Nothing like a gift certificate to experience the pricier venues in Philly. Given that we didn't choose to pay $55 for the brunch, it was easy to just enjoy the experience.
Service/ambience: Flawless service, attentive to detail. Room is lovely in all respects. I'm not a fan of buffets in general, but Brunch at the Swan was a class act.
Food: Choice of juices, which in our case turned out to be fresh squeezed grapefruit juice--a treat. Started with the wild mushroom bisque, which was faintly reminiscent of Joe's in Reading. Smoked fish/sushi station had two exceptional salads: asparagus and charred mushrooms, green beans and almonds. Sushi was ordinary, but beautifully presented. A tasty form of shrimp remoulade, several smoked fish platters which I passed on.
Carved meat station included lovely rack of lamb. Nicely seasoned, rare if ordered, trimmed of all fat, tasty. Stuffed quail with bacon--unusual, tiny, but nice. Crisp veggies, excellent gravy. Noticed a seafood medley (clams, mussels, shrimp, rice) when I went back for a taste--quite nice for a buffet presentation.
Hubby had omelette of his choice; I saved myself for desserts. Both of us passed on waffle station, breads and cheeses, which did look great.
Desserts did not disappoint. Even those that looked ordinary were quite special. Tiny cream puffs, berry cream pie, a tiny chocolate bomb, creme brulee. Serious temptation here; no weak spots. Ignored vanilla ice cream and sauces.
Now I get to value. We would not go back if we were footing the bill. $55 is a tad much for brunch, no matter how lovely. I'd prefer spending that amount for a deluxe dinner somewhere. On the other hand, there were quite a few breakfast catered events in small rooms. With a more limited menu, it's likely the price per person would be a lot less than $55. Sevice, ambience, flowers, etc were superlative in these small rooms.