I talked about my trip to Philadelphia in the past few posts. One of my favorite stops on our itinerary was Talula’s Garden. I decided to write up a review to illustrate our experience.
“A garden brings life to the table.” These are the words scripted onto the walls of Talula’s Garden in Washington Square, Philadelphia. This phrase rings true to owner Aimee Olexy who dreamed up this restaurant while reminiscing about her childhood playing in the gardens of her parents home. Aimee teamed up with restaurateur Stephen Starr to create a magical location where guests can savor fresh, yet unique plates while enjoying a serene atmosphere. We were greeted as soon as we walked through the gates of the garden strung with twinkling lights. Fortunately we had made a reservation earlier in the day, which is highly recommended if not necessary.
The ambiance of the garden continues as you venture into the main dining room. The extremely large chandeliers resemble the stringed lights of the garden. Each of the dining tables are made of rustic wood placed with mismatched tea plates and cloth napkins. The soft colors on the wall and floral accents round out the garden-like setting.
Olexy spent some time in France studying at ‘Universitie du Vin in the Vacluse . It was here that she fell in love with cheese. She quickly became a “Maitre Fromager” enabling herself to create beautifully plated cheese boards for all tastes and styles. My dining partner and I decided to stick with our “homeland” favorites. The “Made In America” cheese board was accompanied by fresh slices of baguettes and crackers, homemade caramel, and slices of fig. We enjoyed six different varieties of cheese from all across the country. The blue cheese from California was creamy and rich while the goat cheese from Pennsylvania was light and mild. We savoured every salty bite.
For our main course we both enjoyed one of their house-made pasta dishes. The fresh potato gnocchi were creamy, light, and fluffy. They could have been enjoyed on their own. Add in the bits of apple and beets you are given a sweet tang that pairs wonderfully with the gorgonzola cream sauce. The dish is given a crunch with candied walnuts creating a well balanced and creative dish.
Unfortunately we were unable to enjoy a third course. If we had the opportunity though, I would have devoured every last item on the dessert menu. Each dish had a classic comfort food feel with a slight spin. The most intriguing were the “Sweet LIttle Ricotta Donuts.” I really cannot think of a better way to end a delicious meal than with warm doughnuts paired with a plum marmalade.
The menu at Talula’s would bring any diner back and the service put our experience over the top. The hostess seated us immediately at a cozy booth. Our server was extremely knowledgeable about the menu as well and was exceedingly attentive to our needs. Our water glasses were never left empty, finished plates were cleared immediately, and crumbs were scraped away before we could even notice them on the table. Overall, it was a memorable experience that I will not soon forget.
Please excuse the photos; I was only able to use my phone.