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“Still very good BUT...”

Lakeside Dining Room
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Ranked #35 of 622 Restaurants in Kelowna
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $23 - $38
Cuisines: Seafood, Steakhouse, Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: South Pandosy - K.L.O.
Cross street: Lakeshore
Description: An evening spent in the Hotel Eldorado's award-winning Lakeside Dining Room will be an evening to remember. Executive Chef, Vince Van Wieringen, strives to take advantage of the Okanagan's bounty of seasonal and organic products provided by local suppliers. Boasting fantastically prepared AAA Sterling Silver beef selections, fabulous chops, fresh seafood and an award-winning wine list featuring over 150 different labels - Nothing beats dining lakeside at "The El."
Level Contributor
591 reviews
412 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 272 helpful votes
“Still very good BUT...”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Hotel El...one of very best patios in all of the Okanagan and food quality was top notch again tonight. The music selections were horrid tonight on the boardwalk though and very weird song choices and we only recognized one song, a John Mayer one in over an hour and 20 mins time. Could not get over the horrid language too by some drunken idiots present and if I were management I would have talked to them to clean it up as many kids present.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Nolpreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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378 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Eldorado is an imposter!”
Reviewed July 12, 2013

I'm actually feeling too mad and disgusted to write this review, but write I must. This review isn't about a restaurant, it is about an establishment, serving terrible, high priced food. In other words, an imposter.
First of all, wanting to sit on the patio, we had to wait about 1/2 hour for our table. Okay, that isn't too bad considering it was a Friday evening. The smell during our wait should have been our first clue at just how clueless the management must be. We should have left based on the putrid smell that lingered in the flower beds. At first we thought that maybe a lot of cats do their business in amongst the shrubbery. However, it dawned on us that the very unappetizing smell was some kind of fertilizer. I don't know how the hostesses could stand the smell?
One would think a place like the Eldorado Hotel, in the Mission part of Kelowna, and one of only a few places offering a dining experience on the lake, would actually take pride not only in the food they serve, but the whole atmosphere as well. Having no consideration towards their customers having to smell the pungent stench of manure while waiting for a table is down right rude.
Obviously the owners feel they only need to get by in offering a nice lakeside setting to potential victims....'errrr'.....I mean customers.
We've always been taught that if something smells bad, it usually is. Why oh why didn't we turn and run? Well if we weren't being treated to dinner by our guests, we would have. We didn't want them to feel awkward or their kind gesture go unappreciated. However, now that we are back at home and steaming mad, we did our friends a disservice by not speaking up. What a waste of hard earned money.
The food, where do I start? One broccoli & sobey noodle salad, complete with four pieces of broccoli, a few shavings of carrot, and barely dressed with a sweet vinegar taste....adding to that, an undercooked slab of tasteless, rubbery, chicken breast which was $7.00 extra. Fish and Chips, what a joke. Greasy fish hidden beneath a thick, sticky and undercooked batter, a tiny pile of thickly shredded, dry cabbage and carrots, another imposter for coleslaw....and the tartar sauce, non-existent. Instead, a teaspoon or two of a white-pinkish dipped that I assume was supposed to be a garlic aioli. Another imposter....it was neither tartar nor aioli. After 10 minutes of trying to get a servers attention, and to no avail, plus the food was getting seriously cold, I ended up going to the hostess podium to ask for tartar sauce. Five minutes after that, our server finally showed and asked how our meals were. No tartar sauce in sight yet, and when it did arrive, it was a thinner version of the first 'imposter' tartar sauce.
At this point, the four of us where still trying our hardest to pretend everything was okay, or at the very least, we had high, but oh so naïve hopes of the evening being salvaged. How wrong we were to sit idly by and let Eldorado take advantage of us, and no doubt, all the other diners.
Our beverages you ask? Well, sad but true, still nothing good to say. Why would any establishment serve room temperature beer in room temperature glasses is beyond me. Prices are a bit high for beverages as well. San Pellegrino was good though, served cold in a chill bucket with glasses of ice and a lemon wedge. At least the bubbly water was good.
Still by now you are probably thinking we've had enough, cut our losses and left. Well no, sadly we were still determined to salvage something of the this night out. We ordered desserts to share. The first, an ice cream and flourless dessert combo. .OMG....it should have been served with a magnifying lens. It was tasty, I'll give them that, but 2 bites each between 2 people was a shame. Good for the waistline though! The other dessert.....dry cheesecake. In fact, so dry extra whipped cream was ordered just to make it palatable. When that extra whipped cream arrived, it couldn't have been more than a tablespoon worth.
Well, if it weren't for the lakeside table and good company, the evening would have gone down in our 50-something years of being the worst dinning experience of all time. We are ashamed to think that a very summery location, undoubtedly enticing to tourists, will probably leave a bad taste.....and smell to their experience. Just in case the owners or management refuse to look at these review sights, I am also sending them a letter.
This only points we can give this are for the location and lakeside setting.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank oceanspirit44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carolyn n, Partner - Food & Beverage Manager at Lakeside Dining Room, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Dear oceanspirit44,
I’d like to thank you for taking the time share your experience with Tripadvisor. I’d also like to offer a sincere apology for what seems to be a very disappointing experience you had with us. You mentioned you were planning to send us a letter but it hasn’t crossed my path as of yet so I felt I would address your feedback here. Your concerns are very valid and have certainly been heard. In fact, as a family owned and operated business, we have had extensive discussion within the family on how to respond and what can be done to ensure an experience such as yours is not repeated. I’d also like to add that our Management Team is a group of wonderful, trustworthy & hardworking individuals who all share a passion for hospitality. Each is truly engaged in providing excellent guest service whenever they have the opportunity and are motivated by feedback that encourages professional growth. I’m saddened that we were not aware of your discomfort during your visit with us. Had we known your experience was not going well, any one of us would have been 100% engaged in turning it around.
In response to your specific feedback concerning the smell coming from our gardens along the Boardwalk, the Broccoli Soba Noodle Salad, the Fish & Chips, beer pricing & dessert, please let me apologize for each separately so that I can share with you the lessons we’ve learned.
I’m confident most, if not all, of the staff employed here at the El take personal pride in providing an appealing atmosphere for all guests that choose to join us. We did some “digging” into the smelly feedback you shared. I can assure you that we certainly did not have manure or manure-rich soil used in our gardens. In fact, the smell you were experiencing was coming from a very large daisy plant that had taken over one of our gardens and was located very close to the hostess stand. As it turns out, we also noticed the offensive smell coming from the flowers and did already have plans to remove the entire plant the week following your visit. Needless to say, the big old daisy plant has seen its last day and no longer lives in our garden.
In regards to your feedback about the menu items you mentioned, I’d like to share the changes we’ve made to improve their quality. We have ensured proper portioning is applied when building the Broccoli Soba Noodle Salad while making sure Broccoli remains one of the main ingredients. We have also made some improvements to the dressing. We do season and cook our chicken breasts to order and generally receive positive feedback. I apologize that this was not the case with the chicken that came with your salad. We have certainly shared your comments with our chef about this item and he is committed to a heightened awareness around this item.
We have also adjusted how we cook our Fish & Chips during high volume periods in the restaurant. If we receive several orders of this item at once, we now let them wait their turn to be plated on double layered pan with a cooling rack. This allows any excess grease to drip into the pan rather than on top of the other pieces keeping all pieces of the beer battered halibut nice and crispy. I do apologize if there was not enough coleslaw with your order and I do apologize if you received our house made aioli instead of tartar sauce. This is great feedback that we have certainly learned from. As with the chicken mentioned above, will certainly be putting heightened awareness towards these details to ensuring proper portions of sides and correct dipping sauces accompany the menu items. No excuses!
I’ve done some research into the beer pricing and this is what I found. We sell a 16 oz sleeve for $6.25 plus taxes (we do charge more for Heineken, $6.95, as the keg cost is much higher is $6.95). We keep this pricing consistent whether our guests order a sleeve of Molson Canadian or a craft beer like Crannog Ale's Backhand of God . Our good neighbours at SmackDab (Manteo Resort) offer 12 oz sleeves of craft beer for $6.00 and 20oz pints for $9.00. Cabana Bar and Grille, our friends across the street from us, offer their their guests 18oz sleeves starting at $5.95. Earl's, just for comparison's sake, offers their 12 oz domestic draft beer starting at $5.00 and 18oz sleeves of domestic draft at $6.75. Of our 12 draft beer lines, we offer craft, microbrew or premium domestic draft beers on 10 of the 12 lines. We feel that our pricing is in line with these other restaurants/bars and that we are providing excellent value, particularly to our guests that enjoy craft and microbrew beers. However, the fact that you feel your beer was not cold is unacceptable to us. In order to avoid this happening again, we have since ordered over 150 more beer sleeves to have in rotation. This will ensure all glassware is not used directly out of the dishwasher and still warm. I can also ensure that our cooler is in good working order and that all beer lines are insulated.
Finally, I’d like to say that we are lucky to have two very talented pastry chefs on staff with us here at the El. Both of whom are very passionate about what they do and take great pride in creating lovely desserts. We are truly sorry that you found your cheese cake to be dry and the portions too small. This feedback will be shared with our chefs in hopes that we can make to appropriate adjustments. Perhaps some further research is needed on my end to go do some dessert tasting around town to see where we fit in the market in terms of pricing and portion size then make some changes accordingly. I can’t wait! Thanks for making this a necessary part of my job!!!
Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience. As you can see, your feedback has promted some positives adjustments and I do believe we are better because of it. We are proud of what we do, the staff who works for us and the experiences we aim to provide for our guests. We would love the opportunity to invite you back to the El at your convenience in hopes of providing you with an experience that will win you back! I encourage you to contact us directly. Our Director of Food & Beverage would love the opportunity to speak with you personally. His name is Kyle Nixon and can be reached at 250-763-7500 ext 123 or by email at kylenixon@eldoradokelowna.com
Sincere regards,
Carolyn Nixon
Food & Beverage Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Disappointing lunch”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

Recently lunched here for the first time with a large group of friends. The setting was delightful. The food and service, not so much. I ordered a pasta seafood dish. When it (eventually) arrived, it was stone cold and very bland. I sent it back to be reheated, which helped, and then had to request salt and pepper, which were not on the table. The wines by the glass were overpriced (up to $14 for a 6 oz glass) so I stuck with water. Nevertheless, when my bill arrived, I had been charged for a glass of wine.

Others in the group also had problems. For example, someone who ordered salmon with asparagus, couscous and pesto received neither asparagus nor pesto. There was a chicken pesto pizza which looked like it was mostly dough, with very little topping.

If the lakeside location is really important, the Manteo next door has it, and the food is better.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Cathy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Try it - you'll like it!!”
Reviewed July 4, 2013

This was our second dinner here in two years - both were excellent -- filet, sablefish, lamb were absolutely perfect. Love the location - right by the water, which is something Kelowna is lacking - lively but not noisy. Service friendly but not efficient. Oh well -- it's holiday time!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Lawyerlady2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2013

We just moved to Kelowna the first of May. We had friends visiting from Calgary and we needed a lake side restaurant for lunch. We couldn't have asked for better. We sat outside on the patio and looked over the marina and the lake. It was beautiful. It wasn't just the view that was beautiful. The food was excellent. There are some very creative things on the menu such as cauliflower tacos which were very good. They also have more traditional items. Such as seafood pasta and a chicken panini. The service too was excellent. Max was our server and he did a great job. Very attentive and enthusiastic. A great experience overall. We definitely recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank James423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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