Tale of the Tape: Talula’s Garden

Aimee Olexy’s and Stephen Starr’s Talula’s Garden opens tomorrow on Washington Square where the restaurant will serve as Olexy’s stage in her return to downtown Philadelphia.

Aimee Olexy

  • Owner of Kennett Square’s Talula’s Table, a gourmet market and restaurant
  • Talula’s Table
    • Praised by Saveur, Food & Wine and the New York Times Magazine
    • Called one of the hardest reservations to get in the country
    • “Restaurant” is a single table for up to 12
    • Guests must call one year in advance to place a reservation
  • Django
    • Before Talula’s Table, Olexy and ex-husband Bryan Sikora owned Django, a small BYOB off of South Street
    • Only BYOB to receive 4-bells from Craig LaBan
  • Olexy worked for Starr previously at Blue Angel and Pod
  • Olexy is passionate about cheese

Executive Chef Michael Santoro

  • Blue chip background includes:
    • Blue Duck Tavern, Washington D.C.
    • St. John, UK
    • Fat Duck, UK
    • Mugaritz, Spain
    • Gilt, New York

The Space

  • Former Washington Square restaurant space
  • Seats 102
  • 66-seat seasonal outdoor garden
  • Cheese counter constructed with a salvaged granite counter will be a focal point of the restaurant
  • Much of the Washington Square space has been brightened with additional windows and lighter colors and fabrics
  • Richard Stokes of Stokes Architecture and Olexy worked together to create the atmosphere
  • Green wall of edible herbs and flowers line the walls, inside and out
  • Seasonal flowers brighten the garden area
  • Salvaged materials dot the decor
    • Redwood planks from Vlasic pickle barrels which have been restructured as the ceiling
    • Materials from Wilmington’s Queen Theatre were converted into the rustic wood tables
  • Ten-seat communal table built from salvaged wood was built by at-risk teens in Wilmington
  • Alice Waters quote “A garden brings life and beauty to the table” adorns three sides of the middle dining area

The Food

  • Talula’s Garden will showcase rustic ingredients including pastured meats, farmstead cheeses and locally grown vegetables.
  • Menu will change frequently, highlighting the seasons
  • Highlights:
    • Veloute of sweet peas with cuttlefish “ravioli”
    • Spring salad of herbs, flowers, and lettuces, with almond milk dressing and croutons
    • Braised halibut, oxtail stuffed artichokes, sea beans
    • Lancaster saffron barigoule, and roasted morels with new potato gnocchi, Meadowset egg, raisin puree and mushroom jus
  • Tasting Menu
    • 12-course tasting dinner
    • Around $100 per person
    • Hyper-local
    • Will be available a few weeks after opening
  • Cheese
    • A focal point of the restaurant
    • Selection of artisinal cheeses paired with sweet and savory accompaniments
  • Dinner Menu (PDF)
  • Dessert Menu (PDF)

Drink

  • Fifty-bottle wine list
  • 100% sustainable wine list
    • Bonny Doon from Monterey, CA
    • Hendry Rosé in Napa Valley
    • Dreyer Family Vegan winery in North Coast, CA
  • Food-friendly beers
  • Cocktails made with seasonal herbs and ingredients grown right at the bar
  • Beverage Menu (PDF)

Talula’s Garden
210 W Washington Square
215-592-7787

Dinner served nightly from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Brunch served on Sundays

Slideshow

[imagebrowser id=29]



Around the Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.