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“Go for the wine, the staff, and the music...”
Review of The Cellar

The Cellar
Ranked #11 of 222 Restaurants in San Clemente
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Description: Cheese shop, wine bar, small plates, live music
Reviewed July 11, 2012

..but eat dinner somewhere else. This place is awesome for wine and beer, served (at the bar, anyway) by enthusiastic, customer-oriented people. It is populated by a cross mix of older and younger, locals and visitors. The night I was in featured a very, very good blues band, playing at just the right volume for a place this size. The problem is the food. It isn't great. Ordered a cesar salad and the brie flatbread. Salad was swimming in dressing and the flatbread was both greasy AND tasteless. Excellent bar server noted that I hadn't had much of either and took the flatbread off the bill. They DO have an great assortment of cheeses, though, so that is a great bet to compliment the varied wine selection. I give it 4 stars for what it does offer in San Clemente - terrific wine, service, and entertainment.
There is a small outdoor seating area.
This is NOT a place for the kids.

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Thank lclarknj1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 15, 2012

Dear lclarknj1,

I am so very sorry to hear about your lackluster experience with our menu on your recent visit. This concerns the staff and myself greatly and we would like to correct anything that contributed to your negative experience. If you could please provide me with a bit more information, such as:

What specific day did you visit? and
What time of day were you dining with us?

Your further assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated. I see that you are from Georgia and I hope that this wasn't your only chance to visit us as we'd love to have you back to make things right.

I look forward to hearing from you and again apologize for this.

Monica Little
Social Media Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 - 120 of 135 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2012

The Cellar is a small wine bar / restaurant / cheese shop on Camino Del Mar, in the heart of downtown San Clemente. Our group of ladies (sisters, mom, sisters-in-law) get together once a month to chat, laugh, and plan more get-togethers. Our wine order arrives at the table quickly and the servers are especially friendly and helpful. Happy hour wines are not their finest of course, but Happy Hour special pricing for wine and appetizers is worth an early visit. The appetizer menu has something for everyone (vegetarians too!) The cheese plate is small, but stellar. We love to get the little tables outside, as it gets a bit noisy indoors on weekends. If you are looking for a casual, fun place to enjoy wine & companionship, this is a great spot. It's not that the prices are a bargain, but the good times we've had there are priceless.

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Thank Quewhat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2012

My boyfriend and I went to San Clemente for a weekend get away and this place was recommended by the hotel staff. The Cellar was not too crowded, we were able to sit on the couch they have toward the back, which was relaxing. The music was ok, at least there was music. While we sat there the waitress was taking care of her business but we thought at some point of her passing by us she would at least stop and have the courtesy to say something to us, "I'll be with you in a moment" or something. I don't know how long we waited, and still no one came to ask us for our drink or food order. My boyfriend evenutally had to go to the bar and order drinks for us, he said the waitress was very polite. And when a waiter came to help, he brought us napkins for our drinks, and then seemed hesitant to give us a menu. When we decided to leave because of the rudeness, we stopped at the front to check out the cheeses, I wanted to buy some cheese if someone at the counter could have been a little bit helpful and offered assistance or courtesy. So all in all I don't know if they have bad service or was it because we were mexica (we're the only ones in there). You don't see very many hispanics trying to enjoy the restaurants and beauty of San Clemente unless you work there.

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3  Thank A D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawn M, Manager at The Cellar, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2012

Dear A D,

I am so very sorry to hear about your negative experience at The Cellar. I can not apologize enough about this. If you could provide me with any additional information about your visit, such as: exact date and time of day, that would greatly assist me in addressing the issue and getting it resolved as soon as possible.

I see that you were visiting San Clemente for the weekend. I'm not sure how far you live from us, but I'd love to invite you back in to give us another chance as well.

I look forward to your response, and again I apologize deeply that we fell so short on service standards. It is unacceptable.

Sincerely,
Monica Little

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

We have visited 'The Cellar' a couple of times during the day. While not inexpensive, it's worth paying for the quality. The french baguette sandwiches are to die for and the cheese plates are excellent. If you can get a seat on the patio in the sunshine, watching the world go by while drinking wine, it can't get better than that!

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Thank lwew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2012

Have been here a couple of times. Came out on a Saturday for date night . The ambiance was great. Piano man was not good and the service was so bad that it dragged our whole experience down. Our food was cold and took forever for all courses, including drinks. Comically, our server brought us our check before our main course - that was probably the high point of the night .... I'll probably eventually go back but it's gonna be a while .

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Thank timjh33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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