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“Service was great, food tried a lttle too hard.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Orchids at Palm Court

Orchids at Palm Court
35 W 5th St, Cincinnati, OH 45202-2801 (Central Business District)
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Ranked #2 of 1,657 Restaurants in Cincinnati
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Entertaining clients, Special occasions, Doing business
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Drinks, Dessert, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Central Business District
Cross street: Race Street
Transit: TANK bus stop across Race Street. Metro bus stop within one block.
Description: Orchids at Palm Court is an award-winning fine dining restaurant located in the National Historic Landmark Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. Executive Chef Todd Kelly is the American Culinary Federation's 2011-2012 USA Chef of the Year, the highest honor given by the 50,000+ chef organization. “Top Cincinnati Restaurant” by Zagat (2011, 2012, 2013) and named "One of the Top 100 Restaurants in USA" and "One of the Top 100 for Best Service in USA" by OpenTable, 2011, 2012 & 2013; AAA 4 Diamond (2006-2012). Orchids offers a contemporary American menu that is seasonally updated with local ingredients. With breathtaking French Art Deco including two-story Romanesque murals, rare Brazilian rosewood, German silver-nickel wall sconces & an original Rookwood fountain featuring two large seahorses all restored to the 1930s grandeur. Complimentary valet parking.
Cedarville, Ohio
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Service was great, food tried a lttle too hard.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

My wife and I went to Orchids for our 32 year anniversary. The setting is grand and you get neck strain looking at the 1920/30's ornate furnishings. The tables are separated by a greater distance than average...so you don't feel like you are right on top of the neighbors. Gives a greater sense of privacy. The wait staff to diner ratio is very high. At least five individuals attended us in a very choreographed team. Some times it did seem a bit contrived but most of the time it seemed very natural to be attended to in this manner in such a grand setting. The food was fair to excellent but in my opinion suffered from an overemphasis of innovation over taste. The mix of ingredients seemed like a "Chopped" basket! My lobster salad was fantastic, the pea soup good and the duck fat roasted salmon was fair. The duck fat gave the salmon a old bacon grease flavor that was unpleasant. My wife's squash blossom and grits was very delicious. But her chicken entree was a little tough. So would be go back...probably. Would we recommend it to friends? As an experience ...yes...but you have to have an adventurous palate. I did not think the prices to be that outrageous.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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292 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Wilmington, NC USA
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“The absolute finest service !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

While the food was excellent , the service was impeccable. The finest restaurant service I have ever received. Delightful dinner!

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln Nebraska
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“The food is the art”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Orchids at Palm Court
This review needs a preface. While on a traveling vacation with my family, Thomas #3, wanted to see the best zoo in the country.. reviewed as the Cincinnati Zoo. I noticed that there was a “dining special - 2/1” at many of the best restaurants. On a whim, having never been to Cincinnati, a review mentioned Orchids at Palm Court, and this was the last day of the special.

We arrived at the lobby of the Hilton and I thought there is no way this is going to be a great restaurant. The bustling lobby and the restaurant were only separated by a low wall. We walked in and we were immediately welcomed and seated. I was still a little apprehensive, I mean get serious, this is the fanciest restaurant I ever sat in. A young waitress immediately arrived at our table with the menus. Yikes! But with the special... However she informed me that they had ended the “special” yesterday! On seeing the ashen look on my face, my wife whispered across the table”maybe we should leave”.
For those of you who are rich, you can skip this. I did some quick calculations, dinner -6- $300-$400 plus tip,.... did I have enough room on my card. it was going to be close. What the heck... I asked for the wine list, to the shocked look on my wifes face.

Review - Food from an Artist

“To give life to beauty, the painter uses a whole range of colours, musicians of sounds, the cook of tastes — and it is indeed remarkable that there are seven colours, seven musical notes and seven tastes.”
Lucien Tendret (1825-1896)

Our very personable and helpful waitress, a fellow college student, quickly gained rapport with my four college students and away we went. Into an elaborate orchestra of visual, textural and intricate tastes. Each dish was presented with flair. The main course were brought out by many of the wait staff and presented simultaneously. I ordered the lamb, but everyone at our table tasted everyone elses.Someone seemed to like us, as the “chef-waitress-manager?” seemed to keep bringing us small exquisite tastings, although they may do that for everyone. And through the dessert we hovered in a heavenly cloud where food and art were closely intertwined. Not a single bite was wasted anywhere. (Thomas made sure of that) Total bill with tip about $ 400.

By the way, that bill is long paid, and I can honestly say I would gladly go there again, though, maybe one day earlier. Thanks to the restaurant staff and particularly the chef, for the best meal our family has ever eaten out.

Excellent,Excellent, Excellent
35 W. Fifth St., Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, Downtown, 513-421-9100. Open 7 days. $23-$65 (for the “tasting” platters).

  • Visited August 2012
    • 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.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Perfect for a special occasion”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

My husband and I just celebrated our anniversary at Orchids, and had an absolutely amazing experience. The food was phenomenal. We had a perfectly cooked soft shell crab for our first course. Our chateaubriand was cooked exactly to our requests, and so tender that it melted in our mouths. Before dessert, our server brought us out a plate with little desserts with "Happy anniversary" written on it in chocolate. Our dessert was an imaginative blend of flavors, and just divine.

Although the food was absolutely delicious, it was the attentive service that really made our experience so wonderful. Everyone who served us knew to wish us a happy anniversary. Multiple people came by to pour water, bring us little tidbits between meals, and they even replaced by napkin with a fresh, folded one when I walked away from the table. My husband had ordered a second course, but I didn't, not wanting to fill up before our entrees. However, they thoughtfully brought me out a small taste of one of their other second course dishes, just so I'd have something to eat along with him. Our meal here was a wonderful experience, and I'd highly recommend it to others.

  • Visited June 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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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Top Contributor
265 reviews 265 reviews
185 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
“Step Back in Time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

Orchids is a great place to have a before or after drink. They're located in the Hilton Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. The Hilton is part of Carew Towers, a building that has survived from the golden age of the 30's Art Deco.
The "Palm Court" is a breath taking place to have a drink. It's a time warp. People, such as John and Jackie Kennedy and Frank Sinatra, among others, have stood in this court. I toast my "Moscow Mule" to their memory and the marvelous architecture.
Drinks are pricey, but the staff is generous and nice and the surroundings is worth the price.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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