501 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1910439.950154 -75.212435
Wed - Thurs: 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm Fri - Sat: 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm Sun: 10:30 am - 2:30 pm 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Neighborhoods: Spruce Hill, West Philadelphia
Words cannot describe – I've been to a lot of great restaurants, but this is by far the best meal I've ever had. Everyone in my party was blown away. Upon asking one, who frequents Europe and lives for Michelin starred restaurants, how this compared to his most recent experiences, he replied "This just blows them out of the water".
The service was casual and friendly, the atmosphere intimate, and the food outstanding. We went for dinner, prepared to open one bottle of wine (out of 3 options we brought), and have a quick meal. We ended up staying for three hours and polishing off all the wine. We were kept busy with an array of amuse bouche options between courses, and our main meals were so incredible conversation simply stopped.
Just go. Go now. Just do it.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Evidently, the new (as of fall 2009) owners are in love with foam. They’re also quite taken with the notion of skimpy entrees that emphasize aesthetic artistry over robust saveur. But so it is at this yet-again reinvented contemporary fine dining BYOB: foam as the curiously passé spotlight of almost every dish, three vertical parsnips and a dime-sized dollop of pudding as an entrée, a literal “dot” of saffron sauce as the period on a minimalistic anchovy appetizer. If nothing else, the warmth of the interior space is filling: yellow walls to match the restaurant’s name, hushed audio tones, candles and flowers on the tables and a rustic hardwood floor that might have fit right into the scheme of the two-story building when it was still a residential rowhouse.
Terrific new fall menu – The editor's review predates current chef Erin O'Shea. When O'Shea took over in Jan. 2008, the change in focus to an all-Southern menu didn't excite me and I had not been back this year. That approach has been softened recently and the menu this summer, and now this fall, is Southern-influenced (she still puts bits of tasty ham in a number of dishes) but it is not overwhelming. Call it creative cuisine with a Southern flavor.
We had butternut squash soup with a vanilla-poached fig in it and mussels with sausage and yellow pepper cream. Both were delicious and I was sorry I hadn't accepted the offer of another roll so I could sop up the last of the yellow pepper cream. For entrees we had pork loin with oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and wax beans and halibut with brown butter, braised fennel, kalamata olives, and tomato fumet. Both dishes, particularly the halibut, had layers of flavors and both were top-notch.
I was pleased to see that the decor now includes white tablecloths as I had thought that the previous bare, modernist, electric-blue tables clashed with the Victorian ambiance of the dining room. Service was friendly, relaxed, and attentive. We brought both red and white wine and our server immediately offered to bring out a second set of wine glasses. A couple that came in after us did not know the restaurant was BYOB and a server graciously gave them a bottle of wine that had not been finished at an earlier table.
Entrees are fairly priced in the high teens to low $20s. Portions are not huge but are adequate in size and are top-quality. A minor point, but I still don't get charging $4 for a cup of tea (particularly when the La Colombe coffee is $2.50).
Great food – I went here for the first time in the spring and have been back twice because I liked it so much. The food is unique and delicious. In the spring I especially like their vidalia onion soup and the halibut. I love that they change their menu seasonally so you can be sure that you're getting the freshest produce. The only con is that the seating is really cramped, particularly for parties of two. You feel like you're having dinner with the people next to you. Other than that I definitely recommend it!
Good time at This Old House – We visited Saturday evening and had a very satisfying meal. We were seated in a second floor room, which lent intimacy to our meal, although the more raucous first floor had its proponents, too. Two of us had the featured appetizer of cornbread, greens and a sunnyside egg, and we loved it. The ladies opted for the butter lettuce and found the dressing a bit overwhelming. Main course the ladies chose the scallops and mussels, cleverly paired with pearl tapioca. Scallops were done to perfection and the mussels very tender. I had the braised shortrib and it was tender and tasty with mushrooms, carrots and pureed cauliflower. The other choice was the pork tenderloin with white beans, and it too was excellent. For dessert we had three selections, the banana bread pudding, chocolate cake and apple tart. We found each one to be very good, the chocolate cake probably the favorite and the banana bread pudding maybe a bit dry, despite a dollop of coffee ice cream.
We felt the atmosphere at Marigold was very inviting. We had a lively, friendly waitress who shared our enthusiasm for the wines we brought, and the neighborhood had a college town feel, as one would expect. The ambience reflects the fact that you are eating in an old house, and if the decorations are spare, there is a charm to the bold colors and authentic feel. We'll definitely return.
Phenomenal BYO! – I'm shocked by the negative reviews as I've had nothing but excellent service at Marigold over the last year. The staff is always extremely attentive and friendly. We are always seated promptly and attended to accordingly. I enjoy the originality of the menu very much and often try new dishes with increasing delight. The sweetbreads wrapped in crispy chicken remain a favorite although the soups are always innovative and delicious. I've recently learned the restaurant has welcomed a new chef and I look forward to my next visit to sample the new menu!
Highly Overrated – Ever since I moved to Philly I have wanted to go to Marigold, but the place was so popular that it took me 2 years to get a Friday night reservation. I was looking forward to the eclectic yet innovative cuisine I have been reading so much about. I have to say that the place is really disappointing.
It is situated in the heart of southwest Philly in an unassuming house in a residential neighborhood. I understand that its lack of decor is supposed to draw our attention to the food, yet the cuisine is nothing to rave about.
We ordered from a three course prix-fixe menu that sounded a lot more appetizing in print than on the palate. My medium-rare venison was raw and bloody and my husband?s sweetbreads were suspiciously chewy and rubbery. The service was polite and unaffected, but sitting in a drab room, staring at dreary green walls while trying to get excited about an entree I could have prepared better at home, was a disappointment.
Overall, the place wasn?t bad, but hardly worth the scavenge for parking in a dicey neighborhood. I?d venture to guess that the raving reviews were posted by budget-conscious students for whom this place seems like a gourmet treat.
Worst BYOB in Phildelphia – Hands down the worst BYOB that I have ever been to. I had my husband's birthday dinner at Marigold Kitchen. The service was slow..... not only did it take us 4 hours to get a 4 course meal but they got most of our orders wrong. The restaurant is basically in an old house with no renovations or decorations to mention. They sat us in an old bedroom in the upper section of the restaurant.The portions were extremely small and inedible, not to mention extremely pricey. I was embarassed that I invited our family and friends to have dinner at such as atroscious restaurant.
Perfect Food. Snotty Staff. – I have visited Marigold Kitchen twice in the past year and a half, and have had the same experince both times. The food is incredible. I enjoyed a delcious quail entree that I still rave about to friends. The last time I visited, I had a chicken and crawfish dish that was to die for. However, the food is sadly overshadowed by an incredibly snotty, unattentive service staff. The first time, the waiter actually rolled his eyes at my table of 6 friends (all of whom are also in the service industry) when someone asked what a specific ingredient was. His attitude became so insulting throughout the evening that we actually made a comment about rude he was, to which he again rolled his eyes. The second time our waitress was too lazy to give us new wine glasses when we switched from a bottle of white to red wine, and was just downright rude. It's a shame the staff is so awful because the restaurant itself is fantastic.
Fatty brisket weighs against Marigold – Our meal was a big disappointment, given the overall high ratings of this restuarant. The fava soup was bland while the sweetbreads were overpowered by the chicken skin wraps. The big disappointment was the beef brisket which was half fat. I have seen brisket with a layer of fat, but not in the center of the pieces served. On the positive side, the potato gnocchi with ramps was light (not easy for gnocchi) and tasty and the service was attentive (although they only offered to replace the brisket with another dish -not a very helpful alternative when a companion is already eating the entre).
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