tasty (very unique). We had the fried goat cheese and pork belly sliders which were amazing. The main course was not the best. Had the crab and pancetta Mac and cheese which was bland and also the vegetarian paella which quite honestly did not taste like paella. The dessert was good (chocolate tees leches and sorbet) and refreshing.
-The service was quite annoying. Too much interruption by the main waitress and was pressuring us to order. Good intentions but way too intrusive.
-Overall would not recommend going for anything other than restaurant week. I will probably not return but maybe worth a try in the future.
Such a great ambiance
It was restaurant week, and I was disappointed they didn't have their regular menu. The food and selection was not nearly as good as it typically is...some items were cold, options were limited...I was disappointed.
Came for my friends birthday during restaurant week.
We were sat at our table and were not greeted or even offered water for about 15 minutes. We had to speak with a manager who graciously apologized for the error and provided us a free round of drinks-a very nice gesture.
We ordered the FRIED GOAT CHEESE
honey, red onion & bell pepper marmalade, RED MUSSELS
ancho-chili puree, basil, charred tomato garlic broth, grilled garlic bread both very delicious. Unfortunately our dinner left us wanting more flavor and less salt. We ordered Meat and Seafood Paella and Jumbo Lump Mac and Cheese. The paella was extremely salty and the rice overcooked. The Mac and cheese just lacked flavor.
Overall this is a decent place for food and drinks but keep your expectations low.
Hi. We reserved a table to celebrate our friend’s birthday. We’ve been going to Valanni since 2007. The food never disappoints; however your hostess and wait staff is and has always been a hit or miss. We’re never sure ... they’re so inconsistent - at times it feels as though no one couldn’t care less about service. It’s too bad because your food is fantastic and also because the service in your sister restaurants, Mercato and Varga is always so good. Nevertheless, we still thing Valanni is great. Thank you!
My husband and I visited Valanni during Philly restaurant week and thoroughly enjoyed our food. It was so delicious!!
Group of 4 during RW. While the calamari and oreo beignet were delicious, the vegetable paella was BEYOND bland...BEYOND! I should have asked to replace it because as it stands now, I would never go back because of it. My guests seemed to enjoy all 3 of their courses though.
My group of friends went for Restaurant Week. Everyone greatly enjoyed their meals. Our server was very attentive.
Great experience for restaurant week. Great menu selection. A little noisy but perfect for pre-theatre dining.