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“Great setting, terrible attitude at the hostess desk”

The Restaurant at Ponte
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Ranked #3 of 418 Restaurants in Temecula
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Anza
Description: The Restaurant at Ponte prepares wine country cuisine in a casual outdoor atmosphere. We are leading the way toward a community of wineries and restaurants dedicated to promoting local, sustainable farmers and ranchers. Our dishes feature top quality seasonal and regional ingredients prepared in our kitchen and enhanced when paired with our wines. The Restaurant is open daily, although hours do vary. The Restaurant at Ponte is open in inclement weather. Heaters and blankets are available in the winter, and misters and fans are used in the summer. Guests arriving By Limo or Private Bus: A separate limo reservation is required for the weekends. To submit a limo request, please see our website.
San Clemente, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Great setting, terrible attitude at the hostess desk”
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We love the setting, food is pretty good, make sure you have a reservation. Being a wine club member does not help!

Our only complaint is the attitude at the hostess desk. We have come in a couple of times without a reservation but with Wine Club priority only to be told "everyone is a wine club member" and that our wait will be an hour; even though there are 4-5 empty 2 seaters. Twice we have waited the hour (because of the free tastings as club members) and when we were finally seated most of the empty two seaters were still empty! The other times we just left; as we have watched many other people do. They seem to be turning away a lot of potential business that a more friendly/accommodating attitude and better table management could save.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank 24oliveoil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PonteWinery, Manager at The Restaurant at Ponte, responded to this review, June 24, 2013
24oliveoil, thank you for your comments and concerns with the wait system at The Restaurant at Ponte. During the weekend we do tend to get quite busy and as a result we receive a large amount of reservations and walk in guests which can cause the wait time to increase. I apologize if you were not seated in the time that was quoted and I will bring this to the attention of our restaurant manager. However, we’re pleased to hear that you’re enjoying the food and setting. There’s nothing better than dining outside among the vines. We hope you’ll come back and visit us again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Huntington Beach, California, United States
Level Contributor
469 reviews
357 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Favorite Temecula Valley Wine Country Restaurant”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Beautiful outdoor wine country setting with views of the vineyards and gardens. Food is served fresh with a wine country flair with many selections suitable for sharing. Be sure and check the daily specials before ordering. Ponte wine club members receive a discount and special appetizer. Reservations are a must, especially on weekends and holidays. During the summer months dinner is served which makes for a beautiful evening.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Don H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PonteWinery, Manager at The Restaurant at Ponte, responded to this review, June 11, 2013
Don, it pleases us to hear that you had such good experiences at The Restaurant at Ponte. We’re glad that you enjoyed our wine country dishes and even got a chance to try some of our chef created specials! We change our menus with the changing seasons, so be sure to come back soon and visit us! Cheers.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calabasas, California
Level Contributor
213 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“So much fun!”
Reviewed June 8, 2013

This place was just great. The Hostesses were very nice and the service was perfect. The one complaint people seem to have is that it was pricey, but we found that the portions were so large we could have split an appetizer and main course and been more that full. The pizzas certainly can serve two! The music was great too, the guy had a great voice. And when it did cool down a little at the end of the evening, not only did they turn on the heater, they brought out blankets if you wanted one.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank The5MRanch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PonteWinery, Manager at The Restaurant at Ponte, responded to this review, June 13, 2013
The5MRanch, thank you for sharing your positive thoughts with us! It sounds like you had the complete experience at The Restaurant at Ponte and even got to enjoy our live music. We hope to see you again soon. Cheers!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great birthday dinner...”
Reviewed May 23, 2013

My husband took me to Ponte for my birthday, and I was pleasantly surprised. I highly encourage reservations, since people who did not have any had to wait over an hour to get seated. Because we had reservations, we were seated promptly and our server was very friendly.

The food was excellent. We had the calamari as appetizer and my husband had the lamb chops and I had the salmon. Oh my goodness...it was delicious! We tried the Moscato wine and it was so tasty with our chocolate dessert. Highly recommend for dinner. The setting was great, not too fancy but just the ambiance was perfect. There was entertainment that really changed the mood of the ambiance for the better. It is expensive, we spent almost $150 for two but it's well worth it, especially for special occasions. I recommend bringing a light sweater, it does get cold at night. The restaurant does have heaters outside :)

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sunocean18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PonteWinery, Manager at The Restaurant at Ponte, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Sunocean18, thank you for choosing us to celebrate your birthday with! It sounds like both you and your husband had a great time and your birthday dinner was a memorable one. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and we hope you’ll come visit us again soon! Cheers.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Springs, California
Level Contributor
88 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Must Have Been An Off Day”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

I realize that sometimes the stars align and anything that can go wrong does, but...

We called about thirty minutes out from the Restaurant at Ponte. A friend had recommended it and an earlier attempt to dine there didn't happen due to the crowds. The hostess assured my friend that reservations were not needed this Wednesday mid-afternoon and walk-ups were being accepted. My friend went further to ask if we should/could put our name on a list - and we were again assured it would not be necessary.

Twenty-five minutes later we arrived to a chock-full restaurant! When asked if we were club members (which we are not) we were told it would be a thirty minute wait. Call me suspicious, but I'm pretty sure they counted on us doing the wine tasting during this delay. An escape to Paso Robles last month never once garnered a tasting fee of $15 let alone one that wasn't at least partially credited back if you purchase wine. We decided to split two tastings here which they did accommodate.

The wines were... okay. Again, we'd just returned from Paso where the wines were much more to my liking. We all know wine is personal preference.

About forty minutes later we sent a scout out to check on our lunch status since the phone we placed on the bar never did ring as promised. We were surprised to see countless empty tables when we left the tasting room. And when our friend inquired about our status we were again asked if we were club members as she searched for our name on the list well above the crossed out (seated and most likely already dining) parties.

They blamed a downed computer and some building painting that was going on for the confusion. This apparently also contributed to our wine server not being able to give us the change for our $20 bills until we reminded her of it right before we left for lunch.

Our waiter, Gilmar (pronounced Gee-Mar) was aloof. He checked on us once - before our meal was served and seemed distracted and scattered.

The food was okay, but hardly made up for the trouble, confusion and delays. The only bright spot was our bus-boy who did more to make us feel welcomed than anyone else on the property combined.

I'm not sure if our sub-standard treatment was because we weren't Wine Club Members, but I'm hardly convinced to become one after such a fiasco. Sounds like other people had better luck, I'm just not willing to try it again, nor can I recommend The Restaurant at Ponte in good conscience. I will say that the gardens and property are beautiful, but the public is welcome to explore without spending a dime.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Holly_Golightly_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PonteWinery, Manager at The Restaurant at Ponte, responded to this review, June 4, 2013
Holly, I apologize for the day that you had while dining with us. We make it a priority to give each one of our guests a day in the country that exceeds their expectations. During the week, we often get a rush of guests that we cannot predict, that being said our host should have taken your name, an issue that will be brought to the attention of a manager. We’re pleased to hear that your bus-boy was able to make you feel welcomed and comfortable at Ponte. I can assure you that this was, as you put it, an “off day” and we would be more than happy if you were to visit us again the next time you’re in Temecula Wine Country. Thank you for your review and sharing your concerns with us. Cheers.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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