We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Still great food but service sliding downhill” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hillstone

Hillstone
201 Miracle Mile, 1300 Blue road, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (Formerly Houston's)
(305) 529-0141
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #19 of 275 Restaurants in Coral Gables
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Still great food but service sliding downhill”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We moved away from Miami, and have dreamed about coming back for smoked salmon, spinach dip and Thai tuna rolls. We have eaten here twice during the holiday season in the past week and were not bothered by the hour long wait to eat. And the food is still great. However, the service has slipped a lot. Our server was Alex 359 last night. Felt like I was in a fast food restaurant when she arrived and said, "are you ready to order?" Not interested in rapport I take it! We were half way done with our appetizers when three waitstaff arrived to attempt to remove the appetizers and deliver our sushi rolls. We literally had to grab the plates back. Would have been nicer to ask if we were finished before bringing our entrees, but I guess they are trying to move people faster to get that one hour wait down. Still not finished several minutes later, Alex returned to remove my appetizer plate and in doing do put her sleeve cuff into my spicy mayo. Very nice. Water ran dead. Alex never returned to ask how things were. Was bever offered a second cocktail. Eventually we had to ask a white coat kitchen chef to get us some water. Alex finally returned to ask if we wanted desert. When we said no, she abruptly turned, and left, walked 10 feet from the table, grabbed our check and quickly without speaking, dropped it off on our table. Are you kidding me? This has been our favorite restaurant for years. Management please take a closer look at your service. I see many new waitstaff faces. Competition is opening across the street. Don't make it easy for us to look for an alternative!

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

141 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    62
    57
    11
    9
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Not By Choice”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013 via mobile

Permit me to begin this review by disclosing that I am fundamentally opposed to any restaurant as mismanaged as those in the Hillstone Restaurant Group. While alike in many ways, with the same impersonalized, faux-friendly service, similar wine menus, and similar eats, the disparity between the Hillstone in Coral Gables and the Houston's in North Miami does not go unnoticed; while I have had several inferior experiences in both, this one was particularly unfavorable. Knowing what to expect in any restaurant is key, and, especially with a franchise such as Hillstone, it is disappointing when a venue fails to deliver on the only thing they are consistently good at. In this case, it would be the food.

Seated at the bar, my companion and I were greeted and promptly delivered our wine. That was pretty much the end of service.

We selected the Clark and Telephone, a Pinot Noir from the Belle Glos family of wines that is a notch up from the Meiomi found at Aventura's Houston's. A fan of both, I can attest that the wines throughout this franchise are very reasonably priced, as well as notable. Thankfully, the wine was delicious, because we were not revisited by one of three bartenders until having leisurely knocked out half of the bottle.

The spinach dip was reliably good, as was the Thai tuna roll. The sushi selection at this location is one of the reasons we were inclined to stop in. Our water glasses were empty most of the time, and attendance from the staff was poor.

We ordered a bottle of Honig, a fabulous little Cabernet, and waited some more.

To order our Hawaiian Ribeye, I had to be assertive. I almost wish I wasn't, because what we received was atrocious. Formerly USDA prime beef, our steak arrived perfectly cooked at medium-rare, but lukewarm and tough. It was so awful that I had to saw off my first bite in physical discomfort. Against the wishes of my companion, I sent it back. They graciously and promptly delivered a new steak, with no new sides, and it, too, was tough. It became clear to me that they no longer serve prime, but have moved down to choice an still charge what they did for prime. If I wanted a choice ribeye, I would buy it from the grocery store.

No manager apologized, although I had not eaten any of it, and nobody offered to take it off of the bill. I do not believe in raising hell for the sake of receiving good service, but I will absolutely never dine there again by choice.

Go for the wine and the ambiance. Have some spinach dip and their daily specials, but do not go there for their service, the value, or the steaks.

All in all, the meal cost well over $200.00 and my dreams of delicious, supple, fat-marbled ribeye. Shame.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Good Place for People Watching”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

We used to go and sit on the dining room but everytime we go now we make sure to find places on the bar for people watching. They serve the complete menu on the bar as well. The bar area gets really busy on the weekdays, especially after 5 PM. We enjoy sitting there and watching everybody else around us.

The food is good which does not make it a burden to come back. We have only tried the steaks and ribs. The sushi seemed too Americanized and hence never attracted us and besides Hillstone should be for steaks. But if sushi is your preference then I think it could be good since their other food is always fresh. Their spinach dip and key lime pie are the best I have ever eaten. Service is very good. They are always attentive.

All in all, it is a good experience all around.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowie, Maryland
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
122 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 105 cities Reviews in 105 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Don't come if you're hungry...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012 via mobile

Came here based on a recommendation from the hotel front desk clerk where I was staying. He'd warned me this place was pricier than most, but garunteed I'd have a great experience.

The place is nice: Dim lights, funky / ecclectic background music, a well-trained wait staff who say "My pleasure" when you say Thank You.... The hostess at the front was especially great to interact with - with her slicked back hair, trendy eyeglasses, and warm greeting. Alex (female) was my waitress - and she was prompt, efficient, and checked on me a few times during my meal.

So I like the service. And the people I dealt with. It was the quality and quantity of the food versus the price per plate that I had an issue with.

I ordered the chicken entre' with the creamed corn and home fries on the side, with an amoretto sour and ginger ale. The fries they serve are the string kind (super thin and oily), and the chicken was a three piece set that looked like something I could've cooked in my own kitchen. All in all - not worth the $25 for the chicken entre. My bill came to over $50 when I include the suggested 15% tip... and I ate and drank alone.

In short, come here if you want to impress your date for being a big spender, or if you want to check out the attractive wait / host staff. But avoid this place if you're on a modest per diem like I was, and *especially* if you're hungry!

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Expensive, long wait, very good basic food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

I am torn in writing this review.

On the one hand, I despise this place. The wait is ridiculous for what is very unsophisticated food (burgers, unimaginative salads, grilled meats). The service is average (the place is so busy that you can't blame the waiters and it's even worse at the bar). The place is very dark and loud.

On the other hand they have the best veggie burger I have ever had and the best spinach dip I have ever had. So I am giving a very good rating but people need to understand that the food is basic comfort food (almost no creativity) and they could wait 45 minutes for a table at 3:30 pm depending on the day.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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.

Travelers who viewed Hillstone also viewed

 
Coral Gables, FL
Coral Gables, FL
 

Been to Hillstone? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Hillstone, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.