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“Great dinner and a view to boot!”
Review of Rancho Cielo

Rancho Cielo
Ranked #6 of 320 Restaurants in Salinas
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed February 19, 2013

My husband had the steak and I had the chicken picatta. Both were delicious and pleasingly presented. Our salads the mixed greens with fruits and nuts and the caesar were crisp, had wonderful but not too much dressing. My husband had the flourless chocolate cake which he said was superb and I ate the free form apple pie --- also yummy.

This is the only restaurant where you can see the city lights of Salinas and supports a wonderful program for local youth.

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1  Thank Marilyn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 - 112 of 112 reviews

Reviewed February 13, 2013

Great meal cooked by the students of the Culinary Academy.. Food was more than great, I totally recommend this place. You can't beat the price for a 3 course meal. The kids did a great job serving us. Chef Paul came by our table and made sure are meal was done just liked we asked it. Sarda (Restaurant Manager) did an amazing job helping the kids with our order. Great Cause, Amazing food and just all around great place to have dinner. :)

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2  Thank Vya4rte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

The food at Rancho Cielo was fantastic. I especially enjoyed the wedge salad. Our server, Joseph, was very polite. The service and food was unbelievably better than most of the other restaurants in Salinas. The pasta dish was delicious and I loved how they put just the perfect amount of tomato sauce on. For desert, my daughter’s friend did not know what to order and Joseph was able to explain what everything was. Rancho Cielo gets 4.5 stars.

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1  Thank Rani P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Had a terrific dinner at Rancho Cielo last Friday. What a fabulous hidden gem. Had the best wedge salad I've ever eaten and the salmon was wonderful. Had the salad, salmon and dessert for $30 great value for money. Our waiter Joseph was attentive and always on hand, the chef came out and said hello and asked how everything was, nice touch. Sarda was as always on top of her game just making sure everyone in the restaurant was having a great time.
If you're looking for great food at reasonable prices I highly recommend Rancho Cielo and I will be back.
thank you to all the staff

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1  Thank dunetin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 29, 2012

This is a training program in culinary arts run for at-risk youth and those who have had issues with the law. These young people learn a trade by cooking and serving in a small restaurant setting.

The setting is amazing: Rancho Cielo sits in the foothills of the Gabilan mountains, just above the community of Old Natividad. The grounds are well kept, and the facility itself is immaculate. Through a window from the dining room, you can see the cooks preparing the food.

It's not always a perfect meal: The waiters/waitresses are sometimes coached by the adult supervisors, who are also the only ones to serve any wine or other alcohol. If you visit repeatedly, you will see the waitstaff gradually improve in skill level and in their comfort at serving strangers. Food is priced comparably with nicer restaurants in town, even though the waitstaff is inexperienced and sometimes mumble or look nervous.

On one visit (the second most recent) the steaks were severely undercooked, and had to be sent back twice, but this was with a new class, and their first service. On three prior visits and one since, the food has been prepared very well and served promptly. The menu is limited to two or three each of salads, entrees, and deserts, but there is usually a beef entree, a fowl entree (chicken usually) and sometimes a vegetarian entree to choose from. Call ahead, and they will cheerfully advise you about the night's menu.

The last seating is about 7:00 PM, so eat early. Reservations at 6:30 are recommended. You can not tip, but if you choose, you may use an envelope (which comes with your check) to make a donation to the program.

On the occasion that the steak was badly undercooked, it was taken off of the bill without our asking. You are encouraged to fill out a comment card, and to be frank in rating the meal and the service. This feedback helps the staff to guide the students.

I thoroughly enjoy eating here because the food is good, the staff is cheerful, the atmosphere is pleasant, and it supports a good cause. I hope that everyone who tries it finds the experience as pleasant as mine.

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6  Thank User_Default
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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