Water Works Restaurant & Lounge
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Water Works is a National Historic Landmark located on the waterfront of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You will start your evening off with handmade hors d'oeuvres and cocktails around a customized ice sculpture. Hot and chilled stations serve items such as shrimp, crab, East Coast Oysters, sautéed Kiwi Mussels, roasted chicken osso buco or seared Italian sausage cassoulet. In addition, chef attended stations will be available to you and your guests. Water Works can prepare pasta dishes at the ravioli bar or create many Asian specialties at the Asian Station. Enjoy the romantic atmosphere with a filet mignon, roasted prime rib, orange braised short ribs or a seafood dish, such as grilled salmon with crab or Chilean sea bass. Veal, lamb, duck, pork and chicken are also available options. Top off the night with a strawberry shortcake, cheesecake or an assortment of miniature pastries.
I would not recommend this restaurant. Buffet line was more than 10 minutes long. Food was mediocre at best, and service was lacking. We asked for coffee and one person received a luke-warm cup, while the other received nothing for several minutes because they were brewing it (it's brunch - seems standard that coffee should constantly be available). When more coffee was requested, it took more than 15 minutes to get a cup. Brunch was extremely expensive for something not special at all, and they charged $3.50 for a glass of orange juice. When we were done eating we had to flag the waiter down to request our check after waiting for several minutes. I would NOT recommend this terribly overpriced place to anyone.
Celebrating a special event was worth it for the pictures - location and grounds are wonderful. Maitre' d was warm and inviting - it would be great if he could mentor staff to be more attentive and warm. Food was "fine" - nothing special. Everyone seems good with their food - salmon, chicken, tofu, but my husband said Duck was very weak. Biggest issue though was the attentiveness of wait staff and everything took a VERY long time. I was dining with some "elderly" folk so by the time dinner came they were ready to leave. Would try again in the hopes that this was an off-night.
Excellent food. Fantastic view. Very attentive and friendly waitstaff.
I was disappointed to learn that this would be a banquet/ event venue only in the future.
I have never been behind the Art Museum!!! The view was fabulous!!! The food was delicious!!! Well worth the money spent!!
With such an historic and potentially beautiful venue, you'd think the business would respect it with good food and decor. This city enjoys the luxury of having quite a few excellent restaurateurs who bewitch the most unassuming of places into world class gems. Just imagine the culinary landmark this would be if the likes of Jose Garces got his hands on the Waterworks Restaurant! What a shame.
Sunday Brunch is fantastic! Great views of Boathouse Row and the River
We reserved a 5:00pm table for 8 on Mother's Day and everyone in my family was ecstatic when we were seated. The restaurant overlooks the city and specifically Boat House Row. The art museum, waterfall and walking trails add even more to the experience.
We were seated promptly and ordered by 5:30..and then waited, and waited. Understanding it was Mother's day everyone was patient and enjoyed the surroundings and incredible view. Then we waited..and waited, then asked for more wine, but they no longer had the wine we had, only a comparable wine - in taste, not price!
Knowing we were going to a place like Waterworks, everyone went hungry and excited for a good meal. Over two hours later we would have been happy with McDonald's. Finally, the food came out around 7:30 and inevitably they served my mom the wrong dish (on mothers day after waiting 2:30 to eat). I ended up eating a dish I didn't order and the server and/or manager never apologized for the mistake. The only apology was from me to my family for making the reservations. The View is NOT worth the aggravation, the food was awful. A steak knife was needed for every dish - filet, chicken, pork and duck, because they were so hard - but our server never stopped to ask .
I wasn't expecting anything great, but I wasn't expecting them to rely 100% on the view. Management/staff at the Waterworks are either slow or they are deliberately trying to extend the length of your meal to increase liquor/wine/beer costs. Spend your money somewhere that cares.
I have been to the Waterworks before with my mother for her birthday and it was incredibly good--food, service and unbeatable location on the water. However, not every restaurant is able to match their buffet on a holiday with the off the menu quality on a "regular" day and Waterworks was a prime example. The experience could have been improved with 1) Music--even of the recorded variety 2) More choices on the buffet--which was heavily weighted towards breakfast choices even at our 1:45 reservation time. 3) Replenishment of the buffet table--I know we had a late seating but we were paying exactly what those who arrived 2 hours earlier paid. And this brunch was no bargain!
I will we back to the Waterworks again but not for brunch and not on a holiday. Come on, Waterworks! You can do better. Don't let us down!
Visited Waterworks restaurant for Mother's day brunch.. Food was excellent- especially the french toast (one of my favorites) and the salmon!! When making reservations, I requested outside seating but the restaurant was unable to accomodate me due to the volume of guests dining that special day. I was annoyed but went with the flow. Hopefully, my next visit to the restaurant I'll be able to be seated on the outside to enjoy the view of the river. Other than that, I would recommend the restaurant to others wholeheartedly!! I give it 5 stars!!
Took my family here for Mother's Day brunch. Good food, excellent view, impeccable service. Gorgeous area and a beautiful day. Bloody Mary's done right. BUT, be prepared to spend $$!
they didnt give us any dining points... and we got engaged on this outing!! SIGH
The chairs were sticky, the service was poor, and the food was awful. The wait time for our food was about an hour!! and when it arrived it was such poor quality!!
Terribly disappointing experience.
The location is great, overlooking the river and being a short walk from the Art Museum. A few more signs indicating where it is on the walking path would have helped. It's a fairly quiet place and we liked being seated in a booth looking out on the river. I did want to be seated under the tent outside and asked for it in the reservations. We were told that all the empty tables were "reserved." I wonder for whom and whether staff didn't feel like accommodating us!! It was our first time there and guess we're not part of the "in crowd." Still, it was very pleasant overall.
I wanted to try the Water Works Restaurant because I often run past it, and it seemed like it would have a nice view and be good for brunch. The view is about what I had expected - a nice view of boathouse row and the river, you can see the bikers / runners go by on the other side of the river on a Sunday morning.
However, the food was such a disappointment. I guess part of it was my fault for not doing my research, but I wasn't expecting a pricey buffet. At first I was impressed by the selection - hot food, omelette bar, raw bar, desserts - but I quickly found that food that looks good doesn't necessarily taste that great. Nothing was particularly bad, but neither is it something I will return to, especially given the price.
My husband and I celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary here and it was a great experience. We were seated on the outside patio which was closed in because it was a little chilly and windy that day. However, we were in the covered (heated) tent but the view was still amazing. My husband had no idea that the waterfall was even there. The service was impeccable, the ambiance was soothing and romantic. They even provided us with a desert plate that said Happy Anniversary. How sweet and thoughtful. The food was delicious as well, the omelette station, the waffles and french toast were the best items on the menu.
This was our first time at the Water Works but certainly won't be our last. Our Sunday brunch was absolutely wonderful & a special way to celebrate our anniversary. The food was exceptional...be sure not to pass up the crepes...out of this world. There was such a variety of food that no one could go hungry. Our waitress, Mindy, was great and made our visit one we will always remember. So glad that we went early so we could be out on the patio and able to enjoy the scenic view. Thanks for the great experience.....we will be back
The food was very good but was overshadowed by the unfriendly and novice service. It seemed like the staff didn't know what they were doing. The bartender was rude and questioned me with my drink selection. as if he did't want to make it. I even told him "who is the customer?" Not a friendly restaurant.
Sitting outside on a sunny day overlooking Boat House Row, mimosa in hand, and a brunch buffet with tasty variety and an excellent staff. The buffet was laden with so many wonderful dishes (recommend the made-to-order crepes!). The staff were overwhelmingly nice making us very relaxed and comfortable. It was a distinct pleasure to meet Michael Karloutsos himself!
Make sure to secure a river-side view table in advance. Those offer the best views and that's the real reason you should be coming here. On Sundays, there's a buffet, which is decent with a variety of options.
The place is beginning to show it's age. The food is over priced and the menu is limited. Portions are small and the dessert size is poor. This use to be a classy place to go for fine dinning but there are now much better places for less money.
Dinner took three hours. Waited 1 1/2 hours before we got our meals. And then food was cold. Steak was unevenly cooked. Had reservations for 500 when it opened and missed 700 train to get home. Poor ability of waiter to do a service recovery. Overheard waitress and manager having a heated argument over issues with length of time for meals to come out. Hectic management from the start. Unexpected group at bar apparently interrupted dinner service and staff over the reserved tables. Great scenery and beautiful day for outside dining. Unfortunately overall disappointing for a $200 meal for 4. Hope this review sparks the management to look at improvements.
We had a lovely time watching the sunset from our outdoor table facing the river, and our meal was enhanced by the excellent service. The only glitch--my fish was way overcooked.
We celebrated a birthday at the Watergate on April 12, 2015 for the lunchtime buffet. The quality of all the dishes was superb. I would say that this was the best buffet I have ever had. The abundant cherrystone clams, the crab cakes, the rolled salmon, the roast beef so tender and tasty, the variety of breakfast choices, and the deserts, particularly the light and fluffy chocolate cake. The coffee was always fresh and delicious and the free mimosa/champagne cocktail was uniquely different and thirst-quenching. We were seated on the outdoor terrace with a spectacular view of the river and Boat House Row. The service was impeccable. Our waiter gave us special attention beyond our expectations--much appreciated as one member of our party had difficulty walking and the dishes were brought to her. Everyone was courteous and helpful including the reception desk. The Watergate has become our favorite restaurant in Philadelphia and we look forward to coming there often.
Sunday brunch is fabulous! The food was great, mimosas and coffee were great, seating was great. Eggs, meats, seafood, sweets, pastas and other items make it a great variety for a group. Had been here once before for New Year's Eve and the service was bad, food mediocre, would not have returned if not for a gift we received but based on how good brunch is we'd go back.
The exceptional service far outweighed the fact that we were placed in an empty dining room without the view of the river. The brunch offerings were very good and plentiful. I'd definitely go back but specifically ask for a table with a view for such a special occasion.
I recently experienced Sunday brunch at the Waterworks this past Sunday to celebrate my girlfriend's birthdays. I just had to take a moment to say WOW! The atmosphere was wonderful, the food and variety was absolutely awesome and last, but certainly not least- the service provided by our server Mindy was truly unforgettable.
It was a pleasure to experience this brunch with friends in a prime location in Philly. I have already told my friends about this place and will definitely be back real soon!
I selected Water Works restaurant for my dad's birthday party because it was rated as a 5 star restaurant and known for its beautiful scenic view. However, the service we received was very poor. Our reservations were made for 6:30pm. We were not served our first course meal of a soup or salad until 8:20pm!!!! Prior to that, one of my guests had to ask the server to bring out bread. I was very upset and embarrassed because the food, coffee and tea was cold or room temperature, some items were missing from the menu that I had to preselect for my guests, and the timing of the food being served was very, very slow. Two of my guests did not receive their entrees until 30 minutes after all of my other guests were served!! The waiter and waitress never asked any of my guests what they would like to drink. My guests were served glasses of tap water and room temperature coffee and tea for the duration of the dinner. One of my guests was very upset because she was told by one of the servers that the Water Works does not have containers for her to put her food in to take home. The 2 servers we had as well as the manager were clueless and not easily approachable. They did not display a friendly, vibrant and apologetic demeanor. I was very disappointed as I wanted this birthday party to be a very special, and memorable evening. I give this restaurant a 1 star!!!!
A wonderfully personal wedding day...great food, wine, ambiance. Thank you!
We went for brunch on a snowy day in March. Although arguably a place one would want to go on a warm, sunny day, we loved the cozy atmosphere that came with a beautiful wintry view of the river. The food selection is excellent with nice touches like a fresh omelette and crepe bar. The fixed price includes a mimosa.
This place was everything that I thought that it would be.... the experience was great! It was a great place to celebrate my 65th birthday with family. We all had a great time and the view of Boat House Row at night (all lit up) was fantastic. There was fireworks and some other activity going on that evening which made the night more 'special' to me. It was truly a dream come true. GREAT EVENING!
My mother and I totally enjoyed brunch. Most of the food was very good. We just thought the chicken and turkey was very dry! The only problem I had was I went to the ladies room and came back it was gone, it still had food on it.
The atmosphere was superb, service was excellent. Our server Mindy did a wonderful job and was very personable. She has a great attitude and personality!
Would definitely come back again for brunch! Also will lunch and dinner.
Had a pretty nice time for a Valentine's Day dinner. The view of boat house row was pretty incredible from the Solarium. The food was delicious making for a terrific night.
The atmosphere was great, very good drinks, excellent service but the food a little over rated, I had the surf and turf, for the price it did not wow me. But still would recommend the Resturant great time.
Staff was very accomodating and the food was amazing. Wine paring was well worth it for a special event.
We had a romantic Valentine's dinner with 2 other couples. The food was wonderful and we selected the wine pairing to go with each course. The wine pours were more than sufficient. The portions were the perfect size and the service was impeccable.
My fiancé and I went for Valentine's day. I wrote a note on the website when I booked our reservation. I wrote my fiancé is pregnant and I don't know if that changes the menu. Once we got there everything was good. The waiter asked if all the food for the dinner would be good for us. I said yes except that we need to have her steak cooked well done being she is pregnant. The waiter agreed. Once the dinner came out , it was med rare. Thankfully we checked because this would be a major issue. The health of my baby and fiancé because of someone who can't follow directions and a company who don't read notes. This was very upsetting. Then a man in a suit came up to is after dinner who worked there and made a comment that my fiancé didn't like. " everyone is still alive right" We left after that and she had to bite her lip. I'm not sure but I feel this business needs to pay attention to detail and the food main course wasn't even worth $80.
I made Valentines dinner reservation based on our prior very good experience at this restaurant. However, we were very disappointed with the service, food quality and overall experience this time. We didn't get a real warm welcome when checking in, and our server seemed to be in a rush although he didn't have many tables to handle. Food was prepared well but not exceptional, mashed potatoes were cool, and we just didn't get that special treatment we expected for this level of restaurant. Probably will not be back in the foreseeable future.
We started off our romantic evening at the waterworks. The staff service was great and the food was even better.
If you want a romantic dining experience with an attentive, professional, friendly staff, valet or personal parking, at the base of the Philly Art Museum overlooking Boathouse Row and the Schuylkill River, with a diverse and delicious menu of higher end offerings; then Water Works is the experience for you.
This fine dining experience will want you coming back again and again.
The service was impeccable and the food was good but honestly not worth the price. The view and atmosphere is what your paying for here.