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“service was better than the food” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Chart House Restaurant - Dana Point

Chart House Restaurant - Dana Point
34442 St. of the Green Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629
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Ranked #43 of 112 Restaurants in Dana Point
Price range: $40 - $60
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Scenic view, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Pacific Coast Highway
Transit: PCH/Blue Lantern - bus
Description: From amazing views of the Pacific Ocean & Dana Point Harbor to unparalleled cuisine, Chart House is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Savor a seamless blend of fine seafood & steaks, while you enjoy the elegant atmosphere & impeccable service. Since 1961, Chart House has been dedicated to providing the ideal dining experience. With 30 historic, waterfront & showcase locations across the U.S., Chart House offers spectacular views & exceptional service that you’re sure to enjoy. From top-of-the-catch seafood to succulent steaks, our renowned chefs have tailored a menu to complement local cuisine while introducing a hint of the exotic. Choose from our famous entrées such as New Wave Sur & Turf, Macadamia Crusted Mahi & our slow roasted Prime Rib. We also offer a daily selection of fresh fish, an extensive collection of fine wines & decadent desserts like our famous Hot Chocolate Lava Cake.
san diego
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“service was better than the food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

I am a big fan of chart house... they always find the best views, but there is something about the dana point and encinitas stores that are too casual. we were spoiled by the outstanding service and food in monterey bay, that we just haven't been able to duplicate...maybe it's the socal casual thing...

Visited August 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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185 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Perfect place for an outdoor wedding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

While based in New York, my husband and I were looking for a outdoor venue to have our ceremony and dinner for our 30-person wedding. We had a very tight time frame to plan everything, and limited time to spend due to our work commitments. The team at Chart House was SO accomodating (a HUGE shout out to Marissa), the view was breathtaking and they were attentive to everything I needed before and during the actual day. I cannot be more thankful and give a huge recommendation to this venue and staff.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
Top Contributor
175 reviews 175 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Amazing View, The Food Is A Bit Pricey”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

We arrived to find no available parking on the street, so we parked in the restaurant lot which is valet only at a charge of $5.00 per car. Given the prices of the meals and that most people drive a car to go out to dinner, I feel that parking in the restaurant parking lot should be complementary.

We had a reservation and were seated pretty quickly. The view from inside the dining room is amazing! When making a reservation ask for a table by the windows. The server came over quickly to take our drink orders. The service was fine. but nothing special. The server brought out rolls and butter pretty quickly. The rolls were a little on the hard side, I prefer softer ones.

I ordered a fresh halibut dinner - the fish was grilled. It came with rice and vegetables for about $37. It did not come with a salad. The fish was very good, cooked just right.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Corona, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“An Absolutely Drop Dead Gorgeous Wedding Venue & Restaurant ....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

My daughter selected the Dana Point Chart House for her Wedding location and restaurant. While I must admit that if someone told me they were getting married at a restaurant ... any restaurant .... I would be skeptical. But this must be one of the best kept secrets in Orange County as it was FABULOUS.

The first thing is that you can book the entire restaurant ALL for yourself between 11AM and 4PM. It's architecture (I understand it was designed by a student of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright) is beautiful. The views are stunning. I would defy any location in Orange County, let alone Dana Point, to have a more incredibly beautiful setting. Among other things, what this meant for us were visual backdrops for wedding pictures that were beyond comparison.

Second, we surveyed the site at least a half dozen times. The weather was always too good: beautiful blue skies, a few puffy clouds, and a backdrop of the Dana Point Harbor, Pacific Ocean, and sailboats.

Third, since it is set on a cliff high above the crowds below, it is like you are in a cloud-like setting. While there is all sorts of scenery and potential activity around you, you are above it all ... really in a very private setting.

Fourth, it is, after all a restaurant and the food is both exceptional and reasonably priced. I read a number of reviews that said the food was not up to par. I don't know how those comments could be made as we previewed the food 4 times and found it to be exceptional without exception. The main courses served at my daughter's wedding were the 14 oz New York Strip Sirloin, Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi, Chicken del Mar, and Angel Hair Pomodoro Pasta (for vegetarians). All were absolutely outstanding and all of our guests raved about them. I am not a vegetarian or particularly a fan of vegetarian, but if there was a surprise it was the pasta ... absolutely delicious. We also had cheeses and fruits for appetizers. But the crowd favorite was the Coconut Shrimp! OMG.

The wine list is extensive and includes a couple "lower end" wines. While some may like the "La Terre" label, it was not for us. We opted for the J. Lohr 7 Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon and La Crema "Monterey" Chardonnay. We also served Mimosas using their basic Sparkling Wine (I didn't say Champagne because the French that read this review would have a fit). But those that wanted just the Sparkling stuff enjoyed it just as it was. We also paid for any of the extensive list of bottled and draft beers, very reasonable. Our guests were on their own for mixed drinks but a full-service bar was always open.

Fifth, the staff at the Chart House is amazing. They will do literally anything you want if it is at all possible. While she did a LOT more, our Event Coordinator, Marissa McQuillan, also did an outstanding job of having all the wedding chairs set up outside just as we wanted as well as working with our daughter to arrange a special and unique sitting in their main dining room. In fact Marissa essentially served as our Wedding Coordinator. The main dining room is immense but can be configured in so many fun ways. Our daughter had her main table directly under the center of the room (underneath an architectural masterpiece). No guest was further than 30 feet from her ... and everyone had a view of both her AND the outstanding Dana Point Harbor. Another room made for great dancing!

A big and extremely delightful surprise was that McQuillan had established a superb list of "preferred partners" (the florist, Baker, DJ, Officiant, and others) to give a one-stop-shopping approach for events like weddings or other large parties. And while you have to contract and make payments to each of them separately, they all worked together seamlessly. The result is a "team" of people who work with one another very smoothly for a very pleasant experience.

Seventh, and finally, the price. If you don't need anything more than the food it will be essentially the same as just buying out a room at another restaurant and having banquet food served. But at the Chart House, you not only get THE ENTIRE restaurant but fabulous food served (not buffet style) by caring staff and planned by an dedicated Event Coordinator. If you want, just look at the prices of its meals online and multiply by the number of people and expected entrees. Add in a few bucks if you want refreshing drinks served outside (including iced water or OJ) and you can get a pretty good idea. As well as us, our guests were delighted.

Another thing, since you OWN the Chart House for your event, there is no charge for parking. Your guests as well as your wallet will both be delighted by that! I'm certain you could arrange Valet services if desired.

Summarizing, yes, I am totally in awe of the Dana Point Chart House for hosting a private event. If you can be flexible by having your event between 11AM and 4PM, the rewards of a jaw-dropping view and superbly delicious meals at reasonable prices ... will blow you away. And its architecture and people are fabulous. And my daughter almost made me cry when she told me "Daddy, my wedding and this day has exceeded my wildest hopes and dreams." That says it all ....

I will try to upload some pictures but let me assure you that they do not do this place justice.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Average Food and Service, Awesome View”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

I'm local and eat here a few times a year, especially with out of town guests so they can enjoy the beautiful view of the harbor. The servers are pleasant and friendly but the food and drink delivery seem to take forever. I don't think I have ever had timely service. The food is overall average, except for the lava cake which is amazing! I recommend going for a drink and lava cake when you have plenty of time to spare.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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