We were wary of dining at this restaurant, based on complaints about service on both Open Table and tripadvisor. However, we needed an early dinner in order to make our downtown concert, so we decided to try it. Arriving at 5:30, the service we received and food preparation were both excellent. We tried the fresh Alaskan halibut and papardelle entrees. Both were fresh and well-seasoned - tasty. In fact, the papardelle, which, according to the menu is homemade, was some of the best made pasta I have had in some time. It had that thin, smooth texture that only someone who knows how to make pasta produces. We also very much liked the cannoli dessert, with it's thin, crispy shell and yummy chocolate ganache filling.
One reason not to provide a five rating is the pricing strategy; bread and vegetables are add on items. In fact, a basket of bread was not even presented as an option on the menu, but our server was happy to have some prepared for us - a grilled ciabatta that we enjoyed. So, when you look at the menu pricing online, be advised that you will need to add $5-10 pp to have those options.
The main reason I have given only a Very Good rating relates to the issue that others have experienced as poor service - blending intrusive special events with regular restaurant operations. On this night the property had a wedding, which, while it was not intruding into the dining room during our stay, meant that the "gardens" were off limits. My mother, who was visiting from out-of-town had read a review of this restaurant in a local magazine, and was keen to see the gardens, which were a focus of the review. So, that was a disappointment.
It is difficult in the hospitality business to strike the right balance between hosting special events and regular customers. Based on our experience (and apparently that of many others), the House at Secret Garden could definitely improve in this aspect of its operation.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.