Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar, Bryn Mawr

August 1st, 2009

818 Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
(610) 520-9100

Preview: We attended the soft launch of Verdad on Thursday, August 6, 2009 — a practice run for the staff before the big grand opening the following night. As a restaurant trend, tapas is not exactly the theme of the moment (burger bar anyone?), the Main Line has yet to spawn a successful tapas joint. (Places like Citron and Maia claimed to be tapas, but never really went for it.) Verdad, on the other hand, has truly built its menu around a nice variety of small plates, and seeks to finally create the tapas experience we’ve been wating for.

The setup is generally the same as other restaurants that have previously occupied this space — bar on the left side, with booths opposite, and small sitting areas in the front and back. The decor effectively portrays the Spanish and Latin themes of the menu, with earthy colors and old-world accents.

The menu is mostly small plates, ranging in price from $4 to $21. About 3 plates per person would be recommended for dinner, though this would obviously depend on which plates are chosen. Menu highlights include:

  • a brie-stuffed mission fig that’s drizzled with balsamic glaze ($4) – warm, sweet and delicious
  • the Cuban sandwich (berkshire pork, chorizo, swiss cheese, pickles, garlic aioli – $9) – a wonderful melding of different flavors, all held together with cheese.
  • black truffle flatbread with confit chicken, goat cheese, pesto, sundried tomato & mushrooms ($11)
  • seared lamb chops served with “patatas bravas” – a traditional crispy potato tapas dish that is topped with a fried egg ($21)
  • Full Menu Here (PDF)

The bar features an extensive tequila menu (25+ choices), including 10 “flights” of three tequila choices each. (Note to self: take train to Verdad.) A small but interesting selection of Spanish and South American wines, including a red and white Sangria choice is also featured. The beer list is also small but varied, with some Mexican brews and local crafts sharing the spotlight.

Been to Verdad? Post your reviews below!

Dinner service:
Tuesday through Thursday 5:00 – 10:00pm
Friday and Saturday 5:00 – 11:00pm
Sunday 5:00 – 9:00pm
Lunch service: Tuesday through Saturday 11:30am – 2:00pm
Closed Mondays

Reservations: Yes, or OpenTable

14 Responses to “Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar, Bryn Mawr”

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  1. Anne says:

    I have very little to say about this place so I’ll keep it simple. DO NOT EVER DINE HERE!!!. My first experience was poor– hideous host, rude bartenders, hurried dining over food that was about as good as tacobell.. But priced like rittenhouse square.Thought i’d give it a second chance after a movie one night. Party of 4, the place was empty. Once again the most hideous of hosts, ill mannered bartender that was dressed like a raggamuffin, Never had a waiter.and what looked liked perhaps an owner or manager at the end of the bar sneering at us when we asked for menus. We were frankly told the kitchen was closed.
    The drinks we mediocre at best…Left Promy before we were practically for Ed out.

  2. Mainline Resident says:

    Discontinuing the KOBE beef taco was the worst idea of all time. In addition Don’t EVER eat there on a Sunday Night…HORRIBLE

  3. verdadreviewer says:

    Just got back from Verdad. My friend booked it and I didn’t really want to go, but wanted to give it a chance. I didn’t expect much because most Main Line restaurants aren’t very good (I used to be in restaurant PR and am a big foodie). I had also read a lot of negative reviews, but also wanted to give it a chance anyway. I knew not to order fish dishes and some other things from reading the reviews.

    So, when I arrived my friend wasn’t there yet but I saw some people I know and sat with them and had a drink until she got there. Then my friend arrived and joined us. This made the hostess stand go insane, they acted like this was throwing their entire night into chaos, like they had to seat us RIGHT AWAY instead of leaving us alone they kept coming up and bugging bugging bugging us to ask if we were ready to move to our table. I can see if this was a really busy night and they were jam packed, but they weren’t! They should have left us alone, we would have ordered more drinks and spent more $ with my friends…

    The first thing we got was the tortilla soup, it was the best thing, had a great taste, good temp, all around awesome, came out in four little cups and the crisps were good, contrary to other reviews. But it mostly went downhill after that — the duck came out undercooked vs what we had ordered and it would have been decent BUT it was cold, we complained and the waitress asked if we’d like it reheated, we said no because we didn’t want nuked duck, (they should have brought out an entirely new dish with new duck), then the owner came and asked how we’re doing and my friend told him it was cold and he said they’d take it off. So, the next item, the potatoes with chorizo, was good and PIPING HOT because they knew we’d complained, but it was a bit too salty but it was decent. My margaritas were okay, but my friend loved her margarita with red wine on it. We didn’t like the venison, we each had one bite and left the rest, it just wasn’t good. BUTTT the worst thing was the REALLY ANNOYING WAITRESS…can’t describe it, she was pleasant enough but would convey information in a confident-and-trying-to-be-smooth way but it came out instead as extremely condescending, and she harassed us nonstop every few minutes to see if we were done and to see if we wanted dessert and to see if we had taken care of the bill and finally i asked her if she needed our table (which she obviously didn’t because there were some empty tables) so we got her to leave us alone for 15 minutes straight, woo hoo! I used to waitress in college and can definitely tell good service vs. annoying, overbearing service that makes you feel like they feel like you’re going to run out on the bill….Sooooo it’s a fun atmosphere, my friend and i had a great time chatting, and i will probably be back to hang out and to bring my husband but I hope we don’t get the same annoying server…

    There is a level of sophistication majorly missing with the service and hostesses and that can ruin everything, they definitely need a crash course in professionalism and finesse and subtlety.

    • verdadreviewer says:

      Oh and when we were eating the chorizo with potatoes, we were still talking a lot and the waitress came over and said “ladies are you done with this because you haven’t touched it at all” and i found that to be … yes, annoying again, i’ve never had anyone comment on how little i’ve eaten something!!!!!!!

  4. Ben says:

    I love Tapas having traveled through Spain and having formerly lived in the DC area and eating frequently at Chef Jose Andres Jaleo. So I was excited to go to a tapas place right where I live now. Huge dissapointment! We arrived at 5:50pm and ordered 5 items from the menu – one of which was the cheese plate. It took about 30 minutes for one tapa to arrive. After another 20 minutes of no food we asked to cancel our cheese plate order (we had other engagements to attend that night) plus it should not take 50 minutes to get a few pieces of cheese to us – our server looked toward the kitchen and said “its coming right now”. Being reasonable people we said OK. We are not ones to cancel an order that is just coming out of the kitchen and is on its way. 15 minutes later we still had not received our cheese plate. I did not like being lied to. We canceled the rest of our order and on my check was another tapas item that, after 65 minutes I had never gotten. As for the items we did get and ate — really nothing special. Not traditional, not creative, not too flavorful. It was not bad mind you, but for the price we paid it was absolutely not up to par

  5. Michael says:

    Just returned from my second visit to Verdad. I was notified by Dishpublicrelations that Happy Hour was 5-7pm and all drinks are 1/2 off. We were greeted at the door and expressed our desire for Happy Hour but did say that we may stay for dinner. No seats were available at the bar and we were seated at a table in the bar area. Mind you, there are three distinct areas to sit, two totally separated away from the bar. Of course, when the check came, we were not given Happy Hour prices because we were not sitting AT THE BAR, just by it. Wait staff informed me that 1/2 prices were an inducement to get people to the restaurant/bar. That’s what I thought I was doing! So I was charged extra $$$, not the end of the world. The staff was great, food great, menu suggestions great but left with a bad taste!

  6. Kathy says:

    I had heard great things about this new restuarnat, so Saturday night I meet a friend for dinner. Our experience was less than stellar, and I won’t be going back. We ordered 6 different plates, and the order in which our server decided to bring them out to us was a bit strange. Calamari was chewy, tuna was not sushi grade, so it was a bit tuff, halibut was very plain, duck – not rare enough and very plain, and Cuban sandwich, ok. The only item I could say was really good was the Kobe taco. Drinks… if you are charging $9-$12 for a drink, I want to taste the alcohol in the drink. While we are at it, can I get more drinks and water too? Lastly, fresh plates through out the meal would be excellent. Our server was less attentive during our meal, but when it came time for us to pay the bill, he was all over us. If you want a really great experience for a tapas restaurant, check out Tinto Wine Bar in Philadelphia – a great experience that is way better than Verdad.

    Lastly, Nicholas owner and chef… update you profile to put the right name of your restaurant in your bio on Verdad’s web page.

  7. s haley says:

    We were told good things about the food, but we had not made reservations. We arrived at Verdad at 7:00 on a Saturday night and were told it would be no longer than 30 minute wait. The hostess came over to the bar where we were waiting arount 7:35 and told us that a table would be available shortly. She than came over 15 minutes later and said they was an issue with water glasses and menus but it should not be much longer. 15 more minutes passed and people were being seated around us and she said a table was sitting with the check and they were trying to push them along. We now have been sitting at the bar for 1 hour 20 minutes when a booth opened up and the hostess proceeded to sit another couple. We walked out the door and will never be back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If the hostess had been honest and just said they are really booked and it would be an hour or more wait we would have left and tried again…………

  8. Sherri says:

    From reading the reviews here, I feel as if my husband and I along with 2 friends ate at a completely different restaurant. We were there Friday, August 28th, and found it just delightful. I knew I was in for a treat when I walked thru the door and a couple that was leaving said “you’re in for a really good meal”.
    Between the four of us, we really sampled a lot of the menu. The tortilla soup was really good with a little kick. We also had the octopus, calamari, quesadilla, beef taco, among some other dishes and they were all great. The pork belly was a tad bit fatty, but very tasty. The flourless chocolate cake….. to die for. Our server was very attentive too.
    I’m just glad I didn’t read those other reviews before I went. They almost don’t sound “real” to me.

  9. Kay says:

    We tried Verdad last weekend and will not be back. The margarita was the worst I’ve ever had, which is odd for a tequila bar. The tuna ceviche was awful and tasted fishy, not fresh. The tortilla soup was like thin ketchup and the truffle flatbread was thick, dry and chewy. Even the toppings were dry. As for the interior, the lighting was incredibly bright and my chair was breaking apart, but they just swapped it for one from another table for some other customer to potentially get hurt. Our waitress noted that we hadn’t eaten much of the bad ceviche and asked if there was a problem. My husband said, “yes, it’s terrible.” She stood there and stared at him for about 10 seconds, walked away and didn’t speak to us again. We got the bill and left. We were charged for the ceviche.

  10. Susan Miller says:

    Verdad was terrible last week when we went after the movies next door. Tortilla soup came after other tapas entrees and was small and terrible. Tuna ceviche was rubbery and hard to eat as well as bland. Octopus salad was also rubbery and unchewable. Only thing we enjoyed was the truffle flatbread and because we were so hungry and didn’t enjoy anything else, we ordered a second. They didn’t have some of the microbrews on the menu, so ordered a glass of wine; expensive. All in all, a bad meal that ended up being very expensive for what we got: at least $40 pp. Don’t expect to return.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    We had dinner at Verdad on Sunday evening. While sangria was not listed on the drink menu, when we asked our server he said they did have red and white sangria. We ordered a pitcher of the white sangria. I have to say it was probably the worst sangria I have ever had. There were a few orange slices on the top and then a small amount of pieces of oranges and apples. The fruit and the sangria did not have much flavor at all. Considering it is summer, I would have expected there would be some peaches or nectaries in it and more fruit. We started off with what was called the brie stuffed mission figs. Definitely a waste of $4. Only two of the four fig halves had any brie on them and they had such a small amount of brie you could barely taste it. We ordered the octopus and were looking forward to trying this, but were told they had just run out of it, which was very disappointing. We also ordered two of the ceviches, the hamachi and the tuna. They were okay, but not that great. Both could have used some salt. We then had the quesadilla which had short rib with corn, onions and a side of papaya marmalade. This was okay. We also had a side of the patatas bravas, which while it was not the best patatas bravas I have had, was probably the best thing we had. There was chorizo in the patatas bravas, which seemed a little strange.. We then had the scallop, which had a blackberry honey lavender glaze. This was cloyingly sweet. The scallop was a bit overcooked making it a little tough. For dessert we had the churros, which were good, although clearly had been fried earlier in the evening as they had become a bit tough and were not that hot either. They were also out of the bread pudding. Our server was friendly and nice. Overall, I would rather drive into the city for a much better, more satisfying tapas/small plate dinner.

    • lovetoeat says:

      I receintly had some ceviches there as well and was really disapointed. My date & I sampled 3 (among other menu items) and really felt as though the food had no soul or passion behind it. All the ceviches were totally out of balance and generally bland. The hamachi had some heat to it, but no salt or acid to counter it. Having eaten ceviche all over the city from passion to alma de cuba to all the garces restaurants, this was by far the weakest.

  12. delucacheesemonger says:

    Went to Verdad last evening. Yes they were feeling their way around, but here is report. Staff , friendly but clueless, no idea what the menu was about could answer no questions and when did, were wrong many times. Items came out when they were ready, as in a Chinese restaurant, no big deal, but one ap came out and the other three came over 10 minutes later. Fry cook is not doing a good job, all items sauteed or fried were slathered in grease, really sopping. Had three pre-aps, four aps, four entrees, four desserts, multiple drinks, no food stood out as great, one or two things were good, most was forgettable, little was finished. As this is a new front on an existing restaurant ( Carmines ) not really new, yes new menu and chef, but still same owner and much staff. l had never gone to Carmines so cannot compare. May try again, but doubt it. With tax/tip $265/4

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