1713 South St, Philadelphia, PA | Directions 1914639.944381 -75.170783
Great Service, Great food.... I was at Pumpkin recently and after reading some reviews, it was exactly what I expected, but better. The waitress was excellent, she was comfortable and knowledgeable, and I have to say this is the first time that being vegan has not felt like a hassle. She was happy to accomodate and rather than getting the feeling like the Chefs were grumbling in the background, she made me feel like they enjoyed the challenge (although, it probably wouldve been smart to mention it in my reservation). The presentations were lovely and while the portions are smaller, even my father (who has quite an appetite) was satisfied. Now, the food does take a while, but here's my advice. Bring a few bottles of wine, sit back and relax- its Dinner! Whats the hurry. The waitress, was not absent or avoiding us and to me, that makes all the difference. My vegan dish-kale, mushrooms, quinoa, parsnip puree with a spicy mustard taste was so good, I was practically licking my fingers!
One of the best Byo's in the city.
Pumpkin is always great. The food is always well done, with great care. Full of flavor, fantastic presentation, and interesting combinations. I recommend this place highly. As a regular, I am always given a amuse course, and the chefs are always willing to talk shop, whether it be food, ingredients, or wine.
Now, since it seems many people lack BYOB etiquette, let me inform the masses. First, for the prices you pay and the quality you get, you cannot beat this restaurant, along with a few other notable byobs (melograno, mercato, etc). As someone who works at a fine dining establishment in philly, a filling, delicious meal for 2 under $100 is great. But, with that price you lose some of the luxury's of fine dining.
If you want somewhere with a "never say no, customer is always right" mentality, go to The Fountain or Le Bec Fin. And, expect to pay upwards of 200 per PERSON! I routinely wait on tables of 2 that spend upwards of $500. Otherwise, you have to deal with certain unavoidable compromises. For one, staff and service. They won't be stellar, but good enough, just because the great ones go to where they make more money. Two, if you sit for a long time, don't be surprised if you're asked to leave. As a BYOB makes no money off alcohol (with its huge profit margin), a customer who is sitting, just drinking wine they bought elsewhere is losing that restaurant lots of money. Please be courteous to the staff, and waiting customers, and leave in a reasonable amount of time.
Lastly, trust a restaurant if they say they can't seat you, because they cannot seat you. No one will turn you away if you can be sat. But since most byobs are so small, if a they are booked for an evening, they cannot shuffle things around. If tables are open, but you cannot be seated, it means reservations for them are coming in shortly and must be honored. Next time, make a reservation.
Overall just OK. We have dined at Pumpkin three times. The food is very good, but also very OVERPRICED, especially for the portion. The first time we went the service was great. The second and third times, the service was just okay. We felt rushed like others have, even though there were several empty tables.
The rare magic of greatness..
I have eaten at Pumpkin literally dozens of times beginning almost at their original opening. I find them not only wonderful, but improving.
The servers are good looking, pleasant, witty, and efficient. And the chefs are really excellent in a special way which has them consistently surprising me with their ability to top their prior excellent renderings. They are genuine and talented artists pairing ingredients, textures, colors, and flavors in unexpected and wonderful ways.
I find it a rare experience to be both surprised and delighted by food. But Pumpkin routinely accomplishes it.
After reading through the detracting 'reviews' here the thought came to me - they must have been written by competing restaurant owners. <g>
Perhaps I have simply been accidentily fortunate in my experiences. But maybe your should come in when I am going to be there and share in my good fortune. E-mail me and we can coordinate reservations.
CJE@snip.(put the word for what fisherman use here)
I said, "WHERE IS MY BREAD!". Well if you have the stomach of an eighty year old then this is the place for you. I was super excited for my dinner at Pumpkin but now I'm super sick! Not that the food wasn't pretty good, the Pumpkin experience was bland bland bland... The service was numbing and the portions of each dish was nonexisting. A huge white bowl contained my small lil entree that depressed and amused me. Laughter followed shortly after for the measly entrees wouldn't satisfy a three year old. If it wasn't for the vodka I'd probably have a worse experience. Anyway, if you want to spend 80 buckaroo's on din din and then head to Lorenzo's for dessert, enjoy!
You'll leave hungry, and you'll pay for it.....
My recommendation: eat before you go. We went for dinner last night. The menu is expensive for a BYO. Entrees were at least $23 and appetizers were $8-10. The price doesn't matter, but the portion size for the price DOES matter. The entrees are served in huge bowls, but the serving in the giant bowl is the size of a bevnap. When we got our entrees, we looked into our huge bowls, looked at each other, and burst out laughing, the portions were so small.
The bevnap reference is not an exaggeration. I had the short ribs, and my portion was literally the size of a bevnap. The menu should say "short rib" instead of "short ribs". My friend had the marlin, and her portion was even smaller than mine--it was the size of an appetizer portion. My entree was supposed to come with potato gratin. The gratin was literally a few slices of potatoes.
If the food was outstanding, I would give some leeway for the smaller portions. The short rib entree was good, but not anything special. The appetizers were good (escargot, razor clams), but again, not anything special. The marlin was very good, but again, just too small to qualify as an entree. When we asked for bread, we were served ONE SLICE EACH from a big basket. Later, during the entrees, we had to ask three times for more bread, and then we were again served one slice each. The bread wouldn't normally matter, but we were hungry and the tiny portion sizes didn't cut it. And to top it off, the bread was stale.
Also, the only beverages they have are water, coke, diet coke, and sprite. If you are bringing something to drink other than wine, there are no mixers other than coke and sprite. If you don't drink alcohol, be prepared to drink one of those three choices.
I was happy I had a bagel an hour before we went. We were hungry when we left. Not what I expect when my meal is $80 without drinks. The quality of the food does not justify the tiny portions. It gives the impression that the restaurant is cheap.
too much $ for small little pumpkin. I went for dinner last night and felt while the atmosphere is tempting from the street it was not at all what i expected. I felt the PRICES are a bit out of control, there are many established byobs in the area with much higher quality food for almost 7 to 10$ cheaper per plate, like on 20th and spruce, anyway the wait staff had a bit of pretention about them, even though they tried very hard to be relaxed and when your in such a small space all the details matter, this was a large one. The meal was pretty good, the bill was nuts. no entree under 23$ last night and for a byob....i wont go back
Pros-The atmosphere is intimate and relaxing (just the right amount of lighting). The size is great because it doesn't get that "roar" of too many people that you get in some BYOs. I am not a big seafood person and there is a lot of seafood on the menu -but I always find something I love on the ever changing menu. The duck dishes are to die for and dessert is a highlight. The waitstaff are very friendly, accomidating and knowledgable.
Cons- Not big enough for large parties (over 6). The portions are small and it is a bit on the pricy side -but the food is definately worth it.
One of my favorite BYOs in Philly.
Best BYO in center city. I moved to Center City a year ago and made a conscious effort to eat at every BYO in the area this year. I have to say that Pumpkin is certainly at the top of the class if not at the very top. The menu is fresh, organic and seasonal, and the dishes are always artfully and thoughtfully composed. I have always found the waitstaff courteous and efficient and the friendly chef himself will always visit a table to discuss the food. I don't know what kinds of experiences the less-enthusiastic reviewers on this site had, but I can only tell you that every time I've been there (about once a month for the past year), the food and service have been consistently among the best in the city. They also take reservations and will accommodate special menu needs if given advance notice. The chef is formerly of Little Fish, so the seafood is always fantastic, as is the hanger steak. Although, in my opinion, the appetizers often steal the show - so don't skip right to the entree!
Not worth the price. We dined at Pumpkin on 6/15/2007, and it was a mixed experience. First of all, it was a lot more expensive than I had anticipated. It is more of a $$$ rating than a $$ rating, as listed on citysearch. Tiny appetizers (2 scallops or 4 snails) were around $11, with main course ranging between $23-$26. Food quality was ok, but definitely not worth the price. My steak was chewy and fatty. Waiter almost spilled wine all over my clothes, and made a joke that I did it myself. Ambience was nice, cozy and relaxing. Overall, not worth the price, given the large number of excellent restaurants in Philadelphia. I won?t be back.
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