How have they survived?. I was last at Dmitri's many years ago, maybe as many as ten years. It was fantastic. I was there recently, and I cannot believe how bad things have gotten, yet they were able to open another location. The octopus, their signature dish, lacked the robust flavor I remember, and it was dry--not the worst I'd ever had, but certainly on the far lower end. The service was pitiful. No, I don't care that the tables are close together, or that it's loud, or that the staff need to squeeze around to serve you; in fact, these things appeal to me because they make me feel like I'm not in America, and add to the experience. No matter what you eat there, Dmitri's is now an American restaurant: Portions are HUGE, and include bland sides that aren't worth the effort; they squeeze your entree onto your table before you're done your appetizer--two quintessentially American practices that ruin a meal. The amount of food I imagine they throw out each night must be abominable. Doggie bags should be unnecessary in a good restaurant, and you'll see many leaving Dmitri's, I believe out of a sense of duty by some customers. Larger portions with less flavor are usually a sign that a restaurant is going under. I wish Dmitri's would get back to its origins before it becomes completely American...that is, closed.
Shockingly Bad. I remember Dmitri's from the early days and it was very good. A recent visit revealed that it is less than a shadow of its former self. I can honestly say that of hundreds of meals eaten in dozen's of Philly restaurants, this just might have been the worst. I've never been served blander food -- nothing had any taste to it. The service was poor and the noise level is ridiculous, though frankly I could tolerate either of those if the food were decent. Definitely cross this one off your list -- it's a complete waste.
Horrible Experience. We live in the neighborhood and usually love this restaurant. After our experience on Saturday night I would be embarrassed to recommend Dmitri's to anyone. The hostess was beyond rude from the moment we walked in. I understand it was a busy night but it is unacceptable to pass this on to paying customers. To top it off, both of the bathrooms were out of order! When we asked about the situation, we were told to go across the street to use the bar's restroom. I'm pretty sure a restaurant cannot be open without working bathrooms. Finally, after we were rushed through dinner we were told that we had to leave immediately upon finishing our last sips of wine. The food is not nearly good enough to be treated like this.
Want to take a good mood and turn it bad? Go to Dimitri's!. My boyfriend lived in Philly years ago and used to love Dimitri's so after talking about going for so long we had a friend leaving town so we all went last night. The place had 3 tables in it that were full-all the rest wide open (it was 7:30). There were 3 of us and they put us at a 2 top with 3 chairs. We nicely asked if we could move and they said it was against their policy. SO the 3 of us who ordered 8 items off the menu sat with out knee's banging each other. The bread is served with oil-with barely any spices. I asked the server for butter. Oh no. They do not do that. I practically begged her. She acted like I asked her for her kidney. The food was average at best. You cannot even order app's and then order dinner a few min after ordering them. The order must be done at once. They are so mean and nasty. Why anyone would want to tip them is beyond my understanding. I will never go back.
Disappointment abounds. I had eaten before at this restaurant and had a memorable experience. But, when we went as a group of six, the staff made every effort to make us uncomfortable at a small table for 4 with no reasonable attempt to accommodate our request for more comfortable seating. So, we took our business elsewhere.
Snooty/Overrated. I lived in Philadelphia about 10 years ago and loved Dmitris. It was always a long wait but the food was great and service good. I was back in town for a 15th year college reunion and decided to reminisce by coming here again on a MONDAY night for a good friend's birthday celebration. When I arrived at 6:30pm - the restaurant had many empty seats. We were a party of 5 but only 3 of us arrived early. We were seated immediately. The rest of the party came about 20 minutes later. After 5 minutes - our waitress came over with an irritated "Is the rest of your party coming soon?" After another 5 minutes - they basically said very rudely "Where are they?" Meanwhile - there were still MANY empty tables (another table of 5 open) - I looked and there was nobody waiting. When the rest of the party arrived, the waitress came over immediately to announce the specials of the day before my brother's butt touch his seat! They're undercurrent was still hostile at best. The restaurant did not fill up until 30 minutes after our entire party arrived and no more than 2 people were waiting at a time to be seated the entire time we were there. I felt that the waitresses were rude and acted like it was some kind of sacred privilege to eat at Dmitris. To add insult to injury - the food was NOT the way I remembered it. The grilled octopus was dry and did not taste fresh. The rest of the dishes were okay-good but not spectacular. I feel that Dmitris is resting on its previous laurels. I read a few yelp reviews and many complained about the rude waitstaff. I will not patronized this establishment again and informed my Philly friends and family of the same. This is America and who wants to pay to eat at a snooty mediocre place?
Nasty Service. Dmitri's was my all time favorite restaurant in Philadelphia. I've been dining there since the beginning (16 yrs?) when the waitresses knew your name and were known for their great style. On our last visit, we were sat next to another couple with, literally 1 inch between tables. there was no way that you could have a conversation without them knowing every detail. It was uncomfortable and we decided to move the table 2 inches away, I'm not exaggerating. We didn't think it would be a problem since there was about 6 ft of empty space to our right. Anyway, the waitress shoved the table back and scalded us saying "you are not allowed to just move tables around"!. After all those years of great food, its sad to think they could treat customes like that. All I can say is "goodbye Dmitri's" there are a million great places in the city, we wont be going back!
Fresh is the word..
Saturday, July 19th. Two working stiffs from downtown out looking for a meal with value. Professional service with seamless teamwork. We did the requisite visit to the corner tavern across the street for a local beer and ap an the hostess came to our table there to announce we could join them for dinner. Once seated in tight quarters we enjoyed whole Striped Bass and Blue Fish the way they do it best - fresh, plain, and hot. This simple preparation only works with excellent quality seafood so it was a delight to see a kitchen team do it perfectly in the midst of the Saturday Night crush. And all created in a kitchen space that might be 20' x 6'.
Follow up service on every part of our meal was flawless.
Better BYOs are out there... When we first moved to Philly Dmitri's got rave reviews from everyone we talked to so we tried it out for ourselves. We were thoroughly disappointed. I usually find BYOs charming even if the seating is a little tight. However, we felt like sardines at Dmitris. We were so close to the couple next to us that we might as well have merged our tables. It made an otherwise romantic restaurant feel awkward and uncomfortable. The service was average at best. Because of the way the tables were crammed in the waitress could barely get to us to serve our food and open our wine. It put both my husband and I in a bad enough mood that even the delicious food couldn't pull us out of it. So, yes, the food was great. But was it worth it? I've been to many better BYOs in Philly. I'd skip it.
Get a table if you can!.
We have lived in the area for two years and without a doubt, this is our favorite place. Not expensive, not fancy but just great food in a very friendly atmosphere. Go during the week for an easier time in getting a table or be prepared to wait or sit at the counter.
The fish is fresh and well prepared and the vegetables are fantastic. Try the soft shells if available! You won;t be disappointed!
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