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“Yummy Spanish food, excellent service” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pepin - CLOSED

Pepin
Price range: $25 - $40
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Downtown Scottsdale
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1,393 reviews
625 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 853 helpful votes
“Yummy Spanish food, excellent service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

I spend several months a year in this area and my experience with restaurants in the Old Town Scottsdale has not been good. Except maybe for The Mission, I found most of them touristy, noisy, overpriced, faded and lacking service. This is the reason I went to Pepin reluctantly: I expect a lot of the places where I eat and I am, most of the time, disappointed. But after reading about it in a local paper, I took a look at the Trip Advisor reviews and found them amazingly polarized: people either loved it or hated it. This clearly required a visit in person. On a sunny Saturday, after visiting the local Farmers Market, half a block away, we walked into Pepin around 12:30 (they are open for both lunch and diner, which is already a plus in my books). Seeing that we were the only customers almost made us turn back. But we were hungry and the place looked cozy with authentic Spanish touches, like the red clothes on the tables, contrasting nicely with the white chairs, the painted stucco on the walls, the decorations. We sat by the windows looking at the Park outside and were promptly given menus and asked for our drinks order. The menu took some time to study: it had authentic tapas, much like the ones I've had in the the Tapas bars in Barcelona and throughout Spain. It also had pork, which I love and which is rarely found in restaurants in the States.
From the Cold Appetizers we picked Pimentos con Queso de Cabra (house made roasted red peppers served on a bed of lettuce and accompanied by toasts sprinkled with excellent Spanish Olive oil and goat cheese). Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp sautéed in olive oil, wine and garlic) came from the Hot appetizers and were delicious. While waiting for the next course, we were brought some freshly baked rolls and a yummy dip consisting of olive oil, sour cream (I'm guessing), garlic and some herbs. The Gazpacho soup was served in a large bowl, like in Spain, and the salad Pepin was fresh, crispy and tasty. My lunch companion had some roasted pork tenderloin served with Spanish Rice and steamed vegetables and he gave it rave reviews. We could not attempt deserts after all this food and were disappointed to find out they did not offer espresso, but the lack of good coffee was the only minus. Prices were very reasonable (the whole feast for two came to $37, before drinks and tip) and I am sure we will try it again, next time in the evening, when they offer a Flamenco show.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Oliver S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
    10
    10
    9
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Central Arizona, Arizona
Level Contributor
43 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great Meal and experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2013

This is the first time in many years that I have eaten at Pepin. We had a party of 10 and we were celebrating three birthdays. The appetizers of roasted peppers with goat cheese, shrimp with garlic sauce and lamb were excellent.
Each person enjoyed his/her meal and the portions are so large that most of us took home the leftovers.
The complimentary flan for the birthday guests was a wonderful treat.
The dancing/show was a great plus.

This was an excellent night out and I would highly recommend this restaurant for the food, ambience and the show.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank DesertRat99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Faded Glory”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013

Pepin may have been a good restaurant in it's day, but that day has passed. A few of the tapas are relatively tasty, but all the food is overpriced and most menu items are mediocre at best. I understand that they are switching Flamenco groups. Too bad, because that was their only redeeming virtue. It is the only reason I would even consider giving them an average rating for atmosphere. I also rated the service average since all the employees do try their best to make up for the poor restaurant business model put forward by the owner/manager.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank BohoWorldTraveler51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Terrible food & customer service”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2013

My wife found this restaurant during an internet search. She lived in Spain for a short time and enjoys the culture and cuisine. We took my parents and my 11 year old child. We arrived in time for a live flamenco performance (guitarist, singer, and three dancers). The show was very informative and reminded my wife what she misses most about Spain. Then, our food arrived. We ordered two appetizers (Tapas) which were overpriced. 7 bite sized sausages for $8!!! My parents ordered $30 Paella dishes. What arrived was a lukewarm mess of rice and cooked from frozen seafood. Both the dishes were bland and my parents only ate a few bites. My 11 year old ordered off the children’s menu, the $8 chicken fingers. We could have stopped at the drive-thru before dinner and bought her a $3 chicken strips meal at McDonald’s (with toy). None of us finished our dinners and we actually argued over who would take the leftovers home, as in, “You take it, not me!” In all, our bill came to over $150!!!! I noticed we were charged an automatic gratuity of 20% due to our large party (4 adults and 1 child!!) Outrageous!!!

The restroom side of the restaurant smelled like day old fish and sewer! This, unfortunately, reminded me of what was served on the plates put in front us. When I returned from the bathroom, my wife told me the manager had cleared out several tables around us and told my family to move to another part of the restaurant so a dance floor could be set up. What?! At least we stopped arguing over who had to take the food home because we were all appalled over the manager’s rude behavior.

How can this place stay in business? I expect in a year the Paella will cost $50 a plate, so they can make up for lack of repeat customers.

Do yourself a favor, save the $150 and go to a restaurant like the Phoenician! That’s what I would expect for the price.

Don’t be fooled by the 5 star reviews like we were….I suspect the owner and staff are adding them in order to draw in unsuspecting clientele.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Spainlover420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Will come back.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2013

Tried three different styles of hot tapas, the black rice paella, flan and crema catalana for dessert, and red sangria as refreshment. Loved all of them.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Carlos M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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