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“Did you make a reservation? It will be at least a 40 minute wait..... REALLY? You have more than half your tables empty!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Wine Cellar

The Wine Cellar
513 6th Street, Rapid City, SD
(605) 718-2675
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Ranked #39 of 191 Restaurants in Rapid City
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Main Street
Transit: During summer season the City runs a Trolley, the stop is half a block away
Fairport, New York
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Did you make a reservation? It will be at least a 40 minute wait..... REALLY? You have more than half your tables empty!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

The title of this is exactly what was said when we walked in at 6pm on a Saturday evening in September. Really?????. Yes, more than half the number of tables in the restaurant were empty and they were waiting on a reservation for 6 persons to turn up at in the next half hour. In my experience do not turn away a paying customer when your reservation for 6 has not yet materialized..... Especially when more than half the tables are empty.... Or at least work out how many you can cater for through an evening ... Cause if you can only cater for one table of 6 you will soon be out of business!

My reaction with a simple response of 'Really?' to being told we can't seat you at an empty table and take your dinner order, throws them off guard and they immediately told us they could seat us, but would not be able to take a dinner order for 30 minutes - that's fine we only turned up at 6o'clock as Americans eat early - we are from Europe so were quite happy to sit with a glass of wine for a while first.

The reservation for 6 never turned up. But we did watch the staff turn away customers by telling the next ones to arrive without reservation it would be an hours wait for a table , then an hour and ten minutes, then an hour and twenty mins and so on. People were only seated when they pushed it by pointing out how few tables had people sitting at them and how many empty tables there were.

Firstly, this place sells wine. They have a good selection and some interesting finds.
Secondly they serve food. Unusual combinations, that do work, and the chef tries a few things that you would not necessarily pair together. We had to wait 30 mins before they would give us the menu, but they did serve wine and some nibbles to us while we waited, though we had to wait quite some time before we got our bottle of wine.

Staff seemed too easily distracted with another task for another customer, rather than completing one task first before moving on to the next.

We actually had a lovely meal at this place, albeit it had a 'fawlty towers' feel to it. The service was erratic and the staff behaved as if the restaurant had just opened. In fact it has been open for 13 years - so really think the owner should spruce up the service - the menu was not extensive and the wine list interesting but not overly complicated so there really was not too much for the staff to worry about.

Apparently the kitchen is very small, and this will explain the reason why you are told there will be a long wait, or the staff try to get rid of customers by telling them it will be a long wait for food.

The cost of the food is not cheap - a little too overpriced when you have to wait so long for it - I don't mind waiting for good food, but having to wait longer than what would be considered acceptable is not acceptable, regardless how good the chef is, being that slow is no excuse.

Saying that, the food was good - it was cooked to order and was cooked well, was tasty, unusual combinations - so to solve the problem, either extend the kitchen into part of the restaurant where they had tables but clearly were not using, get some more kitchen staff to assist, learn time management or move to bigger premises.

The one peculiar aspect was using the restrooms, you had to request the key from the staff. You go out the back of the restaurant area into a corridor and the restroom is at the end of the corridor - as far as I could see there was only one restroom for both male and females.

Our waitress was a young girl, she was attentive and picked up on it being our anniversary and bought out a desert for us for free - it was thoughtful and a nice touch.

The only thing we could not manage was to get our heads around the fact they had been open for 13 years. The way the staff was behaving was like you see in a restaurant that had only been open for a week or two. I think if they managed to get that sorted and a bigger kitchen space, as they clearly had a good chef when we were there , then this place would be well worth a visit. It was a surprise find for a 'just walk off the street'.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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72 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

The food and service was excellent! We loved the unique menu. My husband and I both found new wine favorites from their list. Wish we lived near by. We would dine there often.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 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.
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
206 reviews 206 reviews
182 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Kitchen very slow, food excellent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

We had a similar experience to one of the other reviewers. While we had reservations for a Thursday night, people coming in off the street were told there were a lot of other reservations and it would be at least an hour wait. None of the other "reservations" ever showed up and we think this was a cover for being short staffed in the kitchen and not wanting to disappoint. Aside from this, we really enjoyed our appetizers of ginger scallops and sacchette in brodo (pasta with mushrooms). We followed that with a European style pancetta and funghi pizza. By then, the richness of the food set in and we were no longer hungry for a main course. Our waitress (manager? owner?) was very pleasant and attentive and made the long wait between courses bearable. The wines were good and priced about where I would expect. We would go back to try this place again once they have the kitchen help figured out.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Texas
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Bad Choice”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

My wife and I thought that the Wine Cellar sounded nice and its menu also looked pretty good, but somewhat on the expensive side. When we got there, we were told that we would have to sit outside as they had a lot of reservations. This seemed somewhat surprising as the restaurant was basically empty. It was a pleasant evening, so that was no real problem. The problem was the service was absolutely horrendous, not only for us, but for all the outside tables. The wait for the food was about an hour. I overheard the waitress telling another table that the kitchen was a little backed up. That was hard to believe as the inside seating was still less than half full. The food when received was OK, but not worth the high price tag. We were extremely disappointed and would not recommend this restaurant to anyone.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 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.
Storm Lake, Iowa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“HORRID”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

The service was terrible!!! We waited for 45 minutes even though the restaurant was empty. Finally made a reservation and were eventually seated. We waited 30 minutes after we were seated to even get our wine order without even so much as water! It is the wine cellar! Waited 40 minted for two croutons without a bread plate. Our food order was then finally taken after others who were seated, obviously drunk, and had no apparent reservation an they received great service and a cheese plate before we even had ordered wine. The food was lackluster, we left because after the nearly hour wait we had the wrong order! We couldn't even order a flat bread because they were out of dough. So after an hour we explained to the manager what was going on and her response was "what do you want me to do about it." Do not go here.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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