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“fine dining”

Caretta on the Gulf
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Ranked #28 of 750 Restaurants in Clearwater
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Baymont Street
Reviewed February 13, 2009

Caretta on the Gulf has excellent food, especially for a hotel, and good service from a personable staff. After checking out the Clearwater/St Pete area for a restaurant, Caretta appeared to be the best and it was.

The food was well above the "throw a steak on the grill' type with finely attuned sauces and vegetable matches. Prices were reasonable for this level of food. There was a good wine list, with some reasonably priced wines. The decor was nice and the tables well spaced.

The restaurant may be good for a quiet conversation on week days but on the weekend the attached bar /lounge made a lot of noise. The only other negative was a 10 minute wait to be seated even though we had reservations. Fussy eaters may have a problem with foods such as quinoa.

Thank barely alive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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525 - 529 of 540 reviews

Reviewed June 18, 2008

HAPPY Birthday turns into DISASTER" June 18, 2008 -

Last night reservations were made specifically requesting a table closest to the Gulf outside. This was a special birthday.. When we got to the restaurant we had to hunt down the maitre de. He took us to the worse table behind the large column.. I said I wanted the other table with an unobstructed view. He said you will then need to wait about 10 min. for the table to be set. 30 minutes later we go to the table. About 15-20 minutes later still no acknowledgement. We told the maitre de who sent the assistant waiter with water and said he will be back with bread. The poor overwhelmed server came over and robotically, listed the specials,. But who cares when you have no bread, menus or wine list. 20 min later no bread still and no return server. WHen I saw another party come in after us get bread and service that's when we left.THe Maitre de was rude when we left.. His only comment was "We bake our bread so it takes time. He was rude and arrogant. I think hjis name was Michael. My birthday memory turned into a birthday disaster. PS. I guess incompetence doesn't dicriminate, The table next to us were waiting longer and left. They mentioned they have a time share at the Sand Pearl.Calls to the General Manager and Restaurant managerStuart Arp and William Johnston, were never returned."0" star service for a "4" star restaurant. and we never even got to the food.

In summary, Service is the cornerstone of the restaurant business. Especially fine dining. That's step 1...

THey failed miserable at step 1. Just read the previous review.

1  Thank nolia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 16, 2008

Exceptional everything! Awesome service and wonderful Gulf views.

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Reviewed June 11, 2008

I took my friend to the Caretta for her b-day (we are both in our 20s and are locals) and we enjoyed the sushi buffet. I believe its only available Mondays and Tuesdays. It was superb! I believe it was worth the $25/person. They had a variety of rolls, a soup and 3 salads. The sushi chefs were very pleasant, funny and helpful. They made any kind of roll we wanted if it wasn't available already. It was delicious! The $3 for a soda was a little high but I guess it comes with the territory.

We sat outside on the most comfy outdoor seating ever! We had a wonderful view of the pool, waterfall and the Gulf of Mexico. Our server was very friendly and was excellent in keeping our glasses full and our table clean of plates. We never had to ask for anything or rushed out after we finished eating.

The atmosphere of the Caretta and the Sandpearl is amazing. Its decorated extremely well and the guests ranged from families with children, elderly couples, casual vacationers, middle aged couples...just a wide variety. Its a great place to go if you want to dress nice, or even if you've spent the day at the beach. You really feel welcome and everyone is so polite, helpful, and friendly. I will definitely be back!

1  Thank Kimsy151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2008

We are local to Clearwater Beach Florida and have eaten at the main restaurant "Caretta's On the Gulf four times.
First the good.
The view from the dining rooom is spectacular at sunset over a broad white beach.
Some of the servers are trying very hard to make dining there a 5 star experience.
The appetizers are mostly very good, especially the "sushi" and oysters.

Then the bad.
When it rains, there is very poor drainage at the front door. The valets have to use a squeegee to push the water into the drain. Wives, don't wear $300 shoes when it is raining at the resort and you go out the front door. This situation exists every time it rains.
The servers are either too obsequeious or snarky. Service is uneven. One large server/expiditer with glasses only poured 3/4 of a bowl of soup and when I asked if she was going to leave the rest which was in a small teapot she said "No, thats not the way we do it here." Huh!
The kitchen is trying too hard to be cutting edge but they fail. Someone needs to take them to New York or New Orleans to learn how to finnish dishes instead of leaving perfectly cut balls of raw parsnip in what they claim is duck consomme and give a New Orleans lesson to the servers in how to be perfectly attendant without being condensending or supercilious.

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

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