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“Yum!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ernie's Food and Spirits

Ernie's Food and Spirits
1351 N. Main St, Manteca, CA
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Ranked #3 of 147 Restaurants in Manteca
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013 via mobile

Once we discovered this rare find near our neighborhood, we have returned over and over. We even had them cater my parents 50th wedding anniversary party at our home. On days I work from home or take a vacation day, my husband and I like to sneak over and have lunch while the kids are at school. Our 8 and 10 year old children love Ernie's too, especially the truffle fries and dinner rolls. (Our son ate his roll, mine and his dad's on a recent lunch outing.) Even though the restaurant is upscale, our (usually well behaved) kids are always welcomed warmly. The executive chef is a former Top Chef contestant and he often comes out to greet guests and ask about our meals. We also like the recent change in pastry chefs. The specials are inventive and seasonally fresh. The restaurant is next to a small local casino and is deceptive from the outside (looks a little bit sketchy). However the parking lot is well monitored, clean and I always feel safe. Recommended for anyone who loves a nice meal and good atmosphere, but doesn't want to go to San Francisco get it.

Visited September 2013
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17 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013 via mobile

Finally some place with amazing food. We only had time for appetizers and seriously licked our plates. We don't even live in Manteca but will make the drive to come again.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manteca, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Highly disappointing”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Where to start...I guess by saying that this is the 1 and only time I will ever go to Ernie's . I made reservations on-line on Tuesday night for Saturday at 7:30 pm. Arrived at 7:25 to find they didn't have our reservations and sent us to the bar for dinner with several tables open in the dining room. 15 minutes later they finally gave us a table. Not a good start to the evening and it didn't get much better.

The service was not very good at all. The waiter didn't even introduce himself and said very little over the course of the night. He made no attempt to engage us and when asked for a good wine pairing with the Kobe Filet simply stated the Cab or the Zin. I don't think he even really knew what he was doing.

The food was decent, but not at all what you would expect for the price. The wine list was good, but no pairings for the menu items. No specials either, which is a little odd for a restaurant with these kinds of prices. The calamari for an appetizer was better than average and the sauces were good. I ordered the Kobe Filet and my date ordered the scallops. The menu does not say how the filet is prepared and the waiter made no attempt to explain when asked. The scallops were only seared on 1 side. The mushroom risotto was good but was far more on the plate than even I could have eaten. My filet was cooked perfectly to medium rare but was drenched in some type of rich mushroom sauce that covered the flavor of the meat. The few bites of filet that I did get without any sauce were tender but had no additional seasoning. The truffle mashed potatoes were average and the bacon creamed corn might have come out of a can.

All in all it was a very disappointing experience and not at all worth the price tag. I didn't even eat half of my food because I was so let down and no one inquired if there was a problem. If I was a chef and someone returned half of a $75 plate I would definitely want to know why. Anyway, we will never be returning to Ernie's. Dewz in Modesto will remain our choice for fine dining as the food and service are excellent and puts this place to shame.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Modesto, California
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Way to go Manteca”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

What a fabulous place Ernie's Food and Spirits is...The restaurant is absolutely beautiful.. The furniture is gorgeous...The service is amazing and so is the food. When you approach the restaurant which is next to a casino, one may think it is not worthy to dine,,,Well once behind the wooden doors, you are swept away. The place is just gorgeous. The food is great!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Surprising Jewel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

I had seen advertisement for Ernie's for several months before making dinner reservations.
I had even read Yelp reviews before picking up the phone to make Valentine's Day dinner plans.
So I really should not have been surprised about anything at our first experience at Ernie's....but I was!

Picking Valentine's Day as our initial experience was a little gutsy on my part. Holidays tend to be a less than good time to try a new restaurant. But, I wanted some romance, and thought "what the heck".

I made reservations through a popular on-line service just a couple of days prior to Valentine's Day. On line reservations were super easy and convenient.

We showed up for our reservation and we were immediately greeted by a delightful young hostess.
A charming male host also joined us and we were at a table in a room banked with windows. The furniture is very contemporary, beautiful to look at, and extremely comfortable.

There were no menu changes for the holiday. A nice surprise. We have dined on holidays previously. Other restaurants have pre-selected options and significantly raised prices for the evening. Not the case tonight.

Even on a bustling night at full capacity our dining experience was exceptional. All wait staff was attentive, precise, personal and knowledgeable.

Our food was prepared and presented deliciously and in a timely manner.
Everything from water, bread, salad, main course, coffee and dessert was delightfully executed.
Manteca has its first true fine dining restaurant equal to almost anything in San Francisco without the drive.

Hats off to Ernie's and welcome to Manteca!!!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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