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“Favorite Local Restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Ponte

Cafe Ponte
13505 Icot Blvd, Ste 214, Clearwater, FL 33760-3730
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Ranked #7 of 591 Restaurants in Clearwater
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 58th St.
Timbuktu, Mali
Top Contributor
167 reviews 167 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
205 helpful votes 205 helpful votes
“Favorite Local Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2011

I work in the Clearwater/Largo area and in my opinion, this restaurant is the only establishment at which to host a power lunch or a romantic dinner. All other restaurants pale in comparison.

Service at lunch today was top notch. She was attentive without smothering us and was there when we needed her. The iced tea was refilled twice, without us having to ask.

Do yourself a solid and get the calamari as an appetizer. It is served with a delicious peanut sauce that you will dream of for days afterwards. I had the tuna entree and my husband had the salmon. Both were excellent.

The prices, to me, are not that high. It is comparable to what you would pay in downtown Tampa.

We have held several company functions in their private room and the service and food is always of the utmost quality.

Trust a local, you will not be disappointed with your meal at Café Ponte!

  • Visited April 2011
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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219 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“A response to comment below.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2011

I would ignore too! First clue is you ordered a zinfandel.(cheap!). If you are unsatisfied with your table move. If you are unsatisfied with the tea return it. If you question your bill ask your server to explain it. Your one of those people that eat everything on your plate and say you didn't enjoy it. If you go out to eat most restaurants want to know about the problem at the time it happens so they can fix it. What do you expect them to do refund the food you gobbled up. Your wifes silence is her own problem! Maybe next time you should request a finer wine out of the box!!!

    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Harbor, Florida
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Very disappointing and no response to written complaints”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

The following are excerpts from a letter I mailed to Chris Ponte, chef/owner. To date, no response. The email contacts on their website did not work Their website pricing and contacts were out of date, reflective of their apparent customer attitude. I hope that other diners who may care whether a meal costs hundreds of dollars and if they are treated respectfully will learn from our experience, hede my cautions and act accordingly.

I have eaten at many restaurants but this is the first time I have been sufficiently motivated to write to the restaurant or any review sites, which I shall afterwards.

Last Thursday, December 16, my wife and I ate dinner for the first time at Café Ponte. We had been looking with keen anticipation for quite a while until our schedule allowed us to take advantage of your prix prefix menu. Let me review chronologically.

We arrived about 6:15. There were perhaps three or four tables occupied. We were seated in the booth directly adjacent to the exterior door although there were many empty booths and tables. You may remember that there was a hard-freeze that night. Every time the door opened a harsh cold breeze blew across us. This continued throughout the meal.

My wife ordered a house white zinfandel. The waiter, P [my letter included his full first name]., brought her a blush. She questioned why. He said you don’t have any whites and the blush was a good choice. It was drier then she drinks and did not enjoy it. I had some and didn’t like it either. P. should have first informed us of the lack of a white and suggested we try the blush with the caveat that if we didn’t he would take it back. Instead it was pushed on us. My wife is too reticent to send something back.

I mentioned we were ordering from the prefix menu. P. was appropriate in reminding us that the foie gras and filet mignon would cost more. I had intended to get the pork chop. He then informed us of the specials for the evening. The veal shank sounded interesting. He did not advise us that any of them would cost extra. I assumed therefore that these were special in that they were just offered temporarily. I would not have otherwise ordered the veal instead of the pork chop.

The veal shank was a disappointment. The veal tasted like an ordinary pot roast. My wife made fun at the single baby carrot that was served. I understand taste is personal but to pay more unwittingly and enjoy it less is surely disappointing.

Although my water must have been refilled eight or nine times we had to request additional bread to the one slice served to each of us.

My wife ordered tea. A selection of teas was not offered. She found it bitter as I did when I tasted it. However, she doesn’t drink coffee and needed the hot tea because of the constantly opening of the front door next to us. After just rechecking your online menu I find that there are nine teas offered, including Earl Grey, which is her favorite. Apparently P. arbitrarily selected Paris.

For desert, I was told by phone that we could order anything off the standard menu. After the entrees, P. said we could choose among three deserts, a flourless chocolate cake, a crème brulee, and a crisp. I guess we were intimidated that those were the only options.

Adding great insult to injury was the bill.
This is where I found out about the extra $8 for the veal.
The individual prefix price was $36. Your online price is $33.
The tea was $5.50 vs. your online price is $5.
Because of the cold, my wife had a second pot of tea. She was charged another $5.50. $11.00 for essentially hot water! Which she was not offered a choice of. Which she didn’t like.

Yes, I should have insisted to speak to a manager. But the combination of P.’s smooth demeanor and our avoiding embarrassing confrontation was too much at the time.

  • Visited December 2010
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 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.
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
283 reviews 283 reviews
267 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
“Good but very expensive!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2010

This is a restaurant that serves interesting...but not Italian cuisine. it is more of a continental style restaurant. very nice accomodations, but do not go there expecting anything close to traditional Italian or even northern style. Wine selection is pretty good, but very pricey.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 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.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Excellent, Excellent, Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2010

Upon reccomendation of the Hotel near-by, we went to Cafe Ponte. We were dressed casual, this was not a problem. The service was excellent. The food was also excellent. Total bill for two with tip, no dessert, $108.00. The next time that we are in the area we will definitely will go back to Cafe Ponte. Thank you Chris Ponte for some of the best food that we had while on our vacation.

    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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