Bar, Eatery

122 Lombard St
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19147-1602
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Place Reviews
Reviews by GeoffFromSJ:
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A very pleasant spot that just opened in the Society Hill area of Philly, right near South Street. I was completely impressed.

Big sign and banner which you can see from far away. Yellow paint over the outside. Can't miss it.

Very dark inside compared to outside. Nice ambiance. This is not a bar. This is a restaurant. More so than Eulogy or Monk's, and this comment is not a knock on either of those two establishments.

Really weird silverware and glasses. Glasses are on an angle. Threw me for a loop for a little bit.

We didn't order any appetizers, but we were sent two mussels with bourbon sauce.

Food menu is very interesting. Beyond the 25 type of mussels, there is a meat, a fish, a sauce and a starch section (besides appetizers). You get one of each and extra at additional prices. I had the bison with the pommes frites. My wife had the salmon. I can't remember the sauces, but both were very nice.

My pommes frites tasted a lot like McDonald's french fries. Hey, you could do worse. My wife had the Garlic Frites.

The dessert was wonderful. Very interesting names I can't remember. My wife had something that was described as a heavier version of chocolate mousse. I had something which was pastry with ice cream in between covered in ample amounts of chocolate sauce. Great.

Service was wonderful. Attentive but not overbearing. There when I wanted them. Helpful when we asked for help with the sauce selection. We got there when it was just opened and we got to hear a higher up (not sure whom) going over the days menu with the staff. Couldn't ask for better service for this visit.

Guess what I haven't spoken to yet? Beer. Beer selection is pretty good. Nice selection on bottle, but I have to be honest. I just took a cursory look. A few taps, so far. Stoudt's Scarlet Lady on-tap for me. My wife had the Chouffe, which she loved.

Came here for my 31st birthday. I had a great time and I fully recommend this establishment. Best of luck.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of sbw138
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Pretty cool place in Headhouse Square in Philadelphia. Somewhat hidden near 2nd and Lombard. I found this place after eating at the italian restaurant next door.

There are two floors to the place, but I have only been on the ground floor. There is a first small bar when you enter, along with a foosball table, and a TV with a Wii set up sometimes. Further back is a bigger bar with some draft beers and about 6 coolers packed with an awesome selection of American craft, and imported beers.

The bartenders have always been really friendly and knowledgeable. Each of the 4 or 5 times I have been there, the place has been near empty, maybe because it is hidden? They have a nice weekend happy hour, half off drafts from 10-12, and somewhat reasonable prices on the other bottles.

I haven't tried the food yet, but I will. They seem to have a pretty interested menu, with some different cuts of meat, (ostrict, kangaroo etc.)

Overall, I think it is a really great place to stop by. I think they need to do some advertising or something to get their name out, because it is somewhat hidden.

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Photo of Gavage
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

We were in the mood for some mussels so this was place to hit. Once you walk in you enter a room with a piano, small empty bar, and foosball table, but the people are all located up a a stair or two to the back bar area. The atmosphere is dim and dark. About 15 stools at the the long bar give you a nice look into the 100+ bottle offerings in the glass front refridgerators behind the bar. 2 TVs showing sports are in the bar corners. There are a bunch of tables behind the bar and in the back of the place for diners.

There were 6 beers on tap with my favorite being the Antonium Grand Cru. Also available were Triple Karmeliet, Leffe Blond, Hoegaarden, and a beer from Eel River and St. Somewhere.

The service was very good as the bartender knew his beers and was very friendly. The food was also good as we had several different styles of mussels.

This place does not have a lot of taps, but they do make up in the bottle selections as there are plenty of Belgian and American beers available.

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Photo of slander
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

It's that hour where we'd been talking food, we'll go Belgo. Seen some of the places in city, but not Zot, so we'll head in after drinks. I parked way the hell up north not near here a ways, seemed closer mapped on the 'puter. Ed's parking too, Heather's there already, and well, Randy cannot live on frites alone and so opted instead for a cheesesteak elsewhere somewhere wherever; we'll catch back up with him after din...

Front room off the entrance holds a small stainless steel bar with a cooler full of wine and the like behind it. No bar seating whatsoever, but nearly a half dozen raised bar tables & foosball adjacent there and a piano up front, below crossed skis & poles, a sled, and skiing prints lining the walls above. Up slight stairs past there, a 14 seat coppertop bar, straight but then at the far end it holds a slight piece at a 90 degree turn, I don't know what they call that. Cooler barback wall of bottles, except a wood unit on center, appropriate glassware abound, lots of it, and flatscreens in the corners over the bar. Magnums displayed, hello lighthouse Goudenband, and an I-beam above the bar seating displaying bottles. 3 banquet tables away from the bar shared, holding a good few many.

Beyond to the back room, Heather awaits seated in a room with a dozen tables of various sizes and shapes, the far ones sharing cushy chairage. Some brick walls all vintaged up, others painted rust & gray, although they could be any color; difficult to tell in this lack of light. Exposed wood rafter ceilings with track spots & spinny fans. old posts with some sort of vertical slat roundy things like shutters but not, a few flowery corner pieces, and glass candles. Slight art, a print here, a painting there and framed cartoon somethings (I thought it was Tintin but it's actually a piece from Brasserie Des Rocs), and a Yuengling mirror at the end of the bar seemingly way out of place.

4 towers of 2 each, split between pairs at each end of the bar, but only 5 beers up on tap just now (Wittekerke, Palm, Allagash Curieux, De Koninck, Bornem Dubbel). And a pretty extensive bottle list; about 250 strong. Nearly ½ of them Belgian, well over a hundred offerings, a smattering and more of all that you know though only a pair each from the likes of Cantillon & De Dolle, and then a dozen plus Germans, 2 dozen UK, and roughly 50 American micros and just as many beers of the world. Ed started with a Wittekerke, Heather the Monk's Flemish Sour, and I had lovely Orval, surprise, surprise, and later during dinner, we three split a Malheur Brut Reserve.

Due for something new, exploration into the uneaten before, I app'd with the tuna tartar, pasted and pressed into some shape unnatural to a fish, done with capers, shallots & anchovies (an unholy trinity of things I would never ever eat in and of themselves), and served with some kind of caviar, they're orange in this light. Was tasty but just sooo not my thing, the texture and all, and now I know. But the Carbonnade Flamande (Belgian bier beef stew), was excellent, served with Frites and something to dunk 'em in although I used the stew. Heather also had the Carbonnade Flamande, and Ed, the Bruxulles mussels and a hanger steak with a mushroom cream sauce. Interesting menu. You can get a ½ kilo of mussels done 30 different ways, or you can choose from meats (Ostrich, bison, kangaroo, lamb, duck, free range chicken, and steaks; ribeye, strip, filet, hanger steak), with one of a dozen and a half sauces. Bad ass! Heather and I enjoyed our stews while Ed cried like a wee girl about his steak being gamey.

Open, comfortable, spacious place, deep and dim. Ambient music, porn soundtrackesque, being somewhat much, but not. Service was much attentive, helpful even. Could be stronger on the tap side, but the bottle selections holds some nice choices and the food was excellent. Seen the others, got the realest deal feel here.

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Photo of gdfan47
3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

this place is pretty cool

i went here during restraunt week

the ambiance is really good
they have foosball tables which is awesome

the bottle selection is pretty big,

they do not have as many drafts as I would have liked

the bartender was pretty nice.. but he was "slamming" alot of beers
i was saying that i really liked the "fluer de leigh" and I told him I thought for the money . the lindemen's gueze was a good beer for the money.. he answered without blinking" I dont carry pbc or Lindemens products"...

overall I like the place, its a good place to bring a girl or if you wanna grab a few beers

I would not go here for dinner again, the service was really bad and the food exspensive

there is nothing food or beer wise that I felt I couldnt have at other places in the city for a little cheaper

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Photo of corby112
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

This is a nice Belgian beer bar in the Headhouse Square section of Philadelphia off of South Street. The atmosphere is a lot nicer than most beer bars especially Belgian ones because it is treated as a nice restaurant rather than a European style pub/ cafe. When you walk in the front door there are staris and another door that lead into an upstairs private room that I have never been in. The next door leads you into their wine bar which has a huf=ge wall of wines displayed and bar top tables. The nest room is the bar and a few longer tables for bigger parties which leads into the main dining room that has very nice decor. Although they only have about sic taps (all of which are of high quality Belgians and/or American craft beers), the bottle list is more than sufficient. Again, the focus is primarily on Belgium but also offers selections from the U.S., Croatia, Russia, Poland, Asia, U.K and several other countries. The best day to go to Zot is on Monday when they have all you can eat Mussels. They have mussels prepared in over 39 different wayd and the special comes with a soup or salad and frites for just $25 (cash only though). Also, they have a belgian waffle dessert which is amazing. Definately worth checking out if you are in the Philadelphia are. Very underrated.

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Photo of BWH3
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Zot is tucked away on Lombard down the paving bricks off of 2nd St. This location is pretty sweet and certainly adds to the mystique. The door opens onto an unkept bar area containing tables shoved to the side and a foosball table in disuse. Passing through this room leads you to the 2nd room which houses the main bar and some long tables for bigger parties. The last room is the main dining area just slightly fancier. Nothing amazing or too unique but it is open and comfortable. Only foosball table I have encountered in CenterCity Philadelphia. The bottled beer selection is top notch. The draft beer selection is fairly weak. I thought the food was good. The place has a selection of unusual meat choices as well as traditional Belgian fair. Service is attentive, friendly, and informative. Mussels seemed focussed on creating a diverse list of sauce selections however these are not the best mussels in Philly. If beer is your primary focus for the occasion, I would recommend Eulogy (which I think is owned by the same people) or Monk's. If you are going on a date or taking your wife to dinner, Zot may be more appealing especially if your date values lighting and cleanliness as much as my wife does.

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Photo of sholland119
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

One of the places we tried for the first time during Philly Beer Week, Zot exceeded our expectations all the way around.

Located on a mostly residential street just in Society Hill, Zot is very easy to find. Just look for the 20 foot banner outside and the mustard yellow color scheme.

Once inside, you can go straight ahead to the newly-opened upstairs bar (Th-Sat, I think. It was closed on our visit but it sounds cool) or to the left to enter the restaurant. Like many Philadelphia townhouses, Zot looks to be about 18 inches wide by 6 miles deep. There is a smaill, dark wine bar in the front with a bunch of small tables. We passed through this into the main beer bar. This room is brighter (not too bright) with about a dozen stools and a nice copper bar top. We were expecting the room to be a little too hip or maybe pretentious but the exposed brick walls and wood beams struck the right note. A half dozen tables in this area with a dining room beyond. We did not make it that far back.

There are about 8 taps downstairs, though one cooler was down on our visit so only 4 taps were available. All were Belgian and we had a LaChouffe and a Liefman's Goudenband, as well as a taste of a golden ale brewed with mustard seed which is not something you see every day. And that's not a complaint.

The bottle list was quite extensive and beefed up by the remains of previous PBW events featuring Boulder and Voodoo beers. The regular bottle list was a little lacking in American craft brews but with Mojo and Hazed and Infused in the cooler there were no worries. No match for Eulogy, though, which is only 6 or 8 blocks away.

Service was very friendly and warm. We felt at home right away. As the place filled up we had to wait a bit for a beer, though.

The mussels were amazing. Plump and juicy with tremendous preparations. Having never dealt drugs or visited Amsterdam or Brussels, we needed to be educated as to whether to order a half-kilo, a kilo or two kilos. Or a Royale with cheese. In any case, they are as good as any we have had, and there are plenty of good mussels around here. The rest of the menu looked pretty good too, but that will have to wait for another time.

We'll be back soon.


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Photo of DaveNeedBeer
3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Went to dinner here on Friday. Was our first time back in Philly in about 6 months. Sat in the smaller front room... it was a cold night, so cold breeze came in each time the door opened, but still seemed a good atmosphere. 80s music started playing as we finished dinner... maybe not keeping with atmosphere but still was not so bad.

Wife and I are a big fan of drafts, of which they only had 4 this night, mostly Belgians. Good beers all, just wish there had been more choices. For bottle lovers there was an extensive list. My rating reflects the draft choices.

Also really had wanted not just great beer, but great food this night. Food was fine, but nothing special. I had the pate and mussels with frites. Certainly if you are visiting town or otherwise only able to get out occasionally, probably don't hit this one for the food - Philly has too many other spots with great food and pretty good beer lists.

Servers were not bad, just seemed like they might have been smoked out a bit... seemed easily distracted. But never rude or problematic, just a little unfocused.

Overall not a bad place, but as I only get to Philly a few times a year, I probably won't be returning.

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Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Sigh... at least at this point, I can't even imagine finding some place like this in Baltimore.

This place, better then any place I can think of on the East Coast (The "Higgins in Portland" bar is an impossibly high one for any restaurant to match at this point), successfully matches good food with great beer.

Had only seen a couple of reviews of this place, but was intrigued by what I read. Suffice it to say, it matched my hopes and expectations.

One of the things I loved about this place is its location. It's in the central city (I believe), and there is no parking on the street where it's located. No matter, it's a pleasant walk to get to (parked a block or so away - parking was breeze this night, I assume due to the recent snow storm), in a very nice part of Philly. The restaurant looks pretty small from the outside, but actually is pretty good size. It reminds me of a lot of places in San Francisco, that seem small and narrow but extend pretty far back and hence are actually pretty good size. The restaurant appears to be in an old restored building, with the original supporting beams still on display (gorgeous interior - you won't see anything like this out West). As you enter, there is a medium size dining area that appears to be set up as a wine bar (nice dark wood with lots of wine bottles on display). A step up from this room going back is yet another dining area, with the main bar. I think there were 7 or 8 seats at the bar in the front area, with maybe 10 to 12 bar seats in the middle/main area. In the back dining area is a more formal dining area. This place does a nice job of blending the formal with the informal, but nevertheless I don't think this is the sort of place you'd want to hang out with your mates for a few hours, tossing back pints. It's just a bit too chi-chi for that.

As for beer, this particular night they had on tap 6 or 7 beers, which included the Boulder Brewing Obovoid Imperial Stout and some nice Belgians. While the draft list is no better then good, the bottle list takes up 3 pages and includes some very interesting selections. Again, between the bottle list and draft selection, it was quite easy to find some good beers to drink.

Service here was very friendly, but was a bit unfocused. I think that's partially attributable to the fact this was a Friday and there was an ever increasing parade of customers coming in. It was still pretty good (the service that is), but was not the restaurant's strong suit I thought.

As for the food, I'm not sure exactly where to start. I almost cried when I saw some of the selections on the impressive menu. Just for a moment, I felt like I was back in Germany.... age 19 and trying to impress a young fraulein at the local Gasthaus.... and failing miserably once again. :-); but just as in Germany, at least the menu was intriguing and full of interesting choices. Of course it's one thing to list an interesting food menu, quite another to pull off the dishes listed on it. Zot does both quite well. Everything was just excellent and I was very happy with my shish kabob over cous cous dish, smothered in a spicey creamy red pepper sauce.

This is a very impressive place. I'll definitely be back.

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Photo of roan22
4.58/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Went to Zot tonight, finally, to eat dinner and check out the bar and beers. I chose to eat in the intimate front room, with music playing and no TV's. Zot does a really good job of separating the two rooms and allows you to pick which one you want to dine it. It was not crowded at all but the front room had a more relaxed atmosphere, and I really liked the look of it...heavy old exposed beams, the traditionally belgian tall shelving behind the bar, and the contrasting colors of red, black and cream. It was a very nice atmosphere for dining, but as a whole I grew bored with Zot's bar vibe by the time we had finished eating.

The food I chose was so great...Zot salad, free range chicken with a Dijon Sauce, and pommes frites. Along with my pint of Boulder Obovoid, the 80's Madonna was all I needed to keep me happy. The dijon sauce truly was incredible, the frites tasted so good dipped in it! The beer choices on tap were mainly high-end belgians of course, and the Obovoid. Good choice Zot! ;-) Cheers! I didn't get to meet the "zany" Bernard unfortunately, maybe next time.

update 4/28/08:
returned to Zot again on a recent Saturday, right when they opened [5:00pm]..a bit early for me, but for sure the best time to go on a Saturday, in such a touristy neighborhood.

This time Eriq and I sat at the back bar and Chuck was our bartender. Atmosphere and Service ratings go up because Chuck recommended beers and gave us samples. He was very friendly. He and other staff kept mentioning some DJ party being held there later that night..which made my ears perk up. I found out it was a Gaian Mind party, and GM nights have moved to Zot's upstairs party space, from Ulana's...awesome Zot!! Finally I can hear psy-trance DJ's and drink good beer in the same facility!

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Photo of ROMER79
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Well I have been to this fine establishment twice now with my wife and we cant find one thing wrong at all! The service, food, beer, and staff are all amazing. The food is a traditional Belgian menu which is totally amazing. It varies from homemade mashed Stoemp to Kangaroo. The Kangaroo is amazing!! Try it it is worth every penny. The staff is very knoledgeable when it comes to food and beer. They know what to suggest and how to match and what glasses to pour the beers in. The atmsophere is very welcoming and pleasant to look at. The front bar area is more traditional while the back bar is modern and full of refridgerators with excellent beers. Mardesous, Kasteel, Delirium, you name it! It is quaint, friendly, and clean and I would recommend this place to anyone.

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Photo of GnomeKing
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Finally--a white tablecloth restaurant that sports a beer menu as impressive as its wine list!

The current tap system only has a few handles, but its the bottle selection that impresses here. (There's talk of a tap system with more handles on the way, but that's just speculation for now. Stay tuned.) The bottle list focuses on Belgians, with a wide list. The rest of the suds menu is divided into section by country, but the selection from outside Belgium is much smaller. There are some surprises, though. The Green Flash IPA delighted me, as it doesn't appear often in Philly, and there were even two Russia beers on the menu.

I gave the service a 3.5 because this is a beer site, and the servers didn't know much about the beer, and in one case forgot to bring a brew I ordered. The restaurant is new, though, and I expect that this will improve. The servers were attentive enough, after all.

The food menu is narrow, with lots of mussel options and steaks that can be covered with your choice of...oh, about 348 different sauces. Vegetarians, call ahead or check the Web site to see what might work for you. I don't recall their being many meatless choices.

The place is formal and tries to break up some of the stuffiness with quirky touches such as water glasses that lean like the Tower of Pisa. (Don't worry, they won't fall over.) These touches didn't add anything for me, and actually they felt like forced injections of personality.

All in all a place that, with its formal dining atmosphere, adds something new to the Philly beer scene.

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Photo of jmc44
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Zot is just down the street from Headhouse Square, kinda tucked in a little out-of-the-way area of Society Hill/Bella Vista. Its a bit quieter than some bars like Eulogy, Monks, and Ludwigs as a result (well, also as a result of being new). The owner is very friendly and quite an advocate of beer himself.

The service staff know their stuff and serve beers in correct glassware (they seem to have the specific glass for each individual beer - 3 of the 4 beers I had were served in a labelled glass). At the moment they have about 60 or so different bottles, many from Belgium, but also a lot from US craft breweries and other imports. They will have 4 or 6 drafts, with 1 or 2 specifically brewed for Zot in Belgium, which should be in within the next few weeks. They also hope to get up to about 500 bottles. Additionally, they have quite a large wine selection.

The food is excellent, mussels were some of the best I've had, and well priced. Service was quick and friendly.

There's two different bars, one in front, one in back. I prefer the one in the back, it's a little more relaxed and less urban wine-bar chic. Fairly dimly lit place, heavy on wood and dark colors; exposed brick wall, exposed ceiling joists and wood planks above, hardwood floors. New dark-stained wood bar with copper top.

Bathroom's a bit odd, a unisex-job with 2 toilets that have translucent fabric curtains. Could be embarrasing at the wrong time.

Most beers are in the $4-6.50 range, with larger (16, 22oz) bottles going higher.

Definitely worth a visit, and can only get better as selection increases.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Right off of headhouse square, Philadelphia's newest Belgian style bar offers 24 types of mussels and dozens of different beers. There are no taps, it's all in bottles; and they cover the world, not just Belgium, but the beer selection is quite worthy. As they progress, they try to bring in one or two new bottles each week, and I'd suspect that they'll rotate them in and out once the coolers are completely full.

The decor is very nice, with a quieter wine-bar atmosphere in the front, and a more hip, dining and bar area in the back. The walls are white, semi-painted brick on the left side, and in the back dining room light rises up from behind the banquet booth giving it a really interesting effect. Natural, aged, exposed ceiling beams give it a skeletal feel that works with the unique lighting. Across the room black, orange, and red walls mimic the Belgian flag.

The bar is nice, seemingly transplanted from somewhere else, and of old wood with a copper top. The sound in the room seems to be pretty well worked out, and it's comfortable without being too loud.

Apart from the mussels ($9 per half kilo /$17 kilo /$27 two kilos), you can design your own entree by chosing your meat or fish, sauce to go on top, and starch to go with it. Meats and fish are in the $16 to 19 range. Soup and salads are $6.50 / $7. Appetizers are $8 to 9.

The service is good and the food is better. Worth a visit.

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Zot in Philadelphia, PA
Place rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 15 ratings